What Is a Business Handle? (Plus Tips for Creating One)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published April 2, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

An official social media account for a company can be significant for boosting brand awareness and interacting with consumers. When you create an account, the platform requires you to claim a handle, which is an opportunity to inform users about what they can expect to see when they follow the page. Understanding the impact of a business handle on brand recognition and social media engagement can help you maintain a consistent online presence that's easy for consumers to find.

In this article, we state the definition of a business handle, list the characteristics of an effective name and deliver tips that can help you create one for a company you represent.

Related: Brand Recognition: Definition and How It Works

What is a business handle on social media?

A business handle is the name of a company's profile on a social media platform. It appears at the top of the page when users access the account information. It's also a representation of the company. On most platforms, you can identify a business handle when it follows the at sign. Here's an example of a business handle on social media for a company called Neat Electronics:

@neatelectronics

Consumers often use the business handle to follow the brand on the social media channel or tag it in the content they post.

Related: What Is an Instagram Handle? (Plus How To Change One)

Traits of a good business handle

An effective business handle can maintain a positive reputation for a company and direct customers and prospective supporters to its online presence. Here's a list of traits you can incorporate when developing a business handle:

  • Concise: Social media platforms may limit handles to a specific number of characters, which it's why it can be essential to keep the name concise. Make sure you include the name of the business in less than 20 characters, using abbreviations that are easy to interpret when necessary.

  • Memorable: The easier it is for users to remember the name of the company's official account, the more likely they may be to look for the profile on other platforms, which can expand the reach of the content you post online. Use a handle that target audiences can memorize, and make sure it's distinguishable from other entities that have similar organizational names.

  • Recognizable: If a potential customer encounters an organization for the first time, they may look at the business handle for insight into what the organization does and how it can benefit them. For example, if you manage the social media presence for a higher education facility, then you might include "university" or "college" in the business handle to attract prospective students and faculty members.

  • Simple: Simple spelling can boost the memorability of the business handle, allowing users to return to the profile when they search for it on their preferred social media channels. You can also name the handle with the same name the community uses to identify the company, which can increase the chances they can find the account they seek and interact with the content on the profile.

Related: 25 Do's and Don'ts of Social Media for Business

What's the difference between a business handle and a username?

A business handle and a username both pertain to an account on social media platforms, but the key difference between them is privacy. A business handle is public, which means it's visible to any social media user. Even if you've installed privacy settings to control who can see the content you've posted, users can still see the name of the profile.

A username is typically private since you use it to log in to your account. For example, an email address may serve as a username and be accessible to the owner of the account only, while the business handle is the name that the profile displays. On some platforms, usernames can also serve as business handles. It can be beneficial to review the site's regulations so you know how to approach developing a username if it represents the company that employs you. If the entities serve different purposes on the platform, then you can learn how to differentiate them.

Related: How To Pick a Professional Username (With Tips and an Example)

Tips for making a business handle

For more information about creating a business handle, consider practicing the following tips:

  • Claim business handles immediately. Social media platforms only allow one user to have a specific handle, so once someone uses it, the name is no longer available. After creating a business handle, check for its availability on the sites and claim them immediately to ensure you can name the official accounts in the way you want.

  • Match the business handle with the domain name. If members of key audiences remember the name of the company's website, they may enter the same name as they search for its social media profiles. Make sure the business handle is consistent with the domain name to maintain brand recognition across diverse channels.

  • Use the same handle for multiple platforms. If the business you represent has a presence on several social media sites, then you can use the same handle for all of them, which can make it easier for customers and subscribers to find the company. They can also have confidence that the profile they've identified is the business' official account, which verifies the content.

  • Ask the owners to give you the handle. It can be challenging to claim a business handle on several platforms, since it may be available on one site but unavailable on another one. If you discover another user has already claimed your preferred handle, consider asking them to allow you to have the name so you can best represent the company online in a format target audiences recognize.

  • Add special characters. Another remedy for unavailable business handles is to add special characters, such as periods, hyphens and underscores, in the name to differentiate it from the claimed handle and still communicate the name of the company. The profile may appear in the search results when customers and potential followers look for the account on the platforms.

  • Attach extra words. You can attach "the" in front of the business handle to distinguish it from the profile that a user already claimed, or you can add "HQ" or "INC" to demonstrate that the account belongs to a company. You can also attach a word that describes what a company does, such as "books" to represent the name of a publishing company.

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