So you open up your instagram account and the app asks for your username, seems like a no brainer right? You have a name, one you’ve used all your life, so why not use that? Well that’s where the complexities of social media and algorithms etc come in. The name you choose for your instagram account needs to be an easy one to remember and find in searches etc. Think of the instagram search like google search, you need to rank well to get noticed. Now, for most starting out on instagram, nobody knows your name or brand (except for family and friends and in case of businesses, your existing client base). In order to grow though, we need people that don’t know us already to find us and follow us. This is where your name choice is so important. Its the first step to getting noticed on IG. So im going to give you a few golden rules to follow when choosing (or changing ) your username.
- Be Memorable
Although finding a great instagram name is difficult these days as most of them are taken by many of the 1 billion active users already on IG, it is not impossible. You just need to use a bit of creativity when deciding on yours. The name you choose should stand out, be memorable and reflect your brand/page immediately. Try using key words that reflect what it is that you do and what your followers can expect to see on your page. One example of that is Charlotte Tilbury makeup. Their brand name already perfectly describes what they do “makeup”, so keeping it simple is a great way to build your brand on social media.
Another example of a really creative name that will stick in your mind, is “Narsissist” . Their IG name is a clever play on their brand name “Nars (cosmetics)”. You can immediately tell its a beauty brand with a name their followers are sure to remember.
- Keep it simple
When deciding on your IG name, make sure to try and keep it simple and easy not only to remember, but spell (search for), as well. Make sure spelling is accurate and words are not too tricky and difficult to spell and remember. The easier people can remember and spell the word/name, the easier it will be for them to find you.
- Brand name or your personal name?
I think that if your feed is primarily to share your daily life with your followers, friends and family, then your own name can work however I recommend adding a word or two to help describe what your page is about so that your audience can find you more easily. One example is the page “makeupbyfrancesca”. It has the users name “Francesca” but by adding “makeup by” in addition, it does both, give her name (ie. personal brand), recognition while also immediately reflecting the purpose of the page and what you can expect to see on there.
Another approach, if you are focussed on a particular style/topic, and might want to turn your passion into your pay check in the future, is to choose a name that solely reflects that passion. A great example is the UK fashion blogger Antonette, her IG name is “wearwhatiwore”. This tells you as soon as you see the name, what her page is all about – fashion and clothes. (I also love how she phases her page with certain colours for certain periods. It looks so professional, clean and focussed).
- Display It
On IG, there’s your Username and then there’s also your Display name. Your username or IG handle as its known, is your unique identifier while your display name doesn’t need to be unique and can be used to describe more about your pages offerings. I would strongly recommend capitalising on this and choosing great descriptive words in/as your display name to make it easier for people to find you in their search results. Instagram uses your display name when people search for usernames, hashtags or keywords so why not make the best of this option right?
- what if its taken?
So what if your name is taken already on IG? (and chances are it might be with so many users). Don’t worry you have options to still get your name/brand out there effectively using your IG name. You can either use one of the descriptive name choices like with the “wearwhatiwore” example I used above which doesn’t use your actual name but rather describes what your do or you can add to your real name. For example with “Ctilburymakeup” or “makeupbyfrancesca”. You can also add an underscore to your name like “Nikki_makeup”, you still have your real name “Nikki” as part of your username but with the underscore and a keyword added of what your page is about, in this example “makeup”. Be creative and you will come up with the perfect IG star name for you and your brand:)
- Consistency is key
Brand building and recognition is all about consistency. It is very important to try and have the same username across all your social media platforms. So when you are choosing a username for IG, check if that username is also available on your other social platforms that you use as well. This will create better awareness about your brand and make it easy for users on all platforms to search and find you/your brand.
Well there you have it, my little golden nuggets for choosing the perfect IG name to get you and your brand on the path to stardom.
Let me know your IG handles and how you chose them 😀