Instagram For Business For Dummies
Book image
Explore Book Buy On Amazon
Your name and username are two of the most important components of your Instagram profile because they are the only two searchable criteria of your profile. When users type a keyword or name in the search field on Instagram, the app looks at only the username and name fields of accounts to determine if an account is relevant to that search query.

The username is the string of characters at the top of profile. The name is the bold text below the profile photo. If you want your business to be found by a keyword or phrase, be sure to include it in either the name or username for your account.

Choosing the best Instagram username

You must select a username when you set up a new Instagram account. Your Instagram username is how you are recognized on Instagram. All activity, from the content you post to how you engage with others, is associated with your username. The username is at the top of the profile.

Your username is the component of your Instagram URL that defines your account. It's delineated with the @ symbol when referring to you as a user. The URL for your Instagram account is

When you interact on Instagram, the username appears as


An Instagram username is limited to 30 characters and must contain only letters, numbers, periods, and underscores. You can't include symbols or other punctuation marks as a part of your username.

Choose a username that represents your brand, is recognizable, and, if possible, distinguishes what you do. Your username might be simply your business name or an adapted version of your business name, such as @louboutinworld, instead of Christian Louboutin. Or you might also include a word or two that describes your business industry or niche to further define who you are, such as @yorkelee_prints.

Choosing a username that is different than your business name may confuse Instagram users as to whether or not your account is the official account for your business. It's best to keep variations as minimal as possible to avoid confusion.

During the registration portion of your Instagram account, you're prompted to select your username. If the username you selected is available, a check mark will appear. If someone is using that username, an X will appear in the username field. Keep selecting alternatives until you find an available username.

Usernames are provided on a first-come basis. If you’re signing up for a new Instagram account using the web version, Instagram will populate an available username for you. Delete this username and type one that represents your brand. If the username you want to use is unavailable, you can use alternative options by adding periods or underscores to the username, by using abbreviations, or by adding another word.

There is little you can do to have an existing username transferred to your account if it's in use or was previously used by another account. If another account is using your registered trademark as its username, visit Instagram for information on how to file a claim of trademark violation.

It's good practice to read your username objectively before finalizing it. When you combine more than one word into a single username, without spacing, the arrangement of the letters may read differently or inappropriately to others. For example, @yourusername might be read as “You Ruse R Name” instead of “Your Username.” When this is the case, consider adding periods or underscores to separate the words within the username as follows: @your.username or @your_username.

After you select a username, all content linking to your profile is associated with the username's URL. If you want to change the username at some point, your URL would change and you would need to update all backlinks and links to that profile accordingly. This is why it's best to choose the right username when setting up your profile.

If you do want to change your username, follow these easy steps:

  1. Go to your profile on Instagram on either your mobile device or your computer.
  2. Tap or click Edit Profile.
  3. In the Username field, type the new username.
  4. Save your changes.To do so, tap the check mark, Done, Save, or Submit button (depending on the device you're using).

Choosing the best name for Instagram

Your Instagram name is visible only when someone visits your profile directly. The name appears in bold below the profile photo.

Your profile will perform better in searches and look more professional if the name and username are different. Having a name that's different from your username provides double the opportunity for keywords and searchable criteria in the Instagram app. Power users on Instagram take the time to craft good username and name components.

Unlike your username, which is one word, your name should be in proper sentence structure with capital letters and spacing. Your name (like your username) is limited to 30 characters, including spaces.

You can use your actual name or business name as your name on Instagram. Or you may choose to use an abbreviation or a commonly recognized description of your business. For example, if your business is a pizza restaurant called Farm Fresh Pizza, your username might be and your name might be Best Pizzeria in Boston.

You can be found in more searches on Instagram if you include a keyword or phrase in your name or username or both. If you didn't put a defining keyword in your username, you should include one in your name field, in addition to your actual name.

The name on your profile is not tied to your URL or other defining aspects of Instagram, so you can change it at any time. Consider adding or changing keywords, as necessary, to appeal to your target audience on Instagram.

If you want to change your name, do the following:

  1. Go to your Instagram profile, and tap or click Edit Profile.
  2. In the Name field, type the new name.
  3. Save your changes.To do so, tap the check mark, Done, Save, or Submit button (depending on the device you're using).

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Jenn Herman (jenns_trends) is a social media consultant, speaker, and globally recognized Instagram expert.

Eric Butow (ericbutow) is the author of more than 30 books.

Corey Walker (coreycwalker) is the owner of The Marketing Specialist in El Dorado Hills, California.

This article can be found in the category: