Monday, October 10, 2011

What Your Social Media Username Says About Your Brand

While it may seem like a trivial task, choosing your username for your social media properties (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube username, Gmail username) is an important branding task. Often, your username will serve as the "first impression" a new viewer has to your brand. In an attempt to make the process easier, I've included my views on how each type of username is thought to be perceived:

Real nameWhen someone uses their real name for their social media username, it shows that they want themselves to be their brand. They are focused on building "their name" as a source of knowledge on a certain topic. Therefore, all of their social media content, viewpoints, links, re-tweets and more are all reflective of their "brand". The user is "all-in" on all the content. It is important that the person be careful when posting content – any "negative" content posting will be negative for the person's brand.

Branded name – This is when someone uses a username that is reflective of their niche/skill. IE, someone focusing on SEO could name themself TheSEOGuy. Someone focused on PR could use the name of "TheDigitalPRPro" and so forth.

When choosing this type of username, the person is making a statement that all of their content/postings will be related to their niche. People looking to interact/connect with this type of niche would be more welcome to connecting with a user that has this type of username. By defining the type of content that will be posted via a username, it allows for less "social media confusion" where someone connects with you and is expecting different type of content.

Beyond that, I find it hard for someone who is using social media to brand themself professionally to be taken seriously with any other type of username. What other type of social media usernames do you see that you view as professional?

Author: Ben Cathers is the co-founder of – an outsourced social media provider (smo). He is the co-founder of three startups before he was 19 years old. Ben is the author of Conversations with Teen Entrepreneurs and was named in 2005 by CNN as a member of "America's Bright Future."  Ben has been quoted/featured in the Wall Street Journal, FOX News, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo! Internet Life, The London Sunday Times and in over 40 different publications.

Thanks to Ben Cathers / Personal Branding Blog


No comments: