What’s in a Name: Before You Begin Tweeting

What's in a Name: Before You Begin Tweeting

What’s in a Name: Before You Begin Tweeting

Choose a Name

If you’re tweeting for a business, your Twitter name should reflect your business’ identity. If your brand is already well-known, you may not need to name the type of business you’re in. For instance, @WellsFargo does not include the word “bank,” since most are familiar with this business. By the way, you might like to read my post about rebranding for startups.

Shorter is Better

On Twitter, you only have 140 characters—the length of a text message—for a tweet, so if your name takes up 20 characters, that only leaves you with 120 characters. So while a name like, say, @PotatoShapedLikeTheStateofFlorida, is funny, it will use up a lot of your real estate on each and every tweet. You might want a long name (especially if you’re running low on potato jokes or your potato jokes tend to be short), but most people tend to run out of space first. It’s just something to keep in mind. Some say that 110 characters is even better, since there’s more room for retweeting.

Keep Your Twitter Name Professional

Keep Your Twitter Name Professional

Keep it Professional

While @PlumbersofDoom is a great and funny name, do you want your followers on Twitter to associate you with doom? Maybe not. But if your username isn’t available, consider adding a location, or maybe an abbreviation of the location. For example, @PlumberPhx could work for a plumber located in Phoenix, Arizona. Or maybe you have a specialty, such as repiping, that you could incorporate. @RepipeSunnyvale could be such a name.

Use an Underline

Keep in mind that you might be able to use an underline or two between your first and last name, or even an underline after your name, if you really love a particular name. So if @PlumberPhx isn’t available, check to see if @Plumber_Phx or @PlumberPhx_ are available.

Names to Avoid

Avoid using names that make you sound like a porn star (unless you are a porn star). For example, @LoveBunnyXXX might not get you the kind of followers you really want. A name that makes you sound like a spammer or a bot* should also be avoided. For example, names like @SpamBotfly @AllSPAMALLTHETIME might also not be the best for your business. Here are some ways to identify spammers, by the way.

Get Real

Make sure that what you tweet about matches your name. So if your name is @PlumberLax, but all you tweet about is cookies, consider changing your name to @CookiesLax, or at least adding a few words about your love of cookies to your profile—or maybe creating a second account to write about your passion for Snickerdoodles.
Twitter Has Changed Since 2012

Twitter Has Changed Since 2012


What If I Can’t Come up With a Name?

If you really can’t think of a name, bribe some of your friends with beer and chips and have a naming party! Sometimes all that’s needed to develop a good name is to get started brainstorming. The worst-case scenario is you’ll think of 100 things NOT to name your business.
Note: You can easily change your name later with Twitter (unlike on Facebook).
Bottom Line? Take a little time to make sure that your name reflects you or your business.


Twitter Has Changed

This post was first published in 2012. Twitter has changed over the years. Here’s a great article, Finding a Better Twitter Experience in 2015. How have you changed how you use Twitter? Does your name still suit you?


  1. Great post, Carol! Very wise advice….and entertaining, too!

  2. Great post Carol! I wish I had found you to ask advice before I got everything set up. It would have been a lot less painful! I love your fun writing style and can’t wait to read more posts.

  3. Jody Yarborough says

    Great tips Carol! I know you are a true Twitter Ninja so I know your words of advice are golden. I want to get writing more under my belt, but I DEFINITELY want to get Tweeting. I know it is a key marketing and communication tool. Expect to hear from me ;) But I’m not ready just quite yet. I’ve had this bad habit of stretching myself too thin and then getting overwhelmed/burned out. But not this time! Way to go on getting this first post. Keep ’em coming. :)

  4. Sally JPA says

    Good list, Carol! Finding a Twitter name took me foreeeeever (@mamasgotmilk), and I’m not even sure I love what I did get. But, as you said, I can change it later if I want, thank goodness. We all get clarity over time.

    I would add ‘avoid double entendres.’ Perhaps I’m just immature, but CookiesLax sounds like a cookie-based laxative! :) Also, avoid ones that can be mis-parsed. I once did a double-take at a name that had ‘ ____shooters’ in it–I read it as “___’s hooters.” Not what the author was going for. . . .

    • Being able to change a name is one of the (many) things I love about Twitter! Great tip about avoiding double entendres. (Although if someone ever did need a laxative, a cookie would probably be tastier than some of the alternatives! Hahaha…) Thanks, Sally, for all the comments!

  5. You go girl with your blogging self. Nice post.

  6. Great advice, Carol! Looking forward to more blog posts from you :)


  1. Social Media: First Steps for Startups | Women of Technology says:

    […] Make sure your name is available across all the platforms you are looking for. You may need to insert an extra space, or an underline (for example, my name, @Carol_Stephen, has an underline between my first and last names on Twitter). Now check that your name is available on all the other platforms, too. […]

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