According to Twitter, they reserve 20 characters for your name -- whether you use them or not. So go ahead and use a longer name if it helps your branding. You'll still have the full 140 for your tweets.
Keep in mind, though... If your followers are forwarding your tweets, your name will be a part of *their* 140 limit.
Why 140 Characters?
SMS (i.e., texting on your phone) limits each message to 160 characters. Twitter takes that limit and reserves 20 characters for your username, leaving you 140 characters to play with. That’s how it started and we’ve stuck with it!
Submitted Apr 21, 2010 10:38 AM
We are a software company and we use Twitter and FaceBook to broadcast whenever we have a new version release. We have 15 different products we make so there is always something being updated or improved and these systems help keep our customer informed.
If you are interested we make a small office CRM solution:
As well as an Org Chart and Standard Operating Procedures system:
Submitted Apr 21, 2010 11:07 AM
RM, absolutely wrong. I consult with business owners on using Twitter. You actually want the shortest user name you can use that makes sense. Here's why: Retweets are the best way to get exposure on Twitter. This is when others pass along your tweets. If people Retweet not using the built-in Twitter retweet, then character length of a username is of utmost importance since it limits pass along or the viral impact of tweets.
Submitted Apr 21, 2010 12:55 PM
Want to leverage your marketing efforts using twitter?
We are a Swiss based Social Media Marketing Company, visit us at www.SocialCreeper.com
Submitted Apr 21, 2010 1:00 PM
We've been using Twitter with marginal success to date. On Twitter we tweet our latest articles which we release on a daily basis. I feel for greater success we are going to have to spend more time on social networking, as at present it is somewhat of an afterthought.
Submitted Apr 21, 2010 2:26 PM
We have been using twitter in conjunction with our facebook fan page to build awareness of our brand and continue to drive traffic to our website. We need to be careful however as we are a location specific business that we don't just focus on building traffic irrespective of location.
Submitted Apr 21, 2010 8:42 PM
Hi Caitlin -
Great post on the possibilities Twitter can provide for small business owners. I have a Twitter account, but I'm not even close to leveraging it well. You've provided some great starting tips.
- Jonathan Flaks
Submitted Apr 22, 2010 4:59 PM
I like twitter and facebook, try using it socially 1st and see if you like it and the environment before you decide to just put your business out there.
Submitted Apr 25, 2010 1:47 AM
Twitter can be a powerful tool for businesses of all size to reach new audience, and to provide customer service (and damage control) in a more direct and publicly accessible way than was previous possible.
If you don't have the time to dedicate to doing twitter properly, but recognize that it is a viable and potentially valuable tool for your business, you might consider outsourcing your twitter management to a firm that specializes in online marketing, or even someone who specializes in social media.
When you are looking into an online marketing firm, make sure that you check references, and make sure that they practice what they preach. Don't hire a social media "guru" who doesn't have a blog or a facebook account personally.
Best of Luck!
Zello Partners Online Marketing
http://www.vithefiddler.com (My Blog) :)
Submitted Apr 26, 2010 2:12 PM
Social media has exploded, and surprisingly, has a lot of traction as an actual, cheap marketing tool. The only thing people need to remember, as Vi W. above says, is you need time to devote to twitter and other sites to truly get successful results. And time is money...but in theory, twitter is a cheap marketing tool.
Submitted Apr 30, 2010 4:06 PM
I use Twitter to make friends and prospect for business. I t seems to be a good platform as long as you do both of those things. Those who just plug their latest promo are pretty easy to ignore; those who just socialize without reference to their business model are just hangin' out at the water cooler (nothing wrong with that, I'm just saying--not so good for business).
Drop by, say hello, and see my current promo strategy at http://twitter.com/JPriceWrite
Submitted May 14, 2010 8:19 AM