What Does an Instagram Handle Mean?
When you create a profile on Instagram, you will have to create your own Instagram handle. But what is a handle, and how does it work? Most people use it every day without wondering what the deal is. In this article, we will explain what it is used for and how to develop the ideal Instagram handle for your needs.
What is an Instagram Handle?
You’re probably familiar with the term “username.” An Instagram handle is the same thing, or at least, it holds the same principle. It is unique to you, your account, and hopefully your personality.
An Instagram handle is something like a phone number. It’s a unique link to your Instagram profile. You are the only person with that specific handle. If someone wants to find your profile and follow you directly, you only have to let them know your handle.
Basically, it’s your online Instagram address that works just like a phone number, but instead of making calls, you can use Instagram’s chat and other features to communicate with users.
Creating Your Handle
When creating a new profile on Instagram, you will have to specify a unique handle or address for others to see.
It is an essential step during profile creation, and it can be nearly anything you want, as long as it’s not already taken. Of course, if an inactive account is using the handle you’d like, there are ways around that too. You can use your real name, a nickname, or something that reflects your online personality or business.
Opposed to Facebook, Instagram users typically don’t choose their name as a username. Instead, most users prefer to use a variation of their name, something creative that reflects their content or personality, or even their business.
What is Your Handle Used For?
When someone wants to look at your profile, send you a follow request, or send you a message, they can use the magnifying glass icon to search for your handle to quickly locate your account.
Instagram Handle for Businesses
If you are a business owner, it’s critical that your Instagram handle is as close to the name of your business as possible. Conducting business on Instagram is easy and beneficial because you can reach a massive audience by using hashtags.
If you own a car dealership, for example, your Instagram handle should probably be your dealership’s name. If the handle is already taken, try changing it without altering the meaning, such as adding auto or car dealership after the name. Once you’ve come up with a name that represents your company the right way, you will need to use the right hashtags to reach the targeted audience.
You can add underscores or numbers but keep in mind how users type. Too many special characters may make it difficult for potential followers to find your account.
Instagram Handle for Personal Use
The handle isn’t as important when creating an Instagram profile for personal use. You can use your alter ego, the name of your cat, or whatever else comes to mind; there are no restrictions.
However, if you’re looking to become an Influencer, you might want to come up with something catchy or something that will define your future work. The handle is important because it could attract new followers on its own. If you choose the wrong handle, people could ignore you entirely.
Creating Instagram Handle Tips
If you want to make use of your Instagram profile, there are a lot of things to consider. You need to find a handle that relates to as many people as possible while still being unique and memorable.
If you’re hitting a wall trying to come up with a catchy handle, there are some ways that can help you figure out the perfect address for your needs.
Tip 1 – Keep it simple
The Instagram handle has a 30-character limit, so you need to sum up everything you offer into a precise, catchy, and available name. The best handles say a little about your account but are simple to use and easy to access. For example, if you’re a lady who’s crazy about cats, try CrazyCatLady (this one’s probably taken, but you get the idea).
That’s often easier said than done. If that’s the case with your handle, try doing some keyword research first.
Tip 2 – Keyword research
Look for keywords used by your competitors and search for them on Instagram. Use the profiles with the largest following as an example and try mixing a keyword with your name or your company’s name.
Strong keywords are usually all taken by now, which means that you’ll probably have to go through a trial and error process until you find one that’s available.
Tip 3 – Username generators
After doing some keyword research and failing to come up with one, a Username generator might be the solution you need.
You can find many such services for free on Google. Most of them will ask you to enter a couple of keywords and some other information to come up with an available handle. Here is an example created by Username Generator.
Changing Your Instagram Handle
Assuming you’ve already chosen your Instagram handle, you can update it if you’d like. Remember that changing this information will also change how others will need to look for your account.
To change your Instagram name:
- Open the Instagram app and tap on the profile icon in the lower right-hand corner
- Tap ‘Edit Profile’ which is located just under your profile picture
- Tap ‘Username’
- Make the edits you’d like
- Tap ‘Done’ in the upper right-hand corner
Frequently Asked Questions
If we didn’t cover everything you wanted to know already, keep reading for the answers to more of your questions about Instagram handles.
Can I use special characters in my Instagram handle?
Absolutely! Instagram offers its users quite a bit of flexibility in customizing their handles. Aside from letters and numbers, you can also use periods and underscores. Using special characters is especially beneficial for users who desire a handle that is already taken by another user.
Creating your unique Instagram handle could define your success on this social network platform. It’s a small but critical step towards building a large following, so take your time and try combining the keywords that define your services or type of content.
Choosing a handle can be a little tricky, so just take your time and don’t rush things.