What's in a Twitter name?
I've had my Twitter account since 2009. It's built up into a rather substantial thing, with over 1,000 followers (that's big to me, okay?) and lots of nice conversations.
There is one lingering niggle with my Twitter: my username. I picked it back at a time when I wasn't sure if I wanted my real name associated with social media accounts. That's also how I ended up with some seriously nerdy email addresses that I can't put on my CV. My name above my Twitter handle is also simply 'Kady'.
Well, 7 years later I'm a freelance copywriter trying to get more business under my own steam, and now my real name is important.
Damn. What do I do?
The truth is that I could change my Twitter handle and name very easily, whenever I want. At a weaker moment, I checked if 'kadypotter' was still available on Twitter. It was, so I nabbed it. I have it available, and can theoretically switch my account over to it any time.
That's the clear solution here, but it's problematic. People know me and associate me with the username I have. It's on my business cards. People who don't notice my name change will still send tweets and DMs to the old one. Even if I tweet about it, they might miss it. If someone else snaps up the old name, that's going to mess things up further.
The username in and of itself isn't awful. It's based on Japanese: 'koisurukady' means 'Kady in love' or 'Kady loves', used in the same vein as my fellow copywriter and avid Tweeter @VikkiRossWrites. The Japanese syntax puts it 'backwards', rather than as 'kadykoisuru'. It made sense at the time, because I do tweet about things I love (including Japan).
The phrase has become a little more popular since the release of Japanese idol group AKB48's massive 2013 summer single 'Koisuru Fortune Cookie'. And it does technically contain my name, just not all of it.
What's also super interesting is that Google's algorithm updates mean you can now find my Twitter account when you search for my full name. It's a change I probably don't need to make, all told.
But even so, does it sound silly, or immature, or unprofessional? Nobody's ever really called me out on it. Sometimes people ask me what it means, and I point to the definition above.
And looking at the people I follow (particularly the copywriters), many of them use their own names and many don't. Nobody seems to think any less of the ones who've chosen something a bit different - me included.
The question is: if I were to create a brand new Twitter account today, would I use that name or would I use my own?
I don't think it matters - not at this stage, anyway.
A few years ago, maybe I'd have caved and kept it real. Not now. As I said, I've had this Twitter account 7 years. The name is largely irrelevant compared to the search rankings and social reach it's built up over that time. It's the account that matters. My username might seem unusual to people meeting me for the first time, but it's unmistakeably mine. That counts for more than you might think.