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The problem with putting your company name in your Twitter handle

Posted on 18 April 2013

If you have your company name in your Twitter handle, you might want to reconsider. Here’s an example of why.

Dayleen Van Ryswyk was going to run in the current provincial election as a member of the NDP.

Then this happened, and she was removed from the party.

By the next day, she had decided to run as an independent.

Among whatever other logistics go along with that transition, she was met with this one:

dayleenndp

Like so many others, Van Ryswyk tied her Twitter identity to the brand she represented, landing on @Dayleenndp. I’ve seen the same done for pretty much everything: political parties, TV stations, restaurants.

If you are going to use your Twitter account solely as part of that brand, and have no plans on taking it with you when you go, this is fine. But if you are using Twitter like many are, there’s a good chance you are merging private interests with public ones. And you might want to extend your online relationships beyond the one you’ll have with your current employer.

It doesn’t have to end on bad terms. People retire. Companies fold. You move on, and do so amicably. If I tied my Twitter handle to my job, I would have had at least three since I joined a whole four years ago. There’s no hard feelings tied to those departures, just life. But I didn’t have to change my Twitter name.

Keep it broad. First name, last initial. First initial, last name. Throw in a middle initial, maybe. I’m lucky to have an uncommon last name, so it’s easier for me than most. But even if you’re one of many John Smiths out there, I’d advise you to think of a more personal, and permanent, identifier than your current job title.

Filed under: social media

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