So, you’ve decided that you want to up the ante with your Twitter account, and you’re ready for it to represent your brand and do the best it’s done. You’ve started from scratch, and looked for the Twitter handle that’s best going to resonate with your brand – but it’s already taken by someone else!
With so many Twitter users already out there, it’s no surprise that you can’t get the Twitter handle you want. This can be frustrating, especially if you search the handle and discover that the person who owns it isn’t even using it. While Twitter does have a trademark policy, if you haven’t already trademarked your brand, there’s not a lot that you can do – or is there?
Let’s take a look at what to do if your Twitter brand handle has already been taken.
Best Practices for Your Twitter Handle
Let’s quickly go over some best practices for coming up with social media names across the board. While it may not seem like it, there’s definitely some strategy involved in coming up with the best name. At the end of the day, you want your name to be easily remembered by your fans. Let’s take a look at what you need.
1. Be Consistent
It’s essential that when you’re choosing the name of your brand, you remain consistent. This means that you need to make sure that your domain name and username on other social media platforms are the same.
While your domain name may be a bit longer than what is allowed on social media, you can always shorten it – but remember to make it as similar as possible. This makes it nice and easy for active Twitter followers of your brand to find you elsewhere, and recognize your brand name when they see it.
If you find that your name has already been taken on one platform, it’s better to change it to something else on all platforms, than to make it different.
2. Be Memorable
If you can’t use your brand name on social media, then we recommend choosing another name that is going to be just as memorable. You need to make sure that it’s closely related to your brand name, and it’s nice and easy for your audience to remember and associate with you.
3. Be Quick
As soon as you come up with the name that you want to call your brand online, and you find it and realize that it’s available – grab it. Don’t hesitate, because it won’t be long before someone else comes along and wants to snatch it up. Don’t even think about it – just do it. It’s much better to reserve it and not need it than not to reserve it and realize further down the line that it was the one you really wanted.
We also recommend doing the same thing with domain names, too. You need to make sure that you reserve any domain name that you think is directly related to your brand, even if you don’t need it right now – you never know when you may need it in the future, and you don’t want to wait to secure it until it’s too late.
What Do You Do if it’s Taken?
So, you’ve already come up with your ideal username – but someone else has got it. Worse, they’re not even using it, so it’s just sitting there, going to waste. However, there is something that you can do if this is the situation.
You can apply to Twitter to release the inactive username if it’s definitely not being used. While this might not happen overnight, Twitter will process your request and eventually get to the bottom of it – which could result in giving you control over the username.
There are literally millions of inactive usernames sitting out there on Twitter, so if you find that the one you want is taken, don’t give up. Get in touch with Twitter and see if it’s inactive, and can be given to you instead. It can’t hurt to give it a try.
How to Come Up With Another Name
If your name is already taken, and the person is actively using it – don’t worry. There are still plenty of alternative options out there, even if it might not feel like it. Let’s take a look at how to come up with an alternative Twitter handle.
1. Shorten It
You could easily get around this roadblock simply by shortening your brand’s name for your Twitter handle. Try experimenting with different ways of shortening your brand’s name, and see how it looks. Remember, it’s always essential to make sure that your audience can still connect the two together.
2. Use Keywords
You may have already had the task of coming up with unique keywords that relate directly to your brand’s name – maybe you’ve used them on your blog. Keywords are a great way to set yourself apart and expand the words that your audience associates with your brand. If the keywords you choose are close enough to your brand name, it won’t be hard for your community to make the connection.
3. Use an Initial
If you’ve already got a pretty short name, try adding an initial to it, like perhaps your middle name if your brand name is your full name.
4. Add Your Location
If your business is local, then try adding the location to your Twitter handle. Not only will this help your audience to remember your brand name, but it will also make it super easy for them to find you, too.
5. Try an Underscore
If you’re hellbent on keeping your Twitter handle as close to your brand name as possible, try simply adding an underscore in the middle. While this may sound like a great alternative, it’s not as glamorous as you may think. This is because underscores are hard to remember, and of course, take up valuable character space.
While your brand’s name may be already taken on Twitter, this is no reason to give up your Twitter dreams completely. As you can see from our suggestions above, there are many ways to get around your brand name being taken on Twitter.
This is your chance to be creative and original, and expand the number of keywords associated with your brand. Happy tweeting!