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Should I Use My Real Name on Instagram?

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It's a difficult decision deciding whether or not to use your real name or an alias for your Instagram account. People have found quite a bit of success with either option with careful consideration on what is more beneficial for their account. Keep reading below to find out some of the pros and cons to using your real name, as well as some tips to come up with a good alias if you decide to go that route.

When considering whether or not to use your real name for your Instagram account, keep in mind that it is more beneficial to use your real name in your username instead of your name field. The reason for this being, your name field is actually a trigger for keywords. So instead, use your name field to reflect the content of your posts.

Here is an example:

Erin has used her real name in her username space. Anyone who knows her username, can easily find her. For her name field, she has put “Health and Fitness Coach.” Any time anyone searches for health and fitness, her account comes up as one of the accounts related to the search.

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Pros of Using Your Real Name on Instagram

In general, if you are trying to grow a large following, using your real name or the real name of your business is much more effective. Here are a few definite benefits to using your real name on your Instagram account:

  1. 1. Growth

    If you are trying to grow a following, using your real name if you are running a personal brand or niche makes it much easier for people to find you. If your account is a business account, it would be best to use the name of your business.

  2. 2. Copyright

    Using your real name makes your professional and/or copyrighted content easier to trace back to you.

  3. 3. Personality

    When you attach your real name to your niche or business account, it can help bring out your personality within the account, which makes your content easier for your followers to engage with.

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Cons of Using Your Real Name on Instagram

Using your real name on Instagram can also have its cons. Thankfully, social media has come a long way to help protect your personal information; however, in a world with hackers and harassers, information can occasionally still be stolen and/or misused.

Here are some additional cons to using your real name on Instagram:

  1. 1. No Privacy

    Your public and personal life will no longer be separate. You will be known for your niche/business. Whatever you say or do on Instagram will be associated with who you are.

    This can become a problem if you were trying to keep your niche secret or separate from your family, friends, and/or work colleagues.

  2. 2. Fake Accounts

    Allowing your followers to know your true identity may increase the possibility of people making fake accounts impersonating you. As frustrating and annoying this could possibly be for your PR, ironically enough, it doesn’t always mean it will hinder the growth of your account. You may lose some followers to these other accounts, however, it can make your name better known, helping others find the real you.

  3. 3. Harassment

    If you are not careful enough with the content you post, any of your “haters,” dishonest, or inappropriate followers can use that information to their advantage. For example, if your account becomes really popular and you reveal you are going to be at a certain location, one of your followers may try to come and intercept you.

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Alternative Names for Instagram

Using an alias can be almost as or just as effective as using your real name if you put enough thought into it. You’re going to want a username that sets your account apart from others so people are intrigued with what you have to offer and can easily find you.

Here are five tips for coming up with alternative names for your Instagram account:

  1. 1. Make It Unique

    Make sure your username stands out from others. If its too similar to other accounts, it may be hard for potential followers to keep it separate from others and/or follow the wrong person.

  2. 2. Keep It Simple

    Make sure your username is easy to remember.

  3. 3. Make It Reflective

    Try to come up with a username that reflects either who you are or your business/niche. You want your followers to associate your name with your content.

  4. 4. Keep It Consistent

    Use the same username you use for other platforms to make it easier for any cross-followers to find you.

  5. 5. Don’t Use Symbols

    If at all possible, try to avoid using too many if any odd characters or symbols in your username such as @, -, $,&, etc.

Some examples of alternative usernames others have used are:

Upon coming across fitlittlemeg, it’s pretty easy to assume that her account has something to do with fitness. Her username is simple and reflective of who she is and what she is trying to accomplish. Notice how she has utilized her name field as “Health and Business Coach.” This is great, as whenever someone searches for health and/or business, her account is one of the ones that shows up.

The username fooddreamer is an excellent, simple, yet reflective username that followers can easily relate with. Who hasn’t dreamt about food? The username fooddreamer also eludes comfort food. Sure enough, on further inspection, you can see she offers healthier, keto recipes on some of your favorite comfort foods – ice cream bars, cookies, cheesecake, etc.

Another great example of an alternative username is sweetmeowss. It’s unique and special that would draw any cat lover in. Notice once again the name field, drawing in searches for cats, kittens, and pets.

Deciding whether or not you want to use your real name or an alias for your Instagram account is ultimately up to you. Using your real name is generally more effective and easier to bring on a following. However, if you are not comfortable with that route, with enough thought and creativity, you can do just as well with an alias. Think about what’s best for you and the content you want to be posting. Be creative, and go for it!