What’s in a name? Choosing your social media brand…

How do you choose your social media brand,
the name you’re going to be known and recognised as?

what's in a name, choosing your social media name, how to choose a social media name, twitter name,
Many new to social media and those looking to brand themselves online wonder where to start when asked to choose a name.

For some it will make sense to stick closely to your given name, especially if you’re a writer or your product bears your own name. For others you can introduce a little more fun or intrigue, whichever you prefer!

The Last Krystallos © Lisa Shambrook

The Last Krystallos © Lisa Shambrook

When I first joined Twitter, I was shy and was faced with quickly choosing a name to sign up with. I grabbed my favourite dragon and title of a yet to be finished novel, and became @LastKrystallos.

I had no idea how important this name would become to me.

When I began writing my series of dragon adventure novels over a decade ago, I researched names to call my dragons. I have several, which I won’t name here, but as my last Krystallos has been out there for a while, I’ll talk about him.

Kryos, my last Krystallos and my social media moniker*, is a dragon that lives within my fantasy tales…he’s been featured in several Flash Fictions: Love, and Memories, and the latter piece placed in a contest. I wanted a name that meant something to me, that would be instantly recognisable and that people would ultimately connect with me.

Last Krystallos Publishing

Last Krystallos Publishing

*I joined Twitter back in 2011 and have since become @LastKrystallos on Instagram, I am The Last Krystallos on Flickr and eBay, on my now defunct Blogspot and on WordPress. I comment on Blogger blogs with Last Krystallos, and write flash fiction under it, and many other sites also are familiar with my nickname. I use my own name on Pinterest and Google+. I am also owner of the Last Krystallos Publishing imprint and both myself and my books are linked intrinsically to the name.

If you Google Krystallos you can find me, and if you searchLast Krystallos, it will be pretty much predominately my sites. I’ve also tagged almost all my online photographs with the name too, so they appear quickly within image search parameters.

My Blog banner containing my blog name and branding... © Lisa Shambrook

My Blog banner containing my blog name and branding… © Lisa Shambrook

Now what does this say? Firstly, your name will spread, it will appear across the span of the internet faster than you think and once there, it will remain. Secondly, that your choice is of great importance. If your name is out there, you need to be sure it’s the name you want and are comfortable with.

My website - note consistent photo, colours and imagery © Lisa Shambrook

My website – note consistent photo, colours and imagery © Lisa Shambrook

Consistency is very important. My branding of Lisa Shambrook as the Last Krystallos is successful; the two names will always be associated. I am careful that across my social media I use the same names, the same photographs, logos, and images. For instance, this blog has the same background as my website and I use the same author photograph to identify myself. You’ll find different photos on my personal Facebook page, but my Author Page and in general my social media will be easily identifiable as mine. Your social media are an extension of you and recognition is paramount.

Also remember, as you progress you will need to periodically update. When you change your professional media photograph remember to change it across your media.  

So, when choosing your name:

Be sure you think about what you want to be known as, it’s going to be very difficult to change once it’s out there. Is it memorable, can people spell it?   

Choose carefully and research the name you want to use. Don’t choose a name that is already associated with another person or product, or you may drown amid their surge. For instance if someone wanted to brand themselves Krystallos, one Google search would show my social media presence and my association may damage theirs, or vice versa. Also, none of us want to tread on someone else’s feet!

Research the meaning of the name you wish to use, be sure it has no derogatory connotations or hidden meanings.

Find a name and stick with it, be sure to use it across the board so you can be instantly connected to that signature. 

Have fun with it, even if you use your own name, you can find an identifiable tag line. Play with ideas, but take your time to choose the right one.

Short and sweet, memorable and different, unusual and intrinsically you…what suits you?

What are some of the more memorable names out there? Why did you choose the name you have?

*EDITED August 2015: I have since decided to change my opinion on Twitter and Instagram particularly. I am now known as @LisaShambrook on Twitter and Instagram.

The reasons are to offer more consistent branding and to be more easily discovered. After all, if my books are known by my name, and they are, then that’s what readers will search. I stand by my love and reasons for The Last Krystallos and my blog will remain the same as it is my personal place. However, I do agree that using your own name, especially as an author, will ultimately make your brand stronger and more identifiable. Make it work for you, but keep it easy to find!

