KnowEm’s core service ever since our launch in 2009 has been our flagship free social media brand search engine. We are dedicated to helping you find the availability of your name, username, business name, brand or product on as many social networks as we can find! So how do you check to see if that username you want is already taken, or still available on hundreds of social networks?
From the KnowEm home page, enter your preferred username in the search box. Please keep in mind that social media imposes some rules and constraints on what you can search for. Usernames for either people, brands or products all have to follow the exact same rules:
- No Spaces. Your username has to be one word, such as “cocacola” instead of “Coca Cola”.
- Only letters and numbers. You can’t cheat the first limitation by using underscores or hyphens in the place of a space. There actually is one notable exception — Twitter does allow underscores in usernames, but 99.9% of all social networks only allow letters and numbers in the username.
- No punctuation or other non-alphanumeric characters. There are no social networks which allow apostrophes such as “McBrady’s” or anything other than just plain old letters and numbers.
Why all these rules? It’s not up to us – you see usernames in social media comprise what we call “vanity URLs”. A vanity URL is a website address like https://twitter.com/knowem. Just about all of the Big 3 rules of username searching are in place because of the naming constraints of how web servers handle URLs. URLs with spaces and apostrophes are confusing to web servers, and so they’re not allowed in usernames.
But wait, doesn’t that mean my brand name will be all misspelled and wrong on all the social media sites you create profiles?!?
No, because the username is just the handle or vanity URL which secures your profile on a social network. They are unique, and there can only be one of each on any given network, but they are not the part that represents your brand to humans.
Let’s take a look at a well known brand with a space in their name, Taco Bell. Their Twitter handle is @tacobell, but on their Twitter profile page they used the First and Last Name fields to display their actual name, which is “Taco Bell”:
The username is displayed in the URL as https://twitter.com/tacobell and as their Twitter “handle”, @tacobell. Note the lack of a space. But the brand is properly represented to customers, because the first and last name allows for the logical addition of space in between the profile’s first name, “Taco”, and last name, “Bell”.