Social media handles - what are they & why are they important?

I chat to lots of people about creating a logo, a website or both, and one of the questions I ask people, along with their business name is what are you going to have as your social media handle? Probably two thirds of the people reply with “I’m not sure what you mean’.

So, I thought I’d put together a few hints and tips to help people understand what their social media handle is and how to avoid some of the pitfalls when choosing one.

A social media handle is your name on social media platforms and is the main way that you get get people to find you.

Each social media platform has some differences in how they display your business name and how they deal with your handle.

How does a handle display? A handle is displayed with an @ sign before your name - mine is so if I want to direct people towards my Facebook and Instagram accounts it simply turns into or the same for Instagram.

Twitter and Instagram tend to set up your handle at the very start when you are opening your account. Facebook, on the other hand, when you have your business page set up you can pick your handle.

It is REALLY IMPORTANT that you set you your Facebook handle - otherwise you will be directing people to a Facebook page with lots of random numbers. Have a look and make sure you’ve set it up!

Try and keep it the same across all platforms and think about matching it to your website. It then makes it super simple for your customers to find you. Just think of each platform as a different town - retailers don’t have different names in different towns.

It is a good idea to sense check your handle. Punctuation marks might make it more difficult for people to find you, especially things like an underscore ( _ ) at the end of the handle, which can easily be missed. Have a look at your handle and makes sure when the words are put together nothing embarrassing pops out. It might be easier to read if you put in some punctuation. Take sometime to find the right balance.

Before you commit - check!

And finally before you commit to anything - check it is available. I have had a client or two who I created a logo or some business card artwork for and then they found out what they wanted wasn't available. Always check you can have the handle you want on every platform you use before you commit.

#socialmediatips #socialmedia #socialmediamarketing #socialmediamanager