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It's Time to Implement a "Handle" for Your Bank's YouTube Channel

It's Time to Implement a "Handle" for Your Bank's YouTube Channel

Eric Cook by Eric Cook

Chief Digital Strategist

Contact author Full biography

Full biography

Eric considers himself a “recovering banker” of 15 years, who for the past eleven years has focused his efforts as a digital strategist, helping his clients (mostly community banks) better understand and leverage the power of the Internet as a strategic business tool. An award-winning web designer with WSI, the world’s largest digital agency network, Eric is a two-time contributing author to the best-selling book Digital Minds – 12 Things Every Business Needs to Know About Digital Marketing. Consistently rated in the top five digital marketing books on Amazon, the book is in its second edition and available in three languages.

A sought-after, nationally-recognized speaker in the financial services industry, Eric is a member of the National Speakers Association and loves sharing his knowledge to help educate and inspire others. He is the co-creator of a weekly webinar show called Free Webinar Wednesdays, founder of the Banker Education Series webinar series, and serves as a faculty member at several banking schools around the country where he teaches bankers about digital strategy, online marketing and social media. He is a WSI Certified LinkedIn Professional and holds undergraduate degrees in business administration and psychology. While working full-time as a community banker, Eric earned his MBA and completed the three-year Graduate School of Banking program in Madison, WI in 2003.

Professionally, Eric helps his clients in all areas of digital marketing, which includes mobile-responsive web development, search engine marketing and optimization, social media strategies, e-mail communication, and “big-picture” digital strategic planning. He’s the co-founder of, a service created to help businesses understand their risk when it comes to operating in today’s digital world. When he’s not helping his clients succeed online, he can typically be found on one of his many bicycles training for his next mountain bike/triathlon race or spending time with his wife and two (very spoiled) golden retrievers.



YouTube just rolled out a new way to connect content creators and community members across its platform. Say hello to handles, a fresh new method of crafting your brand on YouTube.

But what is a handle and should banks be paying attention to this new feature? Let’s dive into this latest social media development and explore its potential for your bank’s next marketing move.

Making a Name for Yourself

If you’ve ever posted anything on YouTube, your channel already has a name. You chose this name when you set up your channel, on the same page where you selected your profile picture, wrote your “About Me” info, and sorted through the other unique branding options available on YouTube. In many cases, users choose their real names or the name of the brand they represent. So why do you need a handle if you already have a name? YouTube’s new Handles function provides a simple solution to finding your bank / tagging your bank on YouTube.

“Handling” the Problem

If you’ve ever used Twitter, you’re likely familiar with how handles work. A handle is a username that is unique to each channel. Each handle begins with an “@,” followed by the username (i.e., “@youtube,” etc.). When used in the video description or a comment, the username automatically becomes a link to the indicated YouTube page. For example, here are two handles being used for two different brands:


The real draw of handles is that each is distinct. Handles are not shared in the same way channels might share a name. Every time your handle is tagged in a video, mentioned in a comment, or brought up in a conversation on YouTube, there is a direct connection to your channel right there in the text. This helps other users find and discover you without confusion.

Stake Your Claim and Create Your Own Handle

It’s important to take action, if you’ve not done so yet, and lock down your preferred handle to help protect your bank’s brand. Ideally, your handle will be the same as the one you’re using across other social platforms, such as Twitter and Instagram. When selecting a handle for your bank’s channel, navigate to the “Channel Customization” menu. Under “Basic Info,” you’ll be able to find space to submit your idea for a handle. 




However, several channels might carry identical names. Don't get discouraged if you get an error message stating that your ideal handle is already taken. Some simple variations can give you a handle that is memorable and remains on brand.

For example, if you want @awesomebank to be your YouTube handle but it’s already been taken, try adding information about your home state, year founded, or other bits of trivia. A new handle might look like @awesomebankMI, or @awesomebank1920. Don’t be afraid to experiment until you find the handle that’s just right for you.

Perfecting your bank’s social media strategy takes a team. With our years of experience, let WSI Digital be your strongest player. Reach out today to learn how our digital marketing experts can help you reach wider audiences with greater impact.


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