If you have decided that you are going to use Instagram to promote your business then before you dive in, put a little thought into your Instagram Name.
A few things to consider
1. When people talk about Instagram names you might hear them referred to as:
- Instagram Usernames
- Instagram Handles
These are the same thing.
Your Instagram, username or handle are generally written with an @ in front of the name. I.e. @stomachforadventure
Your username is how you will be recognized. You are limited to 30 characters made up of letters, numbers, underscores and full stops.
Keywords in your username are important as this is how people will find you when searching so choose your 30 characters wisely.
Your Instagram name can be different from your username/handle.
Your Instagram name is the name that appears in bold below your profile photo. The benefits of having a different username/handle to that of your Instagram name is that it doubles your chances when people are searching keywords in the Instagram App.
Your Instagram name (the title used on your Profile page) does not have to be lots of words joined together like your handle, it can be your full business name or a sentence that describes you, a known nickname or your company by line.
@hayhaysuffolk – Username
Hay Hay Woodfired Pizzas – Name
@palmgreens – Username
Palm Greens Salad Bar – Name
2. Before you choose your handle, ask yourself what you want your Instagram account to do for you?
Are you wanting to:
- Promote yourself as an Influencer
- Grow your business
- Promote a community you belong to.
Influencers – If you want to become an Influencer, show yourself as an expert and perhaps make money from persuading your followers to purchase what you recommend then you need a memorable name.
An influencer’s name needs to say who you are and what you are an expert in.
@saraclarkyoga – A yoga guru
@livewellwithlo – Wellness and Healthy living expert Lauren
Community – If you are going to use Instagram to promote a community you belong to and you will be posting (with permission) lots of other people’s photos then say exactly what the group will be posting about.
@bewil.d – Photographers share photos of wild beauty
@dametraveller – Female travelers share photos to inspire and encourage women to travel more.
Business – If your Instagram account will be used to help you grow your business then ideally the name of your business will feature in your handle. You should ensure that followers can easily find your website when they search by your IG account name.
@letterfolk – www.letterfolk.com
@tentsile – www.tentsile.com
With your objective in mind its time to brainstorm a few name ideas.
Type out the name ideas you come up with and ask friends and families to give you their opinions.
Ask – Is the name easy to read.
Is the name easy to remember?
Do the names say enough about what I’m promoting?
Things to avoid:
Copy write – check that no one else is already using your preferred name.
There are online tools to check if your preferred name is available
Once you go forward and create your account if your name is available then you will see a checkmark when signing up, if the name is unavailable you will see an X.
Jumbled names – You might have a great name idea, but as soon as you type it out it just looks odd, is hard to read or makes no sense. Avoid names that are hard to read and look jumbled.
This doesn’t work well @marksbestbakingtips @learntobakewithmark
This is easier to understand @bakingwithmark @bakewithmark
Apostrophises – remember you can’t include apostrophizes in your name.
Full stops and underscores – limit them as it’s harder for people to remember when they are searching for you on Instagram.
@staywell_Nikki is ok
@stay.well_Nikki might not be so easy to remember
Copying others – try to keep your name unique, with something that gives you a point of difference for people searching keywords.
Example of a business coach
@businesssuccess_DanW – this is too general and there will be thousands of other accounts using the key words Business and Success making it hard to compete.
@thinkcreative_DanW – might broaden your appeal and give you better results.
Think about the keywords people will be searching to find a product or service that you offer and try to incorporate this into your Instagram name or username.
So to recap
- Decide the objective for your Instagram account
- Think about the keywords people might be searching to find accounts/businesses like yours.
- Brainstorm name ideas, type them out and test them on your friends.
Nikki Morgan August 2019