I have a very common name. Should I create another name for my social media?

Here’s how to come up with a decent social media username if yours is already taken or if you just need some inspiration. Using your real name on social media is crucial, particularly if you’re a personal brand, because it allows you to communicate with people on a more personal level.

However, if you have a common name, this will not always be possible. It’s possible that people who were there before you used your favorite username.

  1. Use an initial - If your real name is already taken, your best bet is to use an initial. To make your social media username exclusive, use the initials of your first name, last name, or middle initial. Stephen Covey, author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” is a good example. @StephenRCovey is his Twitter handle.

  2. Make use of determinants – Determiners such as the words “the,” “this,” and “that” can be used to distinguish your duplicate username. Seth Godin’s username, @ThisIsSethsBlog, is an example of this. Here are some more great username ideas: @ThatSusanRobinson, @TheRealWilmaFlintstone, @TheAntonioSmith

  3. Make use of your profession - Your name + your profession = Brand You! Do you have a knack for public relations? Try following PRJaneSmith on Twitter. What is a health coach? What about @FitMelindaThompson on Twitter?

  4. Use an underscore – If your username is already taken, you could try using an underscore. One or two underscores could be used, such as one at the beginning or in the middle, or one at the end, as in chamtang, cham tang, chamtang, or chamtang.

  5. Use your nickname – If your name is too long to spell or remember, call yourself by your nickname. Like Gary Vaynerchuk, the author of “Crush It,” did with his Twitter handle @garyvee.

  6. Add the words “real” or “official” – For example, my Facebook and YouTube usernames are “ChamTangOfficial” because my name isn’t that uncommon! You might also add the word “true” to your username to distinguish yourself from fake accounts like @realDonaldTrump.

  7. Use the words “I AM” or “IM” before your name to create a unique username, similar to @IAMQUEENLATIFAH, the Twitter handle of American rapper and actress Queen Latifah.

  8. Include the word “its” – Including the word “its” in your username, such as @its guythompson or @itsmenickysmithy, can help you stand out.

  9. Use your website – If your website ends in a ‘.com’ or ‘.org,’ you could spell out those words and end your username with a ‘dotcom’ or ‘dotorg.’ It’s also an excellent way to get people to visit your website.

If, like us, your website ends in a ‘.http://com.au,’ using this approach would simply make your username too long and difficult to remember.

  1. Add a formal title – Just like @DrGaryChapman and @drkerrynphelps, you can add a ‘Mr’, ‘Miss’, ‘Mrs’, ‘Sir’, ‘Dr’, etc. to the beginning of your first or last name to make it unique.

  2. Use a memorable phrase in your username – Make a memorable phrase and use it in your username. @FionaWritesBooks and @JackPlaysMusic are two examples.