Twitter Tips: Creating Your Personal Brand Name

By Mark Skoultchi

January 13, 2011

Late this afternoon Catchword is folded into a booth down the street at our favorite lounge, slinging back that preferred sauce, Captain Beefheart on the box. Our bliss rattled only by that chiclets-on-speed pecking on tiny keyboards by the locals.

Which snaps us into thinking about Twitter.

More specifically, those names on all those Twitter accounts. We think that so many tweets (26 million tweets a day last time anyone checked) the many 140-character messages are less like letters and more like snowflakes. No two alike, a steady blizzard of facts, rumors, rants, lust, snark and swoon.

While we’re waiting for Sammy to come over with our next round, a couple of thoughts cross our minds.

For twelve years now we’ve hung out our shingle as naming specialists. Catchword spends its days thinking about names and language, syntax and meaning, words and spelling.

And frankly, to us it seems as though most people spend more time choosing their clothes in the morning than deciding on a good Twitter name. As a naming company, hey, we thought we’d weigh in with some ideas on naming your Twitter account as a product, the brand of you.

Like we advise when starting our naming projects: people, take a minute. There’s probably a fancy chart online somewhere that shows the amount of time spent conceiving twitter name corresponding to the decrease in future embarrassment.

Your Twitter name is your inkless tattoo
To that dude on the D train with the scripty tattoo on his neck: “unlucky”. That will be there for a long, long time my sullen friend. Same with piercings. Same with your tweets. And unlike a tattoo, there’s no erase (although you just get a new Twitter name, you know what we mean). Pick a name that you’ll want to live with.

Your Twitter name is a billboard about you
Put it this way: would you want to share a bus with some of people behind those Twitter names? Pick a friendly, approachable name. Hopefully one with no olfactory reference.

Your Twitter name is your online GPS
Pick a name that helps people find you. You DO want people to find you, right? With the shift away from voice mail, email, blogs, all funneling towards tweets, your Twitter presence is an even bigger beacon to those you know, and those you want to know.

Could your Twitter name pass the DMV test?
Imagine your Twitter name being announced over the loudspeaker at the DMV office. Would you respond? Pick a name you can imagine your mom repeating.

Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and now Twitter names.
To all of you John Smiths out there, your Twitter name ship already sailed. But there’s no reason why you can’t add some further definition to your name (usual suspects being geography, birth year, the basics). Just no “playahjohnsmith”, please.

So there. Hope that helps.

If you have any questions or want some naming for your Twitter account (even your household pet) give us a shout. After all, you’ve now got a friend in the naming business.

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