Remember when email first came out…no? Let me tell you how it went down…AOL was one of the first email providers that everyone jumped on board with…mostly thanks to the movie You’ve Got Mail. (We all wanted to hear those 3 little words.)
Way back in those days (the 90’s) my friends and I would try to think up the most clever email handle…not our names mind you but something clever and cute. Like mine might have been firstname.lastname@example.org. Others might have been catlover1973@aol, babyblueeyes@…you get my drift.
It did not occur to us to use our actual name because email was new and exciting and our names were boring!
Fast forward to the social media age…we should have learned from those early days that our handles SHOULD be our name and not some cute moniker, we give ourselves. However, I still see many folks on social media making this mistake.
Facebook pretty much forces you to use your full name…so your 9th grade boyfriend can look you up and facebook stalk your page! Other social platforms, like Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat give you the ability to be as creative as you’d like with your handle. Resist this urge, I beg you!
Your Twitter, Instagram, Et al. handle should be your name if you want to grow your account and increase engagement. People have a hard time trusting an account that is @babyblueeyes…who is that? And if you’re profile photo isn’t your photo (which it should be)…then it’s really hard to figure out who just followed me on Instagram. Social Media is about being social and engaging with human beings…so use your name or something close to your name for your handles.
The same is true for your business accounts. Maybe you make the best pies in town but if your handle is @bestpiesintown, that doesn’t tell me who the business is…save the “best pies in town” for your bio. Your handle should be @yourbusinessname.
I see this mistake with student-athletes all the time. They have cute handles that pertain to their prowess in the sport they play…which is fun, but when a coach is trying to find them (and they are) on social media…the student-athlete is better off using their name as their handle.
If your name is Bob Smith…I realize you are most likely not going to get @bobsmith…but you can get creative and add a number that means something to you or you can try something like, @bob_smith.
My Instagram and Twitter handles are @allysontwiggs and @thetwiggsgroup…would love to connect with you there!