What To Do If Your Username is Taken: The Art of Picking Good Twitter Usernames

If you’ve been reading my posts for any length of time, you know that I am a big advocate of branding yourself well.  One of the things that I talk about most is why – no matter what your TwitterUsernamesbusiness – you brand yourself, rather than what you do.

Why is this?  Because your clients don’t want to have to sort through a million different profiles to find the REAL you that is doing business online.  If you have a variety of products or services you offer, branding yourself gives you the ability to create a single presence online.  It is much easier to be consistent and regular in using the power of social media marketing when you have one “persona” online rather than a handful of them.

With that said – what do you do if you are creating or changing your online branding to capture the power of your personal brand, and your name is already taken?

It’s not the end of the world, I promise.  With some creativity and a few tricks, you can still leverage the power of your personal brand on Twitter, even if you do have a name twin out there somewhere who got started on social media first.

Tips for Good Twitter Usernames if Your Name is Already Taken

Do Your Homework

Did you know that Twitter has an inactive account policy to try to discourage people from hoarding the good Twitter usernames?  This is a great place to start. Here you will notice that Twitter states, “In general, adding numbers, underscores, or abbreviations can help you come up with a great available username.” While many take this advice, I don’t recommend it. The BIG key is you want to make sure that your Twitter handle is easy to remember and if you add in numbers and underscores, you are only making it more difficult for people to find you. Be sure to do your homework! Check to see if your first and last name has already been taken. If so, it’s time to get creative!

Try Twitter Usernames Including Middle Initials

Maybe you’re @ZoeARamirez, not to be confused with ZoeSRamirez.  Use your middle initial to capture your unique brand name.

Modifiers Make Good Twitter Usernames!

A modifier can be used to turn your duplicate username into a unique standout.  Are you @TheAntonioSmith?  @ThatSusanRobinson?  @TheRealWilmaFlintstone?

Your Name + Your Career = Brand You!

Are you a PR maven?  Try @PRJaneSmith.  A wellness coach?  How about @FitMelindaThompson.

When I first came on Twitter, Jen Bennett and Jennifer Bennett were taken (I wasn’t the least surprised). After doing some research, I quickly realized that @DrJenBennett was available! Needless to say, as I searched out some of the other platforms, I quickly realized that I could use this username for all my platforms!

Even if your Twitter username is already taken, with a little creativity, you can brand yourself and create a presence online that is a standout knockout!

Did you get the Twitter username you wanted?  If not – which of these tools might work for you to reclaim your Twitter persona?  I’d love to hear – leave me a comment below!

Connect with me on Twitter!  https://twitter.com/drjenbennett

Jen Bennett

Dr. Jen Bennett is the Social Media/Communication Specialist and Project Manager at iBloom. Jen’s passion is helping businesses, ministries and individuals, #BeWorthFollowing. Jen enjoys speaking, training, and writing on all things that inspire and help leaders build a digital footprint and personal brand that is different and that helps them stand out and influence people in a crowded and noisy social media world.


  1. I’m so glad you wrote this article!

    It made me think about our Twitter name so I checked it on Twitter and found a copycat who imitated our name, copied my bio, and is using my personal name. That is so wrong. Now I have to figure out how to fix it.

    • Thank you Harriet! Goodness, I’m so happy you found that! It’s definitely important to keep an open eye on social media. I have seen this happen far too many times! Happy I was able to help!

  2. WOW great article except Twitter names can’t be longer than 15 characters. So TheRealWilmaFlintstone etc. won’t work.

  3. Wondderful website. A lot of helpful information here.
    I’m sendiing it to a few buddies ans additionally sharing in delicious.
    And of course, thanks for your effort!

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