Once we got sumHR up and running, the next logical step was to establish various media channels to publicize the product. In addition, for a SaaS-based solution like ours, we continually need to broadcast product updates through various channels, including Twitter. However, when we tried signing up with the handle @sumhr, we realized that an individual in the US was already using it, but not posting any tweets. But our hearts were set on that particular handle only as it was relevant to the sumHR brand.
So how do we claim the Twitter handle? Being an internet company, we decided to take a non-aggressive yet professional approach to get that username. First of all we went and scoured the web for information on the policies related to claiming a Twitter handle. We came across this page by Twitter which was very helpful. There were other useful sources too. You can head over here and here for more information (links updated) on the subject. After thorough researching, we decided to take this matter to Twitter as we were sure they would understand our plight and help us out.
Our Interaction with TwitterWe wrote to Twitter via a web form, first explaining what business we do and the situation we had at hand. We then informed them how critical tweets would be for our future marketing efforts. We requested if the individual could either trade the handle @sum_hr with us, or let go off @sumhr for any other available handles.We got a reply from Twitter in about a week's time. They wrote back saying we had to confirm that we want Twitter to replace our existing username, @sum_hr, with the requested username, @sumhr. This was necessary for them to process the requested inactive username transfer. In addition, Twitter did explain to us that they wouldn’t be unable to merge profiles or migrate data (tweets, following, or followers) from one account to another, and our previous username will then be released immediately for use by other accounts.Immediately we replied to Twitter confirming the details and in three days they replied to us saying, "We have now associated @sumhr with the account you provided." Yay!
And this is how we got our handle.