Why You Should Use Your Real Name On Twitter

January 21, 2009

I was inspired to write this post by my friend Debi and the brand new Twitter account she created. Debi is the Director of Marketing at CrownAir Aviation, an aircraft maintenance company out of California and when she learned about Twitter, she thought it would be a great new social networking tool for her company so she started using the @crownair username.

When I saw that, I couldn’t help sending her an email explaining why she’d rather go with @debicarlston. She heard me and changed her username right away. Now here is a more developed version of what I told Debi and why I think using your real name on Twitter establishes you as a social personality that is connected and approachable.

1. You will attract more followers

Using a company name or brand as a username is probably the biggest mistake people do (I did it too when I started on Twitter) but the fact is that people will most likely follow a person rather than a brand.

Which one would you follow: @billgates or @microsoft? Yes, you’d rather find out what’s inside Bill Gates’ head rather than receive special offers about Windows Vista. Your potential followers are the same. They don’t care what you sell, they want to reach you on a personal level. They want to know more about what YOU think, not what you’re trying to sell.

2. You will establish yourself as a professional

Whatever you talk about on Twitter, using your real name will differentiate yourself and establish you as a professional in your field. As I told Debi, in the real life, she is not Director Of Marketing for CrownAir; she is a sharp business woman who happens to do marketing at an aviation company. In the same way, I am not iPhone Download Blog (my iPhone blog), I am Sebastien Page, a guy who knows a lot about the iPhone.

Note that this point is not valid if all you do on Twitter is sending useless tweets such as “going grocery shopping”. Nobody cares about that. Keep this for your MySpace status update ;)

Establishing yourself as a social and knowledgeable persona will get you more attention, raise interest in who you are and what you do, ultimately helping your business if that’s what you’re looking for. As an example, I received several advertising requests for my iPhone blog from tweets that I sent out, even though I never looked for advertisers directly. These people saw that I knew a lot about the iPhone, they went to my iPhone blog, noticed that I got quite a bit of traffic there, and ended up asking me how much I would charge them for banner ads.

3. You will be able to keep this username when you leave your company

Imagine for a second that you are the marketing guy for a music magazine. For the last 2 years you’ve been using the @xyzmusicmag username,  attracting over 3,000 followers. Now imagine that your boss tells you that you are being laid off (or let’s say that you quit, if that can make you feel better).

What would happen to your Twitter username? You have 2 options: First option: you can just leave it to your company. You will lose all your followers and you will have to start on Twitter from scratch. Second option: you can sneakily change your username (Twitter is very flexible on this) to @yourrealname, taking the risk of being sued by your employer for doing that, which would be its own right.

You will never have this dilemma if you choose to use your real name on Twitter as soon as you create your account.

As you can see, there are big benefits in using your real name on Twitter. All this can be summed up in 2 words: personal branding. This in itself could be the topic of another blog post…

Follow me on Twitter and subscribe to my RSS feed if you like what I talk about.

Tags
#Business #Internet #SEO #Tech
  • http://www.ariyes.net/ Ariyes

    Hi,

    As long as i am hearing more and more about twitter,i am decided to make an account at twitter!
    Uses of representing real name is good and i have choosen my real name to create an account!

    Any way,thanks for the info!

  • http://www.herbalhealthcenter.com/ Catherine | Natures Sunshine Store

    I am new in twitter. I have read about a lot of good things about it, so I decided to try. And yes I am using my full name… but honestly, I never thought of the benefits it give until I read your post.
    Thank you.

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    I am also going to try twitter. I am so happy that I read this. I am definitely going to use my real name. Once you pointed out the benefits, it makes complete sense. Thanks

  • http://lakehavasu.ca Sandy

    Excellent post! Thank you for sharing your insight into this dilemma. I originally went with my real name and then started to question my decision (security issues, etc.), but you have just confirmed that I made the right decision. ‘real name, it is!! Thanks.

