What’s an Instagram Handle? (+4 Ideas to Help Create Your Own)

Resources & Knowledge Base

Resources & Knowledge Base

Discover the most useful insights and information about digital marketing

Did you know Instagram has over 1 billion active users? With so many on the platform, it can be challenging to find one particular person or business. Enter the Instagram handle.

Download Now: Free Instagram for Business Kit + Templates

You can think of a handle as the address to your Instagram page. It’s also what people search to find you. An effective handle quickly identifies you while being memorable.

Here, we’ll discuss how to find and change a handle, ideas for creating your own, and whether it deserves a spot on your business card.

It’s easy to confuse an Instagram handle with your Instagram name. However, they both serve different functions. The biggest difference is that an Instagram handle is unique — once you choose it, no one else can claim it. An Instagram name, however, can be the same amongst multiple users.

36NIyWNIsFLg4ziIJeJ2Il7FCOffvQqzeB4wFq2Z3pK lgenN46MuLS4mWDDNNNK2yfS6aCnV5woPCYZC9AzaTJYJGwPjvjZp5ZXkiLBcpJ6dhJQNtKMV8w d0FG pNBINe0VgS1

An Instagram handle has several purposes — first, it’s what people use to tag you in photos, videos, and stories. For example, HubSpot’s handle on Instagram is @HubSpot, which users can type to mention the user in posts.

Second, it creates a link to your profile. If you change your handle, the URL to your profile also changes. Keep in mind that when you pick a new handle, you can’t switch back to your old one until 14 days have passed.

jP5rH5n5sH7XxMvgkMYfkb9PEuLqHvIiBnZUxijJ36Y1pFmee6Br3H2buNO67Jl9z9idWtFR29 qkziFsGrM01gtO3uCZS DI6k2BdPBGXk KqhioaAlF2NRy73YFfHu ApaptCS

How to Find an Instagram Handle

When you sign up for an Instagram account, you will be prompted to create a handle. While you can let your creativity take the wheel, there are some rules you need to follow:

  • Your handle can’t exceed 30 characters
  • It can only contain letters, numbers, and periods
  • It can’t contain symbols or punctuation marks
  • It needs to be unique

The hardest task is the last one — and may take some trial-and-error. To help, we’ve included four Instagram handle ideas to get you started.

Instagram Handle Ideas (+ Examples)

1. Keep it simple.

For businesses, a good rule is to keep it simple — usually by picking a handle with the name of your business. But if your business name is unavailable, you may need to do some finessing.

For instance, suppose you run a print shop, Mint Prints. The handle @MintPrints is the ideal option — but if it’s already claimed, you can alter it without changing its meaning. For example, you could add your location (@MintPrintsBrooklyn) or a word that describes your business (@MintPrintsDesign).

Later, we’ll discuss more variations to try if your first-choice handle is unavailable.

2. Relate the handle to your niche.

Whether you’re into fitness, photography, travel, dance, or art, a great tip for creating a handle is to include words that relate to your niche. This also adds personality and interest to an otherwise static profile.

Check out the example below from food author Lizi Heaps:


3. Avoid using extra characters and symbols.

When a user performs an Instagram search, it pulls up a list of profiles with the most relevant handles. Therefore, adding extra characters or symbols to your username could make it harder for others to find your profile.

Although handles have a 30-character limit, keeping it short and concise is better. Long handles are difficult to remember and harder to discover via search. For instance, which handle below is easier to remember?

Option 1: @SophiasFoodBlog

Option 2: @SophiasFoodBlogNYC5746

4. Add “The” or “I’m” in front of your handle.

As we discussed above, sometimes your ideal Instagram handle has already been taken. Luckily there are different variations you can try to craft another one.

