Often people don’t know what to use when picking a username for their Twitter (and other online social networks or websites), so I have written a few tips that I recommend you follow when thinking of a username:
- Try to use your name
If you can I always recommend picking a username that is just your name or parts of your name as this is something you will never change. It is also very memorable for friends and people who know you.
- Don’t use other people’s names
You might thing to use a celebrities name in your username. Don’t. This might cause confusion and you do not want to be accused as posing as someone else. If, for example, you chose to put your favourite artist in your username this would not be recommended as if your opinion of them were to change you would regret your username.
- Keep it relevant
Don’t pick a totally random name or something that is associate with a small part of your life. If you are going to pick something related to you try and pick something you are really passionate about and that will stay with you for your whole life. You should avoid having a username that you regret or want to change in the future
- Keep it Short
On twitter it is all about the characters so avoid having long names as when people want to send you a message or mention you it will cut down the amount of characters that they have available for their message. The sorter your username the better.
- Make it flow
Picking a name that does not flow and cannot be pronounced easily makes it harder for friends and followers to remember your username. For example, my username flungo can be said as if it were one word. This makes it easier to remember when people want to mention you.
- Avoid numbers and symbols
Numbers and symbols will make your username difficult to remember so avoid using them at all costs. Lots of people add their year of birth to the end of their username if their desired username is taken because it is easy for you to remember but it might not be as easy for your followers to remember when they want to mention you.
- Make it unique
Having a username that is similar to other peoples with only slight variations may cause confusion and result in people sending their tweets to the wrong person.
- Make it quirky
If your username has a bit of quirk to it then people will be more likely to remember it! Try and find something that is relevant yet quirky! You want people to remember your twitter name and for it not to be forgotten. Having a quirky username may also make you seem more fun and interesting to prospective followers!
- Pick something you are happy to stick with
You can change your username on twitter but I strongly recommend against it. In my opinion, you should under no circumstances change your user name. This causes so many problems in the Twitter ecosystem! To start with, friend who don’t know you have changed username may try to contact you using the wrong username and even if they do know you have changed username it is often difficult to remember and takes some time to get used to the change; if you are used to typing one thing in order to get in contact with someone you have to unlearn this and relearn their new username. It also causes problems with Twitter Apps and Statistics. You will sometimes loose data used in some apps and cause problems with yours and other people’s statistics! Pick a good username to begin with and you wont need to change it!
The most common question I get asked by friends who are slowly coming round to using the micro-blogging service, Twitter, is “How do I get more followers?” When asked last week by @CiaraJudge I realised it was a lot of effort explaining my tips to everyone so then decided to create this blog post as something I can just link to and send to those who ask me in the future and as a guide for those of you who might stumble upon it. 🙂
Here are the basic ways to get more follower with detailed descriptions explaing how each of them will help you gain twitter followers:
- Sign up for Twitter
This may seem very obvious and that is because it is, but if you dont have a twitter accont you cant get followers! If you are reading this I would presume you have twitter but if you dont this is my moment to inspire you to get twitter and here are my words of inspiration: “I use Twitter 😛 lol”
Another reason I have mentioned signing up for twitter is because as soon as you sign up for twitter bots will find you and start adding you. Although these bots are not real people and will not interact with you, the do bump up your follower count and there is no complaining about that! However, a word of warning about these bots, you will get followed by a lot of spam accounts that follow you in the hop you will notice and look on their profiles, these profiles then link to pornography and other material you may not want to see!
- Do not Protect your Tweets
Although making your twitter account private will put you at a lower risk of receiving spam messages and keeps your info private, you wont gain any followers by doing that. By making your profile private it limits some of the methods that are listed below for gaining followers and will not help if you aspire to have a huge following.
This has got to be the most simple and easy way of gaining followers. It is as simple as just tweeting. However, most people will not understand how tweeting could increase your following. There are a lot of people (as well as bots) on twitter that will spend their time in the search, looking for other users who tweet about their interests. The more you tweet the more chance you have of a person or bot following you. Another thing about your tweets is that you should be broad and not just tweet about one topic; by tweeting about many topics it makes your twitter account available to a wider audience! It really is that simple. In my time on twitter I have notice an approximate, 1:20 follower:updates ratio, however this will not be precise, and will vary!
This is one of the steps that wont make any difference if you have a private account; if you account is private, people cannot find your tweets in the public time line when searching!
- Find/Follow Friends
If you find people you know in real life on twitter, it is very likely they will follow you back. That is a fairly quick and simple way of getting followers. There are many ways to find people you know on twitter:
- Search for User’s by name on the Find on Twitter page
- Search for User’s who you have in your email on the Find on other networks page
- Find users who have lists of users who you know (i.e. A list that has been made for your school or place of work – if such exists, ensure that you are on the list as this will increase your publicity to other twitterers)
- Try asking people you have already found on twitter, which other mutual friends have twitter
- Find/Follow twitterers of interest to you
Using the the Find on Twitter page, find people/companies which you know and use and would be interested in the tweets of. A lot of twitter accounts have forms of auto-follow which will automatically follow those who start following it. When you follow those accounts your following will obviously rise. It will also make you more exposed to twitter bots who might crawl the follower of popular people to find more people to follow themselves thus increasing your following. Following more people may also help with some of the other steps that I recommend.
- Invite Friends
Inviting friends to twitter is a great way of helping the twitter community grow and it will also gain you more followers! If you invite someone to twitter they should follow you back and this will increase your following.
- Reply to those you follow
By replying to people you follow, they may see your tweet and start a conversation with you. From this point you should try and find common interest so that the person you are talking to think it would be a good idea to follow you.
Doing this will also increase your tweet count and help in the same way that Tweeting helps. It will also allow people searching for people who send messages to that user to find you.
- ReTweet those you follow
ReTweeting is not the most effective way of getting follower but it can help and depending on which type of RT you use, will affect how it will help you:
- New Style RTing: This is when you use the ReTweet button on twitter and it displays you ReTweet to your followers as if they were following the original poster.
By using this style of RTing, other users will be able to find and follow your account if they click to see who has been ReTweeting a certain post. It is rare that another user will do this (hence why this may not be the most effective way of getting followers) however if a user wanted to find other tweeters who liked (and ReTweeted) the same post as them they may click this and follow you.
- Classic RTing: This is when you copy the tweet and appending the suffix “RT @username:” replacing @username with the original poster.
For the purpose of gaining followers this method would be more effect as it will be counted as a tweet on your account and will make it available in search allowing users to find you in the same way discussed in tip 4.
- Search on Twitter
In the same way that I said people will search for tweet matching their intrest, you can do the same. By searching a particular term that interests you, you can find other people to start conversations with and to follow. This will often result in the other user following you back. A good example of something to search for would be musical artists that you may like, you are very likely to find other people on Twitter who like the same artist that you can talk to.
- Use Hashtags & Trending Topics
Be using Trending Topics or popular hashtags you can increase the chance of your tweet being found when other user search. Trending topics and popular hashtags will be searched more often than just general terms. If you use of the hashtag or trending topic catches the attention of one of the people searching it, then they may reply, opening the opportunity to gain a new follower.
UPDATE: If you are wondering what a Popular hashtag might include, it would include hashtags like #FollowFriday, #MusicMonday, #iwish, #nowplaying, # and #fail. You might also be able to find inspiration from What the Hashtag?!
I may elaborate on this in the future as I did rush this post towards the end but for now, those are a few quick steps to getting more followers 🙂