Having a social media presence is an important marketing component for a business of any size. Once you’ve chosen your business name, it’s time to select your social media handles to keep your online presence well spread. But, often entrepreneurs hit the roadblock of coming up with a great business name, and not finding the available social media handle. Bummer!
This shouldn’t discourage you from going ahead with your business name. Luckily, there are lots of workarounds for selecting a great social media handle!
So, how does someone come up with a good social media handle anyways? And what do you do if your business name is taken? We’ll answer these questions and more below!
Wait—what are social media handles?
A social media handle is essentially a public username with an @ symbol before it. It’s what people use to find your account, and tag you in shared content and comments.
Social media handle vs username: what’s the difference?
The major difference between usernames and social media handles is that while the former is often private, the latter is always public. Usernames are often used as login credentials and aren’t always publicly available. Nobody cares about your Instacart username, and it has zero impact on your brand.
However, your social media handle is directly associated with your brand. So you want to make sure it’s a good one!
Tip: Remember that usernames on social media like Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat end up being your chosen social handle as well.
What makes a good social media handle?
In general, good social media handles for businesses are:
- Easy to spell
- Tells something about your brand
Tips for coming up with great social media handles
Let’s get into some tips for creating a good social media handle for your business.
Align your handles with your business name and domain name
If you’ve already come up with a business name and found your website domain, you’ll want to make sure your social media username aligns with them.
If you’ve made up a word as your business name, it’ll be easier to secure your domain and social handles!
One way to make sure people remember your website name is to add “dotcom” or “.com” to your social media handle. Made.com, a European furniture company makes it easy for 1.4 million people to remember its website name.
Either way, keeping your social handles, business name, and domain name the same (or as similar as possible) will help with brand consistency.
Check availability across platforms
Before securing your social handles, you should check every platform you plan to use and see if the username you want is available. It’s a good idea to snag it right away once you see it!
This part can take a lot of time. It’s annoying to have to check multiple names across multiple platforms, but lucky for you, Looka has a solution to this.
Looka’s Business Name Generator not only helps you come up with hundreds of innovative business name ideas but also checks domain and social media availability.
In the example above, a search for floral business name ideas produced the idea “FloristsBloom”. After selecting the name, the generator goes one step further to show you social handle availability and provide some additional username ideas. Phew! That’s a lot of time saved!
If you’re not using a name generator, and the exact name you’re looking for is already taken, don’t fret—there are tons of workarounds.
Let’s go through a few here.
What to do if your first, or full name is taken?
If your business name also happens to be your real name, it’s smart to register a social media handle that’s simply your name. But with 7.9 billion people on Earth, this isn’t always possible! Here are some workarounds if you can’t find your name isn’t available on social media:
- Add “the” or “Iam”. For instance, @iampattyjenkins
- Add your location for context, @jessicacampbellNYC
- Be playful, add “hey” or “whois”. For example, @heyconnibee, @callmejohnnie
- Add your credentials to show you’re legit, @LanaPHD
- Say what you do @johngreenwritesbooks, @lookadesign
What to do if your business name is taken
If you can’t find your business name there are similar workarounds as above!
- Add “HQ” or “INC”, @SlackHQ
- Add “the”, @TheDieline, @thenoisepodcast
- Acknowledge your team, @wearecollins
- Use an underscore, @cocoadelicious_
- Give some context @FounderHubApp, @KaloiJewelry
Keep your brand consistent by using matching social handles
It’s important to keep your brand name consistent across all marketing channels—from your website to your social media profiles.
Think of your social handle as another brand asset. You want it to be consistent with the rest of your brand so that people develop awareness around your business. This awareness makes it easier to recall your brand name in conversations with friends or online.
For example, don’t use your personal name on Twitter to represent your brand, and then your brand name on Instagram. Everything should stay as close to the same as possible.
The goal is to make it easy for people to search out your business online and on social media.
Make them easy to spell and pronounce
Long words strung together are hard to read and understand. If your business name is long, you might want to use an underscore or period to create some visual separation in your social media handle.
The Instagram username @dermalproclinicalskincare is a lot harder to read than @dermalpro_clinicalskincare
Make it memorable and concise
Keeping your social handle to 15 characters or less will help your social media branding stay clean and concise. Shorter handles are generally easier to remember, and thus easier for customers to share through word of mouth, and search for online.
Using invented words, words that create imagery, or acronyms are a great way to make your social handle stand out amongst the rest. For example, @velvetdynasty is a visual diary with a social media handle that immediately pulls you in.
Once you’ve come up with a great business name and registered social media handle, it’s time to work on your brand identity.
Creating a great logo should be next on your list! Try our logo maker to design a logo you love in minutes.