Yesterday, I had no idea who Harper Estelle Wolfeld-Gosk was but seeing as she has 6,282 Twitter followers and her account is only 2 weeks old, she must be something special!
Actually, not only is her account only 2 weeks old, but Harper Estelle herself is only 2 weeks old.
She’s the newborn daughter of Today show correspondent Jenna Wolfe (58,610 followers) and NBC News correspondent Stephanie Gosk (12,356 followers). Jenna said she wasn’t sure that Harper would have any followers other than family but she wanted to give the baby a voice in the world. So far she’s only Tweeted nine times and even though the Tweets appear to be from Harper herself (I’m 2 wks old today. From what i can piece together, we’re celebrating with a walk along the river this morn. Way to go all out, Moms.) it’s likely she has someone helping. Then again, she is the daughter of two media personalities so maybe she was born with the ability to Tweet.
New York Magazine says that Harper is just one in a long line of celebrity baby social media accounts. Actress Melissa Joan Hart set up one for her son. ESPN sports reporter Darren Rovell set up one for his daughter who is also named Harper. Tori Spelling’s child came in late to the game. He didn’t start Tweeting until he was three.
For celebrities, claiming the baby’s Twitter handle could be a form of self-defense. Fans and scammers have both been known to create fake accounts for celebs and their kids, so by beating them to it the parents have a chance at keeping the fakers away.
Some parents say they just want to stake a claim early so the child will always have access to his own name on Twitter, Facebook et al. A study by AVG shows that 92% of children in the US have an online presence before they are two. I guess we’re no longer worried about “stranger danger.”
All of this makes me wonder about how important it is to lock up social media names as soon as you can. Sure, it’s great to have a Twitter handle that matches your company name, but should that dictate which name you choose. What if there’s already a person using “XYZ Inc”? Have you ever tried to buy a name away from a user?
What frustrates me is when someone has the name but hasn’t posted to it in years. Twitter’s working on a system to release these names back into the wild.
Twitter names are a part of your brand. If you’re CutieCupcakes on the web but KuteCupcakes on Twitter, that’s confusing. If your full name or company name is too long, that’s hard to Tweet. And if the abbreviation spells something inappropriate, that’s even worse. So the take away here is simple – if you’re thinking of starting a new business, launching a new product or delivering a new baby – make sure you can get the matching Twitter handle before the name is set in stone!