Twitter Usernames Are The New Domain Names

I was just searching through our member list for startups that I can follow on Twitter for our new TechAviv Twitter feed. We’re going to follow every Israeli startup we can find on twitter to create a realtime conversation hub for the Israeli tech startup community. To my surprise the vast majority of our members are not on Twitter yet.

GUYS WAKE UP. If you haven’t grabbed your company’s Twitter username yet, someone will be selling it to you tomorrow. Twitter usernames are the new domain names. The land grab is happening while you’re reading this. Go get yours. Even if you’re not going to start tweeting immediately, you should own your company name before someone else does. If there are words that define your space (e.g. “freecalls”), grab those too while you can. Imagine if you snapped up domain names back in 1993. Get it?

Twitter, whether you like it or not, has become the next evolution for communications with your users, customers, partners, investors and even competitors. It doesn’t replace email, IM, blogs, web sites, newsletters, forums, meetups etc., it enhances them and enables you to listen in realtime to what the world thinks of you and your products. Try a twitter search with your company name. Now subscribe to that RSS feed. You’re welcome.

Once you get your Twitter feed going, just start putting out daily information about your progress and follow and reply to users that are asking you about it. If your site or service produces dynamic, timely information or a data stream, look into having that stream post to Twitter automatically via their API. It’s a viral traffic catalyst for your site/service and its free. Companies like Boxee (4,000+ followers) and Bukisa (1,000+ followers) get it and are reaping the rewards. In general it seems like the Israeli startups with US-based CEOs are more up on the game. That’s a whole other post for another time.

Just start guys. If you’re authentic, engaged and provide a compelling service, your twitter feed will mobilize your users to pass on your “inside info” across all of their social graphs. The cascade effect will be enormous. Obama taught us a thing or two about that. I’ll venture a wild guess that our politicians weren’t taking note. You friends, can’t afford not you.

When you start tweeting from your company feed, @TechAviv me and lets get the conversation flowing.

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Categories: 2 shekels

15 Comments on “Twitter Usernames Are The New Domain Names”

  1. November 23, 2008 at 7:00 am #

    totally. someone, not sure who, told me to do this a year ago and that's why i control this account even though i don't use ithttp://twitter.com/avc

    • November 23, 2008 at 8:25 am #

      Interesting that you went with your name for Twitter. Do you think you would blog at fredwilson.com if you owned it? Should startup founders tweet from both a company and personal account? I'm curious what founders think.

      • November 23, 2008 at 8:39 am #

        I would blog at fredwilson.com if I couldBut since I can't, I built a second brand and now them interchangeably

  2. November 23, 2008 at 7:58 am #

    Interesting. Do you think startup founders should tweet from their company account and personal accounts? Any plans to use AVC?

  3. aarondelcohen
    November 23, 2008 at 8:33 am #

    Yeah I grabbed Goodly on twitter yesterday.Aaron

  4. aarondelcohen
    November 23, 2008 at 8:35 am #

    Yaron this is a good post. I think this is vital to company's success…do you think this will become a marketplace?

    • November 23, 2008 at 8:49 am #

      Definitely, just like domain names. I'm already seeing “this twittername for sale” tweets. Companies slow to move on their own name can only hope Twitter will bail them out — as stated in their terms of service: “We reserve the right to reclaim usernames on behalf of businesses or individuals that hold legal claim or trademark on those usernames.”

  5. November 24, 2008 at 6:24 am #

    no doubt in my opinion that any company that is working directly with consumers should be on Twitter.i am on Twitter almost all the time. i always have a tab in my browser open for it (like i do for my gmail based email). similar to blogging, or most other things Internet, you need to be authentic to be successful on Twitter.. the benefits are huge. nothing better than a real time conversation with your users. it's a huge time drain (and addictive) but worth it.btw, boosting your number of followers by randomly following people who will follow you back is a keen to spam, you'll lose credibility and won't benefit much from it,

  6. Rebecca
    December 1, 2008 at 1:22 pm #

    you are so right & thanks for being the so-called last straw; after putting it off for over a year, just finally signed up for two new accounts, in my company's name & own name, and linked to this entry on my personal twitter update (couldn't figure out how to do much else…)

    • December 1, 2008 at 1:32 pm #

      Great! What are your twitternames?

  7. March 22, 2009 at 7:32 pm #

    Bukisa is a great way to make a ton of money! Thanks for the article

  8. April 18, 2009 at 7:13 am #

    I agree Twittwr has become the next evolution for communications with your users, customers, partners, investors and even competitors.

  9. April 18, 2009 at 2:13 pm #

    I agree Twittwr has become the next evolution for communications with your users, customers, partners, investors and even competitors.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. watching websites » registering your username on many social media sites: the pros and cons - September 10, 2009

    [...] say that the username is the new domain name.  Registering early on ensures that you get ‘first [...]

  2. name check | Piet Bos dot ME - May 7, 2012

    [...] From a marketing standpoint, this is a crucial process that should not be overlooked. Check out this article on the importance of registering your username before someone else [...]

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