Using your employer’s name in your Twitter account can be a little problematic for you for a number of different reasons. Unless you’re using an employee-specific account, you’re going to have problems if you use your employer’s name as part of your personal brand.

Let’s say you work for Lamplighters Lighting Solutions and you launch a Twitter account, choosing @LamplightLen as your Twitter handle (or whatever your first name is).

You work really hard at growing your @LamplightLen account — you’re up to 5,000+ followers, you engage heavily with your audience, and have a Klout score in the mid-60s. In fact, you’re the envy of every lighting solutions store in the country.

Then, one day you’re no longer employed at Lamplighters. You’re fired, laid off, quit, they shut down, whatever. Now you’re facing a few sticky problems.

  • Since you no longer work there, you don’t want your personal brand tied up with that corporate brand. Everyone knows you as Lamplight Len, and will associate you with that name for months and even years.
  • If you created the account specifically for work, especially with your work email, they may demand that you give it up. You can create a new account and regain all your followers, but that will take weeks before it ever reaches the status of your old account.
  • You can change the username of the account, but people know you as @LamplightLen. You’ll have to update them frequently, maybe through direct messages, that this is your new username.
  • If Lamplighters wanted to keep the account going and install someone else as the manager of it, they’re faced with the problem that the new manager is not named Len.

Your best bet? Keep a personal account, and set up a second brand-only account — this is where @LamplightLen, or just @Lamplighters, can come in handy — and work that one. Keep it specific only to work-related tweets. Use your personal account for the fun stuff and personal events.

Write your personal bio so it tells where you work — “I also tweet under @LamplightLen for Lamplighters.” Do the same on your work bio — “My personal account is @LenStendening.” Then if your work situation ever changes, change the bio appropriately.

Also, don’t cross over your tweets too much — don’t tweet personal stuff on the work account or work stuff on the personal account. Unless you’re going to make a career out of the lighting industry, there’s no reason your work and personal lives need to cross over that way.

Author: Erik Deckers is the owner of Professional Blog Service, and the co-author of Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself. His new book, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing, which he wrote with Jason Falls, will be released in October 2011.