When your business is finally ready to take the plunge and start an Instagram account, you’ll need to choose your business Instagram handle. While choosing a handle might seem like a fast and simple process, it can get tricky when your name is already taken, if your business name is too long to fit, or if your business name can be phrased multiple ways. Here are some of our best tips for choosing your new Instagram username.

Why does your business Instagram handle matter?

Your customers want to find you to connect with you on social media platforms, but that’s hard to do if your business Instagram handle is confusing or hard to find. 90% of Instagram users follow one or more brands on the platform, and 50% of users have used it to find new companies. If you are making it hard to find your page, you’re missing out on a lot of potential business!

What makes a good Instagram username?

The best Instagram handle is something that is easy to spell, intuitive, and memorable. Ideally, it would also be available across other platforms so that you are known as the same thing everywhere. For example, imagine how confusing it would be to look for a bakery called Laurel Bakery Company and find that the Instagram username is @laurelbakery, the Facebook page title is The Laurel Bakery Company, and the LinkedIn page is Laurel Bakery Co. It’s easy to standardize across platforms, so you should always do so with your business’ Instagram handle.

What should you do if your business name is too long?

Instagram requires all handles to be 30 characters or less. There are a few ways that you can work around this by:

  • Abbreviating your business name (Co instead of Company, leaving off “The” at the start of your name, etc.)
  • Using an acronym (BYBCo instead of Because You’re Busy Co)
  • Shortening your business name (LaurelCakes instead of Birthday Cakes By Laurel)

As long as you are using the same shortened version of your name across different platforms, users won’t have any trouble finding your business’ Instagram handle.

What should you do if your business name is already taken?

There are a variety of strategies that you can implement if your preferred Instagram handle is already taken:

  • Incorporate your industry or product, like the beauty brand Charlotte Tilbury that used @ctilburymakeup
  • Leave out extra words like “and” or “the”
  • Contact the owner of the account if it’s inactive to see if they would be willing to give you the handle
  • Add “shop” or another word in front of your brand name, like the stationery brand Bando with the handle @shopbando
  • Add a descriptive word to the end of your business name, like the company Reach Fitness did with the handle @reachfitnessgym

Avoid adding additional extra characters to your username unless they are already part of your branding. For example, because.yourebusy is much more confusing than becauseyourebusy or because.youre.busy. Distributing the extra characters evenly makes things less confusing.

How can you change your Instagram handle?

If you are going to change your business Instagram handle in order to standardize things across platforms or for any other reason, there are some best practices that you should follow. Always notify your followers that your handle is changing. Add at least one post and story explaining the swap so that they will recognize your new handle and not think that they accidentally followed you.

If your old account had a large number of followers, you should also create a new account to hold that username during the transitional period. This is the only way to ensure that someone pretending to be you does not create an alternate account that takes followers away from you. You can also use this profile as a placeholder directing people who still think you’re at the old handle to your new profile.

Next, you will need to take specific precautions if you have a verified Instagram account. In order to keep the platform secure, Instagram has protections in place to prevent people from wrongfully transferring verified account ownership. Contact the Instagram Help Center ahead of time and before you change your handle to ask them to change the handle for you and ensure your verification won’t be lost.

Finally, you must update all of your social links to ensure they’re accurate. Where should you change your business’ Instagram handle and link?

  • Facebook
  • Newsletters
  • Your website
  • Your Google My Business profile (if it’s linked there)
  • Business cards (if applicable)

Get a Well-Rounded Digital Marketing Strategy With Because You’re Busy Co.

At Because You’re Busy Co, we offer a comprehensive range of services designed to help you master digital marketing without compromising the safety and security of your business. We have worked with hundreds of businesses interested upping their social media game. If you’re ready to start transforming your social media profiles or curious about our other services, visit us online or call us today at (410) 324-3934.