17 thoughts on “What’s in a name? Choosing your social media brand…

  1. Amanda Makepeace

    This topic comes up often in artist circles too, especially for artists just breaking into the world of social media. A name is so important and I’ve heard more than once if you have a very common name it could be a benefit to go by something else! I feel lucky my name stands out. I’ve even been asked if it was my legal name. It is by marriage, and though my marriage is no longer I won’t be giving up the name–ever. It’s so entwined with my art and business now. Great post, Lisa!

    1. Lisa Shambrook Post author

      I love your name! It just works so well within the media, and is so memorable. I love my name too, I used to be Roberts, so Shambrook is lovely, and sounds so pretty!

  2. Lizzie Koch (@Lizzie_Koch)

    Love this post. When I started out blogging, I didn’t know what I was letting myself in for. I didn’t realise how big the blogging world was. I based my name on being useless in the kitchen and similar to the sites I’d seen. But then I found flash fiction. My blog went into a new direction. And my name doesn’t really fit with my writing. But all my sites are Lizzie Koch because that is my writing name (family call me Elisabeth, friends/work, I’m Liz). Like you, I try to keep the pics the same but think I need to go and update a few! Thanks for the reminder! xxxxx

    1. Lisa Shambrook Post author

      I know, I recently updated all my profile descriptions too, you forget how many sites you’re on! My Krystallos name was a fluke at the time, but I’m so grateful I chose something that works. When you first start out you have no idea what sort of reach you’ll have in the future…

  3. lejamez

    Your name fits you perfectly. When I started I had no clue & no idea. On leverything but my website I’m Laura Jamez, maybe I need to change my site but then again I kinda like the quirkiness of OfficeMango. Your so right about the importance of how you represent yourself online, I’m still learning. Great post x

    1. Lisa Shambrook Post author

      Office Mango had me stumped for ages ’til you explained it! There are so many names people have used I’d like to know the background for…maybe I’ll have to start a DFQ thread for the meanings behind blog and Twitter names!

  4. Bullish

    Great post, Lisa! I chose Bullish Ink because I felt the word ‘bullish’ was synonymous with the overall themes at the core of my fiction – positive and hopeful. I’ve taken some guff for not using my own name but in the end, I’m very happy to be Bullish! 🙂

  5. davejamesashton

    This was a very interesting read, as were all the comments (especially of names that I recognise). I recently went through a similar set of thoughts myself, as I decided I should try expanding “some day” into writing books as well, not just flash fiction. I had been Snellopy (an alien starship captain from a computer game) everywhere on the internet, but as a pen name it lacks a certain something, and searches for that turns up years of comments on all sorts of forums and websites. It’s not a case of trying to dodge ancient rambling drunk posts (there’s plenty there if people go digging), but instead, keeping things focused. Same with what I’d normally call myself – there’s a famous David Ashton who has 3 books and an acting career so he’d have way more presence.

    Most people go with some sort of a headshot as well, so I had to ditch my cartoonish avatar drinking a beer, and went with a new shirt that’s part of a set that matches ones for my wife and daughters and my Amaranth Alchemy necklace (though it’s hard to see especially in small thumbnails, but I know its there).

    1. Lisa Shambrook Post author

      Lol, I clicked on your avatar, and I see the dictionary necklace, Yay! I’d always wondered the significance of Snellopy, now I know…
      It can be really tough when you want to go ‘serious’ and can’t hide behind an avatar, and you wonder if your prevous incarnation will work or not. I had serious thoughts about Last Krystallos but it’s not so common and I seem to well recognisable with it, so kept it.
      Looking forward to reading more than flash fiction from you too, David, with whatever name you choose to use!

  6. Alice

    Thanks for the insights into your name! Have been toying for a long time with the idea of writing a similar post — I put a lot of thought into “Alice Isak” too, and it carries many resonances that no one knows of but me…

    1. Lisa Shambrook Post author

      It’s fascinating to learn of other people’s choices of name, and I think it’s important to choose something that resonates with you, thanks for commenting, Alice 🙂

  7. Pingback: How to Create a Strong Author Platform that Works for You | The Last Krystallos

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