Hear about new posts as they happen. Improve your marketing.


Recently I (John) published a post over on my personal site titled “Does a startup really need its .com?” Obviously we don’t think so (judging from our domain name), but think that what is more important is consistency in branding.

While writing that post and looking at all of our profiles, I realized that we had “HireGun” for all of our social media profiles except Twitter, where we used @hiregunco because @hiregun was taken, though dormant. In the interest of shipping and establishing a Twitter presence, we went with that and started building a social presence (still small at this time, but more than Twitter’s median of 1).

I realized that by having just @hiregunco though, when Facebook/Google+ and our domain were HireGun, I was being inconsistent with my own advice. As of overnight while I slept, our Twitter handle switched over from @hiregunco to @hiregun. Here’s how I did it.

Do the research

I’ll admit, I didn’t do a lot of research into why @hiregun was taken when launching the service. When I looked at it, I saw that it was a “personal” dormant account used to post make money online tweets, but only two of them and not since 2013. An opportunity!

It would have been significantly harder to get the handle had the account not been dormant.

Use Twitter’s form

Next I went to Twitter’s provided impersonation form and filled out the needed information. Note that I filled out the impersonation form and have the .co and a very similar account (and other social media profiles at HireGun). However, as you will see, they gave it to me because it was inactive, not because of impersonation. I do have to wonder if having the .com would have made a difference.

 1  2 3 4  5

Wait For (and get) a Response

I submitted the form on August 16th, and Twitter responded on the 25th. The first email was simply an acknowledgment of receipt:


The second was to alert me that while they couldn’t give it to me for impersonation (again, not sure why), it was dormant so they could release it to me. I asked them to make @hiregunco into @hiregun.


The third was to tell that it was done:



Your mileage may vary, as each case is different, but in my case it worked out!

Lessons Learned

First, do your research. If you’re trying to claim an inactive account, you’ll have an easier time than trying to claim an active account. If it’s active and impersonating your business, it may help to have the .com domain.

Second, after you move your old account over to your new name, go back and claim your old Twitter account as well and put up a bio saying that the account has moved to the new account. If you’ve put any time into building your old account, you’ll likely still get some type-in traffic and should get them over to your new account.

Good luck! Tweet us @hiregun with your experiences!

Looking for tool and book recommendations?

Sometimes the hardest part of growing your company is finding the right tools to use to execute on your strategies. Tools are a dime a dozen, but the right tool for the job is hard to find.

Check out our recommendations for lead generation and SEO tools as well as the books we recommend reading as you grow your business.

More Articles

Google Search Console Guide

Posted by on February 21, 2019 in Marketing Strategies/What is

If you own a website, you already know how important it is to keep an eye on how your site is performing so that your…

View Post
How to hire a PPC expert

Posted by on February 19, 2019 in Hiring a marketing provider

In your attempt to hire a PPC expert to help you scale your business, you’re probably running into some issues like not understanding how they’re…

View Post
SEO Audit Checklist

Posted by on February 14, 2019 in Marketing Strategies/What is

Are you not getting the SEO results you want? Are you posting great content, promoting your site, and offering excellent products or services, but still…

View Post