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I see many companies that have an international presence trying to localize their social media presence by creating country or language specific accounts. However some seemed to have done so without following a consistent pattern, one example being the World Wildlife Fund when you look at their Twitter accounts:

World_Wildlife : verified account with 200K followers
WWF            : main account with 800K followers
www_uk         : lower case with underscore between WWF and country indicator
WWFCanada      : upper case with country indicator attached to WWF
...

I am planning to build a website which hopefully will grow global and would like to avoid this sort of inconsistencies. Also, I was comparing what Twitter and Facebook allow in their username and found out that they don't allow the same characters to be used (e.g. for instance that the former doesn't allow . whereas the latter does) making difficult to ensure consistency across social networks.

Hence my questions:

Are there known naming schemes for creating localized Twitter and Facebook accounts while maintaining a certain consistency between them (best effort)?

Are there any researches out there that have proven whether some schemes were better than others in terms of readability and/or SEO?

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BTW: WWF Canada is a different legal foundation than WWF UK or WWF Switzerland. The WWF International is also located in Switzerland, but is a separate foundation too. So all those different accounts are actually not registered by a single corporation/foundation but by many several. –  feeela Dec 27 '12 at 15:07
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1 Answer

I'm not aware of any industry standard best practice on this one, and like you I've seen companies go every which way on these. I can only offer my own experience and what I think works.

Remember with both Facebook and Twitter you have both a URL/username and the public name to set up. With Twitter we've always set it up as Acme in the home country and Acme_Country for all others. So we end up with Acme, Acme_UK, Acme_Japan, etc. Then the public name can be Acme, Acme UK, Acme Japan, etc.

With Facebook it's similar, but we leave out the underscore in the URL and go with Acme, AcmeUK, AcmeJapan, etc. The public name is then done the same as Twitter.

One thing I've found helpful is to have a Facebook account that belongs to the company rather than an individual to set up all the accounts. That way no single employee who might someday leave the company is in a position to mess with the corporate page. This also gives an account that can then turn on or off roles for other people as they join and leave the team of contributors.

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why not use AcmeCountry for both Facebook and Twitter: did you feel that Acme_Country offered better user experience and justified having inconsistent namings between Twitter and Facebook? –  user359650 Nov 20 '12 at 18:40
    
Here's the tradeoff...when writing out the Twitter name for people to find it, we'd either have (at)Acme_Country or (at)AcmeCountry. Our company's name is actually much longer than Acme, so for readability we went with the underscore. With the Facebook URL, it's just not something people need to remember or type in. Our marketing material uses www.acme.com/fb - and we just redirect that to the Facebook page with a 301. In the end it simply seemed there was no real downside to having the Facebook and Twitter URLs have that slight difference. –  Kenzo Nov 20 '12 at 18:46
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