If you keep hearing people say, “what is your handle,” it can be very confusing. Is it your name? Is it your profile’s URL? We’re going to explain handles, why they matter and shouldn’t just be anything, and how you can use them in your branding.
And if you don’t choose a handle that you like, you can change it.
We’ll be showing you how to change your handle step-by-step in a coming section and answer some of the burning questions that you have.
What is an Instagram Handle?
Your handle is your username. If you open your app, you can find your handle by following the steps below:
You can also just open your app, go to your profile and look at the name at the top left of the screen.
This is your username.
If you think it’s “not important,” imagine if you went to “instagram.com/nike” and it wasn’t the actual Nike brand.
Even if you’re not using Instagram for personal branding, it’s important for you to consider your account as a brand. You never know who will land on your page. It may be a friend, parent or even an employer.
You don’t want your Instagram handle to be:
- Something you’ll regret in the future
Creating a Handle for Yourself or a Personal Brand
Whether you have an account already or plan on creating a new Instagram account, you should think of your account as a personal brand. You can choose a handle that includes your:
- Real name
- Online name
- Company name
By “company name,” view this as your own online brand. We’re not talking about an LLC, but let’s say that your name is Bruno and you’re a photographer. You may want to have a name that is consistent across all of your social media accounts.
Cohesion will allow your followers to find you wherever you are on social media.
Imagine if The Rock had handles that were:
- Therock on Instagram
- Rock on X
- Rocky123 on TikTok
You wouldn’t have an easy way to find him or the content he shares across his social accounts. If you want people to be able to find you on any social platform, be sure your handle is consistent.
The tips below will help you create a handle you’ll like now and in the future.
Tips for Creating an Instagram Handle for a Personal Instagram Account
So, what should your handle be as a personal brand? That’s up to you, but we recommend that you follow some of these tips:
- Keep it simple. If your handle is Ilovecats488327, no one will remember it.
- Shorter is ideal. Every additional number or letter in your handle will make it harder to remember, so keep it short.
- Create a descriptive handle. PhotographyJen, Traineralice, fitnesslover, etc.
- If the handle is taken, try adding “Im” or “The” to the handle.
Creating a Handle for a Business👨💼
Business handles are also important because you need to have full control over your brand. We recommend the moment you start a website or open a business, you:
- Create accounts across social sites with the handle
- Search to see if the handle is available
While most of the same tips from the personal handle section apply to business, we do have a few unique tips to help.
Tips for Creating an Instagram Handle for a Business Instagram Account
Business names may be taken already, or you may be part of a franchise. What we recommend is that you:
- Try using your full company name as your handle
- Add the location to the handle as a franchise “DunkinNYC” or “DunkinUpwardRd”
You’ll want to keep the handle as short as possible and avoid using any special characters that may be confusing for people to type or remember.
How To Change Your Instagram Handle
What if you want to change your handle? Maybe you created your Instagram account years ago and your name no longer represents who you are as a brand or creator. What can you do?
The great news is that it’s really easy to change your Instagram name. Here’s how it works:
Your account should now display your new handle.
Changing your name won’t reset your account, meaning you won’t lose followers or the content you posted. However, your followers will now see your new name in their feed and may not recognize your account. That may cause them to unfollow your account.
How Often Can You Change Your Handle?
Changing your handle is easy enough. But how often can you change it?
If you just want to switch back to your previous username, you won’t have to wait 14 days.
While Instagram gives you a lot of freedom to change your handle, you’ll still need to wait a few weeks if you want to change it more than two times.
Make sure that you choose a handle you like, so you won’t have to change it often – or ever.
4 Tools to Help You Pick a Handle
Struggling to find the perfect Instagram handle? Generator tools can help you come up with ideas or inspire your creativity.
Here are a few to try:
Your Instagram handle is how your followers will recognize your account. For most business users, it will also be their brand name.
It’s important to choose your handle carefully and with the future of your account in mind. While you can always change your handle in the future, you may lose followers if they don’t recognize your account name. Use our guide and the tools above to choose the perfect handle for your account.