There are tons of Twitter accounts registered every day that just sit there completely inactive. It’s completely harmless, but it gets frustrating when it’s a name you want.
If you have a brand name and notice the twitter account for your name is taken, it’s easy enough to get it back. You can just fill out their trademark form and acquire it. But what about when it’s a random account name you want?
For complete vanity purposes, I wanted my full name as my Twitter handle. The only issue is that someone else registered it a few years ago, tweeted once, and then left it for dead. This drove me nuts!
I tried filling out the personal impersonation form on Twitter, but since the guy had the same name as me, he wasn’t impersonating me (it was worth a shot!). I had pretty much given up at this point, but then Jeffrey Crews suggested I claim my name as a brand since I owned PeterAttia.com.
I had never really thought about playing my own name off as a brand name, but in hindsight I can’t believe I didn’t think of that from the beginning. I went back to the impersonation form and filled it out as a company instead: as if my own name was my company name. I set up an email from my domain name and explained that people end up on the other handle thinking it’s me.
After about a week, they moved my twitter name over to the new username. I was able to keep all my current followers and lists, which was a plus.
Using the same method for other names
You could use this process for any inactive Twitter handle really. Even if it’s not an actual brand name, you could just buy a domain name for that username (doesn’t have to be .com), put up a quick wordpress page and boom! You can get any inactive account you want.