Having social media handles that correspond with your business name is important. As part of building business under the name Lauren Mae, it’s important to get the Lauren Mae Twitter handle, @laurenmae. At present, I’ve secured @laurenmaedigi because ‘laurenmaedigital’ stretches to 16 characters and the limit is 15. Still, it would be more ideal to have @laurenmae.
Why is it important for your handle to match your business name?
It’s more authentic and professional. I’m more likely to trust a business with a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn handle that is its precise name. @businessname sounds better than @businessname_26.
It makes it easier to find your business online. If I come across your website and want to connect with you on social media, it’ll be quick and easy for me to do so through a quick search or adding ‘businessname’ onto the social site’s URL: facebook.com/businessname or twitter.com/businessname.
If you’re adding your social handles to business cards, flyers or picking up backlinks on other websites, it looks tidier having a consistent handle without any numbers, dashes or underscores.
How to secure the Twitter handle when someone else has it
The first advice that appears in Google for a search on ‘getting your Twitter handle’ is an article from personal branding consultant Joseph Liu, ‘How To Get A Twitter Username Someone Else Has‘. Liu outlines the steps for securing your Twitter username if it’s already taken by someone else. The article states:
“1. Secure the corresponding Top Level Domain (TLD), ideally .COM”
To have a chance of getting the Twitter handle you want, it’s going to help a lot having the .com domain name. I’m still working on getting laurenmae.com, so for the moment, my domain is laurenmaedigital.com. This could be a big decider in the argument against giving me the @laurenmae handle but not something I can do anything about until I’ve negotiated taking over laurenmae.com.
“2. List that .COM as the primary site in your account”
Liu then advises you add your .com URL to your current Twitter account profile. I’ve added laurenmaedigital.com to my @laurenmaedigi Twitter. Since I’ve only just created the account, I’m yet to tweet, so the lack of activity on my account may hinder getting my Twitter username. I can see this is going to have to put in some time and effort in becoming an active Twitter user.
“3. Ensure the target username’s profile is inactive”
You’re not going to have much luck taking over a Twitter handle that is still attached to an active account. Keep checking up on the user to ensure that the inactive status of the profile hasn’t changed. It’s clear nobody has used @laurenmae since 2012. You need to be careful though, since some accounts may have no tweets but users are still active following others. The following count should be indicative of whether they’re an active reader.
“4. File an impersonation claim with Twitter”
You can file this through the Report an account for impersonation form. I followed this step according to Joseph Liu. I added my details: ‘account you are reporting: @laurenmae’ and my ‘current username @laurenmaedigi’ along with my email address. You then need to explain why you would like to claim the Twitter handle. I did this in similar words to Joseph Liu. I also uploaded my driving licence to prove my official name and identity.
Liu was successful after this email and the Twitter handle he requested was changed over. In my case, I received an email from Twitter stating: “It appears that you’re requesting a username rather than reporting an account that’s impersonating you. This form is only for reporting accounts that violate our impersonation policy.” I wonder if since Liu tried this method in 2016, Twitter has cracked down on people requesting a username changeover this way.
I have responded to this email asking where I can request the username @laurenmae. I await a response but I’m not hopeful. The Twitter help centre states “accounts may be permanently removed due to prolonged inactivity”. It’s unclear what the duration is of ‘prolonged inactivity’. Are 8 years – the last visible activity on @laurenmae – not considered long enough? It’s further frustrating because, in 2019, TechCrunch reported “Twitter will free up handles by deleting accounts” however since then there has been little evidence of Twitter implementing this claim.
Next steps to get my Lauren Mae Twitter handle
Since filing an impersonation claim didn’t prove successful this time, I will need to play the long game on this one. The next things to do are:
- Contact the @laurenmae Twitter account to ask if they would kindly free up the domain for me. As Joseph Liu mentions, this is risky because it may make them choose to start using the account again.
- Try to secure laurenmae.com by getting in touch with the Lauren Mae currently sitting on the domain.
- Build an active account on @laurenmaedigi, following and tweeting, to prove that my business is well, in business. Then contact Twitter again.
- Register a trademark for my business and file a trademark infringement request on Twitter.
I’ve gone ahead with step one below. Now we wait…
@laurenmae hello, would you be open to me taking over your Twitter username if you’re not using it? Thank you. Lauren (please direct message).— Lauren Mae Digital (@laurenmaedigi) December 4, 2020
If you have any other suggestions or advice on how I can secure the Lauren Mae Twitter account handle, please get in touch here or comment below.