An essential step in creating a robust social media presence for your brand is picking the proper social media handle. It becomes your unique identifier on any social media platform. It soon assumes a permanent place in your corporate communications as a means for customers to locate your brand on social media.
A social media handle differs from the name on your profile. Unlike a name, it is unique to each user. They help brands create a distinct brand identity on any platform. Let us understand this.
There is a clothing brand called Comfort Clothing. Four other stores identify Comfort Clothing and want to use it as their profile name. What will differ is which brand uses the social media handle @ComfortClothing.
There may be occasions where others may have claimed this handle. In such cases, you must work around creating handles with suffixes such as @ComfortClothingUS or @ComfortByComfort.
What is good social media handle?
The best social media handles must make the brand's name easily readable. The closer the handle is to your business name, the more effective it is since it is more memorable. But take note, having a poor business name can mean having a poor social media handle. Consider using a business name generator to develop a unique brand name for your company.
Good social media handles are shorter and easy to remember. If it is made up of the brand's name and the business type's descriptor, it is considered adequate.
Social media handles are also used to tag your brand on a third-party post. If they are challenging to spell, you may miss the opportunity of being organically acknowledged by your brand fans.
8 tips to nail your social media handle for your business
Your brand’s social media handle will be an important call to action on your non-digital communication. It will help you direct customers to your social media channels, where you can communicate with them over a more extended period.
Here are eight tips to ensure you have the best social media handle to represent your brand.
1. Align your handle with your brand name
Your social media handle should be the same as your brand name. You can achieve this by researching the availability of social media handles as soon as you develop your brand name. Many brands do this study before they finalize a brand name. What good is it to create a clever brand name already claimed by another entity as a social media handle?
It promotes the name of your business and lets you mention the kind of service you provide. If your business is a web portal that offers services or products, you could use the suffix “dot com” at the end of your handle name. So, Comfort Clothing would have a handle called @ComfortDotCom.
2. Ensure it's easy to memorize
When your social media handle is used in offline or physical spaces, it is intended to redirect viewers to your social channels where they can follow you and stay engaged for extended periods.
Brands simply write the names of their social media handles on their standees, posters, and other offline creatives in the hope that users will type in the handle name the next time they log on to their social channels.
This is only possible if your brand’s social media handles are easily remembered. Brands resort to inventing names through wordplay and sometimes use alphanumeric handles, which are not easy to remember and can cost you a possible follower.
3. Keep it concise
Shorter social media handles look great and are increasingly difficult to find. While being descriptive is essential for your customers to know what kind of business you are in, it can also appear more wordy and difficult to remember.
Shorter social media handles are convenient to remember and type in.
If your brand name has several characters and is a long word, it is better to drop the qualifier. Consciousness keeps your creatives clean without extra-long social media handles in the call-to-action section. As a rule, keep the length of your social media handles under 15 characters.
4. Consider using evergreen language
Trends appear and disappear at an incredible rate. Even though you may want to position your business as something extraordinary, avoid selecting a social media handle with trendy work. Working with evergreen words keeps your profile functional even when trends die down.
Using words and phrases with a permanent shelf life is essential because you need to know how long your social media handle may have to sustain itself. Unlike a profile name, description, and image, social media handles remain the same till the account is deactivated.
5. Have a backup list
With the increasing number of brands on social media, there is a good chance that the social media handle you desire is unavailable.
You could also face a situation where your social media handle gets blocked, and you need to create a new handle. In either case, it helps to have a backup list with handle options.
Type a relevant keyword from your social media handle in the search bar and take a look at the list of your title competitors. You want to stand out, and you don’t want a social media handle that can be confused with someone else’s. Use this information to develop the a unique title for your account.
If another entity has already claimed @ComfortClothing, you could try experimenting with words. @ComfortClothingUS or @ComfortClothingForYou would be great options in your backup list. You could book these handles by claiming them well in advance.
6. Avoid numbers at all costs
Creating a social media handle with numbers can be challenging because not all platforms support non-alphabet characters. You may have noticed brands with numbers in their name; spell out the number when naming their social media handles. It is done for this reason.
Additionally, the alphabets and words are easier to read out and memorize. It is possible to refer to your company’s name as your social media handle to customers verbally and expect them to remember it.
7. Keep your handles consistent across all social media sites
It helps to have a consistent social media handle across all websites. With this, your business call to action can be a single line with all your social media logos lined up.
It is easy to manage and remember your social media handles.
Even your customers can discover your branded channels across different social media websites.
To ensure that you get access to these handles across social media channels, you must block them as soon as you finalize your brand name.
The availability of social media channels should be an essential criterion when approving a business name.
8. List your social media handles on your website
Your brand’s social media handles are the channels where customers can directly interact with you. Make these handles known everywhere so that your customers follow your social media and stay engaged and informed.
The website is an essential online residence for your brand. It’s where customers come to learn more about your brand. Including your social media handles on your website makes it easier for customers to learn more about you.
The website content is finite and less "live" than social media content. Curious or enquiring customers prefer to visit the social media channels of a brand rather than read content on websites.
Frequently asked questions about choosing the right social media handle
What are some commonly asked questions about how to choose a social media handle? Get your questions answered with these three FAQs.
1. What are examples of a Facebook handle?
Your username is your profile's unique URL (Facebook.com/yourname, for instance). In most cases, your username will be a shortened version of your real name. You can select a username from a list that Facebook provides, or you can create your own.
2. Why is a social media name called a handle?
Before the widespread availability of the internet, the term was commonly used by CB (Citizens Band) radio enthusiasts. These individuals used handles, or monikers, as a means of identifying themselves. It was only after the widespread availability of online discussion forums that the term "handle" came to be used to describe one's online identifier.
3. Does an Instagram handle matter?
It's a good idea to pick a catchy handle when it comes to branding your Instagram account. Usernames that are easy to remember have a greater chance of being searched, which can have a positive effect on your activity and the number of people who decide to follow you. A clever Instagram handle may include a pun or play on words.
Customers will recognize your brand whenever they encounter its social media handle. It performs more functions than you could imagine.
If a customer has visited a coffee shop and wants to tag them on social media, they type in the handle of the coffee shop, and the platform automatically recommends their profiles to you.
Refrain from closing in on a social media handle after you have finalized every other aspect of branding. It must be integral to define your brand with an identifier that will exclusively be yours for as long as the social media platform is alive.