A username can be one of the most valuable assets of your social media presence. It's one of the first things a person may see. Depending on your username, people may be more likely to follow and engage with you. In this post, we'll outline a few general guidelines for creating one.
1. Try to keep it as short as possible. The less anyone has to type in to interact with you, the better. Shorter usernames, like many things in life (license plate numbers, domain names, etc), also appear to be more authoritative.
2. Aim for something memorable, and easy to type. Using non-alphabet characters can be an avoidable hindrance. Always keep in mind that phone-friendliness (i.e. real life conversation appeal), can be a major plus. If you meet a contact, it will be much easier saying a word or two or three, rather than having to say "underscore", "dot", or any numbers (which can get more confusing if you spell them out, instead). If the username you want is taken, take the time to think about ways to express the same idea, that still sounds natural. It's worth it.
3. Continuity of branding can be invaluable. If at all possible, especially if you have a website, try to have the usernames match the website address, across as many social media platforms as you use. This may take more creativity on your part, to get a domain name that's unique enough to be available on social mediums - but it will establish another level of authority for you. Best case scenario, the words in your URL will also be your username. It will make finding your social media presence exponentially easier.
A display name or simply "Name" on most social media formats is actually different than a username. A username is more like a specific address where people can find you, and typically begins with an @ symbol. A "Name" is what is displayed on your account, typically somewhere above your username, usually in just letters. For example, your username on any given social medium might be @genericexample, but your display name would be Generic Example. Some people do have display names that are completely different from their usernames, but many individuals and groups of authority have both their display name and username identical (with the exception of a space or two). Again, that falls into the concept of continuity of branding. Take note of it, next time you check out a brand you like, on social media.
In the event you absolutely could not get the username you wanted, you can compensate somewhat, by setting your display name to be it. But, if it varies too much from your username, you may risk losing credibility, especially when first establishing your social media presence.