A good Instagram handle is a key component of your digital brand.
To begin, ask yourself what kind of Instagram account you’re running. Is it for:
Business: If so, the name of your company usually makes the most sense as your Instagram handle. This will show your customers your account is official and improve recognition.
Personal: If you’re building a personal brand, use your own name as your Instagram handle. You could also consider shortened versions like @GaryVee
Curation: If you’re curating and sharing specific content on Instagram, choose a handle that highlights what you’re going to share, like @PugLover
Here are some other tips to help you choose the right handle.
1. Keep It Simple
Like an URL or business name, an Instagram handle needs to be simple to be memorable.
Instagram has a thirty-character limit for handles, but you shouldn’t need anywhere near that many letters. The longer your handle is, the easier it is to misspell or forget. Choose something relevant, like your own name, or your business name, and:
- Keep it short: Minimize the number of excess characters where you can, without making the spelling more confusing. Don’t add numbers and extra characters unless you have to.
- Avoid complex spelling: If your name is difficult to spell, it might be easier to shorten it to something simpler, like @GaryVee.
- Stay away from underscores: If you can, avoid any underscores or dashes. Your followers may forget where to place them.
2. Try Using Keywords
If you’re creating a curation account, or the name you would otherwise choose for your Instagram handle is taken, you can consider making a username based on a keyword. For instance, if you’re going to be posting about cars, you can type the word “car” into Google and see what comes up.
Remember, the keywords you choose should be relevant to your audience, and the content you’re going to share. For instance, if you’re sharing pictures of cute kittens online, then it makes sense to have an Instagram handle like @CuteKittens.
3. Make It Memorable
Making your Instagram handle memorable isn’t just about keeping things simple. A straightforward username will be easier for your followers to remember, but it’s worth adding some intrigue if you can too. For instance, when choosing an Instagram handle, OUAI haircare didn’t just go for “OUAI.”
To make the name more memorable, the company decided to play on how close the word “OUAI” is to “way” in terms of pronunciation. The handle “TheOUAI” is instantly more likely to stick in users’ minds, and it demonstrates the company’s personality.
4. Be Consistent
Chances are you’ll have more than one social media profile in today’s digital world. You might even have a website of your own where you share information about your brand, too. Wherever your customers find you online, they need to see consistency.
It’s no good having the handle “TheOuai” on Instagram and then having a completely different name, like “OUAI-Haircare” on Facebook. The more differences between your titles, the harder it will be for people to find you. Ensure your brand identity remains the same on every platform.
5. Don’t Restrict Yourself
Finally, remember that you’re likely to have this Instagram handle for quite a while. With that in mind, you don’t want to restrict yourself to a specific product or location. If you’ve started a business selling shoes, it might be tempting to use the name: business_shoes, but this won’t make much sense if you decide to sell other products later.
Similarly, adding a location like “NY” to your Instagram handle could make it harder to reach global audiences as your brand grows. Keep your long-term goals in mind.