Back in 2007 I published the article Choosing a Nickname, nowadays nicknames (or more appropriately, usernames) are available over all the social networks.
Depending on how you use social media, choosing a username could be THE MOST important step!
Why Is Username Important
If you already have a nickname some place else, chances are you would just use that as your username on social media accounts to maintain the identity.
A username isn’t something important to a passive user but if you intend to have one for branding purpose (regardless whether it’s for yourself or your company, product or services) then it’s good find one spent sometime to consider the usernames that fit best.
Here are a few things to consider
Short usernames are good. They’re easier to type, they also fit better when it comes to having the URL on print medium.
Twitter has a 15 character username limit. Youtube’s limit is at 20. Facebook – I don’t seem to hit any limit despite having trying something with more than 20 characters but in my opinion any username that’s more than 15 characters is really unnecessary.
For example, http://www.facebook.com/goldfries.fanpage is a 16 character username but I think it’s fine as I’ve already taken http://www.facebook.com/goldfries for my personal profile. It wouldn’t make sense to have a long name like say
As for the minimum length, I’d say start with 5 characters as that’s the starting limit for Facebook username. Short usernames are great for Twitter too, this means people who reply or retweet you will also have more space to type their message. 😀
To maintain consistent username across the social networks requires one to consider the username limitation of each social network. This is why I recommend 5 to 15 character limit as Facebook’s requires minimum of 5 characters while Twitter limits the username to no more than 15 characters.
Bear in mind also matters like Facebook allows ‘.’ (full stop) while Twitter allows ‘_’ (underscore), Youtube on the other hand doesn’t allow any special symbols. So if you used username John.Sm1th on Facebook – that same name is not applicable on Twitter and Youtube.
While short usernames are good, that doesn’t mean you should insist on having it to be as short as possible. Username such as ‘jerryfurniture’ is 14 characters in length but if you’re Jerry and selling furniture, this makes it easy for people to remember.
Try to avoid complicated names like ‘Jerry1435islove’, or any combination that requires one to stress the brain cells. If you’re are using Social Media to market your brand, then the name should be based on the brand itself.
If you’re Jerry and selling furniture, you should use names like ‘jerryfurniture’ instead of ‘tomthecat’
There’s no hard and fast rule on how to choose your username, just practice common sense and find one that suits your purpose best. 🙂