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  • http://theresarosesdiary.blogspot.com Theresa

    I did’t use my real name at first either. For security reasons I chose a nickname. After reading this, I realized that not using a real, professional name kind of defeats the purpose of professionally establishing yourself.

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    Some really usefull information here if you pay attention, thanks

  • http://marketingmeerkat.com Julien

    Too bad we can only use 15 characters for the username… Anyway, great post. Merci!

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  • http://www.BrunoL.net Bruno

    Great post.

    When first started using twitter, I changed my username about three times. I was always wondering if using my website/business name was better. I could not work it out for 3 months. After reading this post, I will stick with my real name. Lucky my full name just fits within the 15 character limit.

    The only thing with a longer name is that you use up your more of your ‘140 character’ limit.

    http://www.twitter.com/BrunoLovrinovic

  • greenDragon

    Not using your real name is ok too. Not everyone jumps in with the intent of self promotion or “personal branding”. This is marketing paranoia, and I would only recommend to anyone considering of joining Twitter, to use whatever name you feel like. Unlike other social network sites, you can actually change your username at any time, and all your tweets will automatically update. Real names can be boring when all you want to do is have a bit of fun online. There’s benefits to both.

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  • http://www.pinoygambling.com Bong Gomez

    i always update my Twitter and i love to twitter my daily activities to my friends and loved ones. i also maintain a personal blog for entries which requires more detail.

  • madmax

    The problem with your example is that Debi Carlston is presumably not *just* the marketing director of CrownAir. Its just a job that might come and go, and mixing her business life with her personal life might not always be a good idea.

    Debi Carlston might also be many other things, that she might not want mixed with her role as marketing director, and that now she cannot use her @debicarlston Twitter account for.

    You have made a choice that your name, is your business, but is your whole life just business?

    Debi working as an employee, might face different issues to the choices you have made.

  • http://www.sebastienpage.com Sebastien

    @Madmax Of course mixing personal and business life might not always be a good idea but it depends what you’re looking for.

    Nowadays companies are not looking for employees, they are looking for people. As I say in this article, by choosing to use your real name, you will develop your personal branding, which I think is the main point if Twitter.

    This is just for business people though. If you have no interest in making a name for yourself, then choose whatever username you want.

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    every beginner is puzzling how to properly open the twitter account… I think your information will help many to make right decision… it seams it is helpful to submit with real name…

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  • http://simplifiedpov.blogspot.com Caroline

    And here I was about to switch my real name (Twitter username) to that of my site–because that’s the pattern I noticed on Twitter! You confirmed why I originally chose to use my real name instead: personal branding. Though the message of my tweets right now is toward a cause I believe in, I essentially see my usage of twitter to help show what I value and how I view or solve things. Still a beginner, but I think it’s starting to make sense. Thanks for the advice!

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    Rei vindicatio is a juridical remedy alongside which the plaintiff demands that the defendant render a fetish that belongs to the plaintiff. It may on the other hand be used when plaintiff owns the thing, and the defendant is somehow impeding the plaintiff’s custody of the thing. The term originated in ancient Rome.

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    2 Greek pressure on Roman legal musing
    3 The hang of also
    4 Sources

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    Two law schools in Rome, the Sabinian state school and the Proculean adherents, remained influential from the lately Republic in every part of the influential period. Most up to the minute Romanists take into account these schools to be influenced to some extent by Greek philosophy. They bring to light that the Sabinian school was the follower of Coolness, while the Proculian nursery school followed Aristotle or Peripateticism. Greek ascendancy is especially obvious in classical Roman rational on accession and specification. Sabinians, following Fatalism, argued that in these areas hyle supersedes eidos. Proculians countered that eidos is the decisive fact for a chance of a thing.
    Perceive also

    Replevin
    Trover
    Detinue
    Conversion (law)
    Bailment
    In rem
    Bona fide purchaser

    Sources

    A Muse about on the Thing as the Remonstrate over of Rei Vindicatio: Seong, Dschung Mo

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