One variation is to add “The” in front of your handle. For example, Faire Plaisir, a vintage homeware company, uses the handle @TheFairePlaisir on Instagram. This minor modification allows the brand to still use its company name, which helps with discoverability.

i6l9fzuMXIV4lJDUI8pD3GncrlGRvDv3DSs6gELFLYk3 WwlOiN5Ym9VqzqBrRHcvun XUuOzgKbPWV usQHN0HUDpNeKLQS9qh85Cpum0f GEIB lG7omc5TsfehfaLXTIJEIPz

Another variation is to add “Im” in the front of your handle. For example, actor Angela Bassett has the handle @im.angelabassett. This modification is better suited for individual or personal accounts than businesses ones.

mf9wcqbLCB3uBLieQU0bSL8E8XWXGt L6kRBSaSoowJdM3fBA20Y YygIrcFaQoncPXAYszE4Fd5N88Dvb2 BuLyymA3fwqnVL8475BaWczae48nsOcjiTNuQ68

How to Change an Instagram Handle

Before you pick a new Instagram handle, it’s important to understand what does and doesn’t change once you make the switch.

For one, your handle is a key part of your profile’s URL. If someone bookmarks or saves a link to your profile with your old username, they will be redirected to a page that reads, “Sorry, this page isn’t available.” The same goes for every tagged post, comment, and “like” from your old username,

Also, if you link your Instagram handle in an email signature, blog post, website, or business card, it’s essential to update this information — which can be a hassle.

If you’re starting to get cold feet about changing your handle, fear not — Instagram gives you 14 days to change it back. That said, there are valid reasons for changing your handle, such as rebranding.

nIso 8BiMmxLrq7RPeeVQp1Ryr5rstLpTnDG8H5EX9RcRaaWrGFSnYScDkVJZZJtHpbhB5a2CS4tIpDcyl7rZy ZZbOH

Here are four steps to change your handle:

  1. Navigate to your profile and click “Edit Profile.”
  2. Click on your username.
  3. Delete your old handle and type a new one.
  4. Click “Done.”

After you complete these steps, Instagram will automatically update your profile with your new handle.

Should I include my Instagram handle on my business card?

sWWMNNiCrBkptmHIMxVm TOHd3bJQ5gJ3aK2uHGVsQQRb5BMjS37DcoHUDtQYqWk9kQ6RmHWgy3Tq7Y8XL aK8LpTwQZCidf2c38WYHI8SVKaFc0W6my90P1s3r0jEq8GiKKXAK4

Image source

While social media was once a way to connect with friends and family, it now doubles as a networking tool. So much so, a number of professionals reserve a spot on their business card for their social media accounts.

But is this the best option for you or your brand? Let’s consider the benefits:

  • It builds and expands your network. Building your brand often goes hand-in-hand with building your network. Putting your Instagram handle on your business card encourages prospects to find and engage with you.
  • It puts a face to the name. Providing your Instagram handle gives prospects a chance to know you beyond the surface-level details. Having an online presence is also important to gaining trust and credibility.
  • It provides an additional communication channel. Having social media info on your business card lets prospects know that you’re open to communicating in different ways and contexts.

Of course, you also run the risk of crowding your business card with too much information — which is why I recommend linking Instagram only if it’s a platform that you actively engage with.

Final Thoughts

Although picking an Instagram handle may feel like a minor detail, it’s a key component of your digital brand. And with millions of users on Instagram, it’s essential to pick one that’s searchable, memorable, and relevant to you.

New Call-to-action

About Us

We are a full-service digital agency that drives results for companies through tech-enabled marketing solutions.

We unlock revenue growth for your business with our world-class expertise. Our team of experts has assisted thousands of companies with digital marketing projects to increase lead generation, quality and quantity of website traffic, phone call volume, conversion rate, and transactions.

With a custom strategy, we’ll help your business impact the metrics that matter most, from traffic to revenue.

Based on marketing principles, we tailor all of our work to meet the unique needs of each project by using tried-and-tested approaches.

Recent Articles

Follow Us

Subscribe To Unlock Premium Content

Sign up to receive our newsletter with the latest digital marketing tricks and hacks delivered to your inbox

Stay connected with us