Facebook Username or Twitter Handle?

Facebook Username availability may affect the popularity of using one’s Twitter handle (like @BillCammack as identification.

I never used @BillCammack as identification because Twitter is a tool, not a home. The only reason for someone to go to my Twitter page is to click “Follow”. After that, they’ll be following me in whatever app they choose, so my Twitter handle is now worthless to me as a “home base”.

Personally, I tell people to Google Bill, because I’m me. That probably won’t work for you, so we’ll skip on past that one. 😀

If you’re branding yourself properly, your screen names will be redundant across networks. This is because when something new shows up, Twitter, Jaiku, Pownce, ustream, livestream, blogtv, whatever.. People that know who you are and what you do are going to look for you as the same name you used in the previous social site. Therefore, your lineup should look like this:

Website: http://BillCammack.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/BillCammack
Facebook: http://facebook.com/BillCammack
Ustream: http://ustream.tv/BillCammack
etc, etc, etc…..

So, even if you couldn’t just Google me, you would be able to find out what I’m doing by using the username you already know me as on the next new popular site.

The question, then… is now that you have the opportunity to easily identify yourself as:

a) Your own website,
b) Your twitter handle, or
c) Your facebook page,

Which one will you gravitate towards to represent you in your social media interactions, and why?

~ Bill Cammack

Twitter: BillCammack
Facebook: BillCammack
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Social Media Category: billcammack.com/category/social-media
 

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7 Comments

  1. Hey man, I posted on this too. I was wondering about this myself. Facebook.com/christine.cavalier is my vanity URL but I almost took /purplecar. My reasoning was this: every other web app I take the “username” purplecar and “real name” christine cavalier. Why should facebook be different? But then I thought about the search behaviors of people on Facebook.

    People search Facebook in a unique manner, compared to other sites. They search for people, mostly, by just name, forgoing drilling down into networks or groups until after their initial search has turned up fruitless (yet abundant) search results. (We all are acutely aware of the search problems on Facebook).

    Also, I considered the population. On sites like Jaiku, we are all social media industry people. These techie types know how to search on username AND then real name. More and more “normal” people are coming on Facebook, especially our schoolmates. How will they search for me? By my name.

    It’s possible that once “normal” people become familiar with the vanity URL, they won’t search Facebook for a friend. Instead they will first try their luck on typing in facebook.com/christinecavalier (the dot is irrelevant, both christinecavalier and christine.cavalier will work).

    So, there’s my long explanation on how I came to break my standard username-first policy for social media sites. I treated Facebook as the unique exception (and crappy search engine) that it is.

    -PC

    1. Hey Chris. 🙂

      I’m gonna check out your post.

      See, the issue you bring up is something I’ve been talking about for a long time. For people that don’t have the opportunity to make their “government name” a household name, they come up with fancy names for their internet presence. That’s all well and good until you try to do something other than what that particular presence is known for.

      For instance, you’re not going to write a book and put down the author as “PurpleCar”. You’ll be laughed off the shelves. Same thing with “Pistachio” or any other nickname that’s not visually representative of the person BEHIND the brand. Therefore, you will use Christine “PurpleCar” Cavalier or Laura “Pistachio” Fitton.

      So when it comes to selecting names, it’s an issue of uniqueness. How unique is the name Christine Cavalier vs PurpleCar? This is why it’s tempting to stick with fancy names, except, as you mentioned, once you get outside of the 1% of us that actually use this technology and know each other by fancy names, “PurpleCar” or “Pop17” or “Pistachio” or “TheHill88” or “Scobleizer” doesn’t mean JACK to anyone.

      You made another good point about the sites that we go on. The average joe isn’t going to have a Ustream or Livestream or BlogTV or Justin.TV account, so using nicknames there don’t really make a difference. People tune in to the channel and not the person. Meanwhile, Facebook is all about the individual.

      It remains to be seen whether Facebook will become the next AOL, where pretty much EVERYBODY goes there as a home base. Personally, I’ve seen all these sudden ToS changes in all these social media sites and I’m not inclined to believe that ANY of them are going to remain the same, going forward. For that reason, I stick to my actual website as what I point people to and all this Facebook/Twitter/etc is just advertisement for myself.

      Then again, like I said.. The way I brand myself is redundant across networks, so it really doesn’t matter. My brand name IS my “government name”.

  2. You hit the nail on the HEAD, BOI!!! Did you ever.

    Who KNOWS if Facebook will be the next AOL… and so what if it is? Where the heck is AOL now? I never hear about it anymore.

    Yes, Google search results are another thing to think about. It’s sad that we have to stick with our government names as brand names but that is how social media is going right now.

  3. It isn’t always this simple.

    My real name, Lisa Creech Bledsoe, is just too long to fit in some networks’ user name spaces. So a couple years ago when I started my blog, The Glowing Edge, I began to use Glowbird as my “short” moniker. It’s a little messy in some places (I signed up for Linked In with Glowbird before I knew a single thing about Linked In, and now I can’t change it in the URL, although people can search me on my real name), but for the most part, having both works okay.

    1. Hey Lisa! 😀

      I agree with you that if you choose one of these fancy names, like “Glowbird”, it’s like a stage name. Depending on how you build your reputation, you might want to be known forever as “Glowbird”, like how Jennifer Lopez is known as J-Lo or Sean Carter is known as Jay-Z. If you ask someone if they saw Sean Carter, they’re going to say “who?”. If you ask if they saw Jay-Z, they know who you’re talking about and can answer the question.

      That’s all well and good, assuming you’re never going to stop using your fancy name. Some people try to use their nicknames as a springboard to their “government name” being known. I recognized this in, I believe, 2006 and started branding my name, so now, I’m page 1 google for my first name, AND for my last name.

      The thing is that people don’t think ahead. Do you want people calling you PurpleCar or Pistachio or ReelSolid.TV when you’re 50?… 60?… If you do, more power to ya, and keep rolling with it. If not, it’s time to start branding your government name.

  4. I use Twitter to spread the words, to grow my business. I use Facebook to connect with my friend. In this case, I don’t think Facebook username is important to me. But, if they offer it why should I reject it 🙂

    1. Hey Syuhada. Thanks for the comment. 🙂

      I agree that the name itself is meaningless right now. It all depends on what happens in the near future. If FaceBook becomes the AOL of times past, it’s going to be imperative that you own your own name. If it doesn’t, it’s not going to matter at all. It’s like who cares if you own a Ning site in your name? That’s never going to be worth anything. If FB becomes something similar to the Yellow Pages, for instance, your profile might become the most important property you “own”, and in that case, you want it to be named something that represents you to the fullest.

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