Choosing Social Media Usernames and Handles

One of the most basic things to do when starting a Social Media Marketing Plan is to set up profiles on the Social Media platforms of your choice.  I’ve been using a few different platforms for a while now, so I found the technical aspects of this easy enough.  What has me stumped right now is trying to think of a user name for my business that will work across multiple platforms.

I found this article How to Choose a Twitter Handle by KerriLynn Engle at the Blogging Wizard was a good place to start.  Two key pieces of advice are to use handles that are consistent across platforms and to be closely related to your brand name so that its easy for your audience to recall.

Here are the rules for usernames on some of the platforms I am looking at:


domain is the address, or main URL, that people type in the browser to get to your Web site. Think of a domain like an address to your house. When someone looks for you, they can find your address. A domain name allows your site to be easily remembered by your readers, look more professional, and change Web hosts or hosted blog solutions at will.

A blog name can be anything, but try to think of something that

  • Matches your blog name.
  • Is based on your topic keywords.
  • Is humorous or memorable.

You can find technical advice on how and why to register a domain name here.


username, or short URL, lets you easily promote your business or organization in a variety of other channels, including TV, radio, and print. If you don’t have a username, the frustration of having to remember a long URL means you’d lose a lot of potential customers. Your username appears after when someone views your Page.

  • Usernames must be at least 5 characters long.
  • Your username can only use upper and lower case letters, numbers,and periods.
  • They can’t contain generic terms or extensions (.com, .net).
  • Here’s a link on the technical stuff for creating a Facebook Username


Airbnb                                                                                                                                 @Airbnb

Your Instagram username is how you are recognized on Instagram: All activity, from the content you post to how you engage with others, is associated with your username. The username is at the top of the profile.

  • Usernames can be up to 30 characters long.
  • Your username can be upper or lowercase letters, numbers, periods, and underscores.
  • You can’t include symbols or other punctuation marks as a part of your username.
  • Find advice on the technical stuff for creating an Instagram Username here.



  • Your username can be 3 to 30 characters.
  • The only characters you can use are upper and lowercase letters and numbers. NO spaces, symbols or punctuation.
  • You can find the technical stuff for creating a Pinterest Profile here.



Your Twitter name has power and influence on search engine optimization (SEO), which translates to how close to the top of a search results list you appear in a search engine such as Yahoo! or Google. If you’re a business, consider using a valuable keyword as your Twitter name.

  • Your handle (the part that follows @) can be up to 15 characters.
  • Your name (the part that comes under the handle) can be up to 20 characters.
  • The only characters you can use are uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and the underscore character ( _ ).
  • Here’s a link on the technical stuff for creating a Twitter Handle

And of course, the most difficult thing about all of this is that once you go to set up your profile, you may find that your name is already taken! You can use a service like to help you see if your choice is taken across multiple platforms.

What other things do businesses need to keep in mind when choosing their username(s) for the various platforms?