* For Better Branding, Use Your Twitter Username In Other Social Networks

I started this as an email and decided to make it a blog post instead. Hence the format.

I also use two spaces between sentences. Sue me.


Thank you for signing up for yesterday’s LEXpertise BLN event where Victoria Merriman of Digital Loom spoke about Web 2.0 and I spoke about Twitter.

At the end of the presentation, I made “secret envelopes” available for everybody. I intentionally did not pass them out in advance. The envelopes were sealed and I asked everybody to wait until they got back to their office (or wherever they were going) to open them. Inside, there was a single piece of paper on which was printed a single word in 12-point monospace font:


Why did I do this?

Because personal branding matters today more than ever. During the presentation, I emphasized the importance of individual branding, how the Air Force drilled it into me that my name wasn’t my name without my middle name or initial, how I had been writing my name as “Erik J. Heels” ever since, and how “ErikJHeels” became my personal brand:


Putting “@” in front of your username is Twitter’s way of identifying your account. So if I say that I’m @ErikJHeels on Twitter, it means that you can follow me at http://twitter.com/ErikJHeels.

I have taken the “@” syntax one step further. I use @ErikJHeels as the name or nickname for my other social networks. For example, the title of my blog and the nickname for my Google Reader Shared Items are both “@ErikJHeels.” This reminds users of other social networks that I’m also on Twitter, which is (by far) my most important social network.

Anybody who took the time to Google @ErikJHeels would have found that about 80% of the search results are from social networks that are controlled or influenced by me. In other words, by creating a consistent brand, you can have both better control of the brand and good search results for the brand, since social networking sites tend to be ranked high in search engines.

As Jerry Seinfeld told George Costanza, always leave ’em wanting more.


Related Posts

  1. @22Twts Interview With @ErikJHeels
    Today, we’re tweeting with @erikjheels: lawyer, electrical engineer, columnist, Red Sox fan, former Air Force Captain and more.
  2. RT @ErikJHeels How To Write Web Headlines That Work In #Twitter https://www.giantpeople.com/1800
    All web pages are shareable items. All titles are Twitter tweets. Get used to it.
  3. How To Be A Millionaire On #Twitter
    In two easy steps!
  4. 25 Random Things About @ErikJHeels
    25 random things about me.
  5. How To Twittersquat The Top 100 Brands
    A call for the creation of the Uniform Username Dispute Resolution Policy.
  6. My Social Networks
    Social networking sites come and go. Here are the ones where I’m currently active.
  7. Drawing That Explains Social Networking
    How to visualize social networking.
  8. The Brand Wars Are Coming, The Brand Wars Are Coming!
    How to defend your brands on the Internet.
  9. LinkedIn Doesn’t Suck
    LinkedIn reminds of what email was like in 1992.
  10. Business Is A Conversation (Or Clueful Lawyers)
    The business of law is a conversation. Are you conversing?

Erik J. Heels is not a new media guru. Neither are you. On Twitter he is @ErikJHeels.

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5 Replies to “* For Better Branding, Use Your Twitter Username In Other Social Networks”

  1. I’ve changed my mind about this. When Twitter was king of the social networks, this strategy made sense. It no longer makes sense, however, to use your Twitter username (@ErikJHeels) as the name of your other social networks. In part because other social networks (e.g. Facebook and Google+) have gained market share. But it DOES make sense to be consistent with your branding and to use the same root username/brand when possible. As such, I’ve changed the title of this blog from @ErikJHeels to ErikJHeels.com. See also:

    *Minimalist Business Card

  2. This only seems obviously so now that you have demonstrated it. I’ve heard about the importance of personal branding for a long time but never made sense of what that really means. You made it easy to access a vast amount of social networking insights using just @ErikJHeels as the key. Much more information than you could bring in packages to distribute at the BLN event even if you had used a truck and fork lift to get it in the door. Also by using your middle initial you probably increased the probabiliy that someone else with the same name has not taken that your brand name in some future new newtworking system before you could get there. Your Fan – George R Halsey

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