When you’re naming your social media accounts, make it easy for folks to find you by using your actual name.
Bands are a good example of why that makes sense. Unless you’re a super fan or the group is Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, remembering individual band member names is nowhere as easy as simply knowing the name of a solo performer who goes by their actual name.
Sure, we get that your department or organization’s full formal name is usually too long for a social media handle. You can include the formal name in your About section and choose something more abbreviated for your account name. What do the people you already interact with call you? Go with that. Examples include @michigantechhumanities (Instagram) and Michigan Tech College of Business (Facebook).
Avoid symbols, acronyms, numbers and any other choices that aren’t intuitive to the audiences you want to engage with—for example, @AASMM_1885 doesn’t have the same search capability or user-friendly qualities as @MineralMuesumofMTU (the Facebook Page for A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum of Michigan Tech).
If it’s a University account, make your Michigan Tech affiliation clear, using MTU or Michigan Tech. Please follow MTU’s editorial guidelines by not using Michigan Tech University in social media or anywhere else. It leads to confusion about what kind of university we are.
If you can, use the same name across all platforms where you have a presence. If you might join other social platforms in the future and want to ensure the name is reserved, as well as preventing others from unofficially nabbing the name, it’s a good idea to set up an account under your preferred name. You can activate it when you’re ready.
If you have the resources, it can be useful to set up a brainstorm with others in your unit to narrow down name choices. Once you settle on a name, head over to the Michigan Tech Social Networks directory and submit your account using the handy-dandy button in the right navigation pane.
We’ll talk about account administrators next time. In the meantime, keep the social media questions coming to the University Marketing and Communications team at email@example.com. We’ll get to as many as we can as fast as we can.
For more tips, check out Michigan Tech’s Social Media Field Guide.