At a Glance
- Make your Instagram handle easy to remember and aligned with your brand.
- Follow Instagram’s handle requirements. Your handle must start with “@”, have fewer than 30 characters, and not duplicate an existing handle.
- Have backup name options prepared. Name generators can help spark ideas, but you’ll still need to verify handles aren’t taken.
- If your 1st choice isn’t available, use a 2nd option, or consider adding “the” or “I’m” to differentiate.
Being successful on social media is a key component to winning the battle for prospective and existing patients’ attention. One place to spend time is deciding what to call your account. Whether you’re creating a Facebook, X, TikTok, or Instagram name for doctors or other medical practitioners, it needs to be something that’s:
- Easy to remember
- Within the platform’s parameters
- Aligned with your branding
Although this article will focus on Instagram, creating your account name for any social media platform doesn’t need to be arduous. Let’s discuss the different avenues you can take to create the name for your practice’s social media presence.
What to consider when creating Instagram name ideas for doctors
Ideally, the user name, or “handle,” you create for your Instagram account will be one you can carry across all your other social media platforms. Doing so will maintain a consistent brand presence for your practice and make it easier for people to find you.
After all, there are over 143 million active Instagram users in the United States alone, and Instagram, as a platform, is the 3rd most-used social media site in existence. You want to be easy to find.
With that in mind, below are the things you want to think about when you are creating your Instagram handle.
1. Keep your Instagram name easy to remember
Chances are you already have a medical practice website. Would your registered domain name work well for your social networks, too?
“Consider how people address you — the name they would use to look you up online. ”
When creating an Instagram handle, many people will use some variation of their name. If this is the direction you want to go, consider how people address you — the name they would use to look you up online. For instance, would they first look for:
- Dr. Jason Bourne (@Dr.JasonBourne)
- Dr. Bourne (@Dr.Bourne)
- Dr. Jason (@Dr.Jason)
- Dr. JB (@Dr.JB)
- Jason Bourne, M.D. (@JasonBourneMD)
Chances are that whatever they call you when they come to see you is what they would first consider as their search parameter when trying to find you on social media.
2. Stay within the platform’s requirements
Instagram has guidelines that must be followed when creating a handle. Therefore, it’s essential to know these things:
- Your Instagram handle begins with an @ symbol. Using additional special characters is prohibited other than this beginning @ symbol.
- Instagram allows a maximum of 30 characters for a handle. This includes the @ symbol that begins your handle, numbers, and periods. This by no means suggests that you should use all 30 characters — in fact, the shorter your Instagram handle, the easier it is to remember. Additionally, the various social media platforms have different character limits. For example, X’s (formerly Twitter’s) handle has a limit of 15 characters.
- You can create up to 5 different Instagram accounts and handles associated with 1 email address.
- Search Instagram for the handle you want to use to ensure it isn’t already in use. If someone already has it, you need to try your second option.
Starting your Instagram handle process with multiple naming options is in your best interest to keep things easier when creating your account.
3. Be consistent with your practice’s branding
Your brand is the mental image you create or are creating to help people remember you and your practice.
“You want an Instagram handle that your current and prospective patients will easily associate with you and remember. ”
Do you have a weekly newsletter you send to your email subscribers? If so, is your newsletter's name aligned with the brand you are creating — the image, phrase, or descriptor you want your patients to think of when they first think of you? This could also be a viable option when creating your Instagram handle.
Maybe your newsletter is related to your specialization:
- Dr. Bourne’s Healthy Heart (@Dr.BournesHealthyHeart)
- First Bourne Pediatric News (@FirstBournePediatricNews)
- Dr. J’s Holistic Health Tips (@Dr.JsHolisticHealthTips)
The bottom line is that you want an Instagram handle that your current and prospective patients will easily associate with you and remember.
Another way to create an Instagram handle
If the thought of wracking your brain to create a new Instagram handle feels like it’s completely outside of your scientific brain’s wheelhouse, you have another option.
There are sites designed to create options you can consider for your Instagram handle. Some of these options include:
- The Instagram Username Generator (IUG) asks you to provide some basic information to help it search for viable options. First, click on the advanced search options link to open a secondary window. This allows you to provide more specific information to keep your search cleaner. The fields you complete include providing a name or keyword, a specific field category (i.e., health), and the minimum number of options you want the tool to generate. Once you’ve provided this information, click “generate,” and you will have a list of options in mere seconds.
- SpinXO gets more detailed in its questionnaire. For this tool, you will provide 1) a name or nickname, 2) an adjective describing what you’re like, 3) hobbies you have, but since this is a username for your practice, be sure to keep the hobbies section specific to your specialization, 4) things you like — again, this needs to be practice-related, 5) important words such as keywords you use for SEO purposes on your website, and 6) the maximum number of characters the generator can use. Click “spin,” and you will see a list of suggestions shortly.
- Lingojam is one of the more popular Instagram name generators. However, you only provide your name or keyword and tell it to create name options for you. With such limited input, you are likely to receive many names that you will find irrelevant or off-base for your purposes. It is still an option you can use.
Additional Instagram name generator tips
Name generators are also a way to help get your creative juices flowing, allowing you to create something more specific to your practice. Take note of multiple options in case your preferred option is already in use.
“Name generators are also a way to help get your creative juices flowing. ”
It’s important to note that although an AI-based name generator creates options, you will still need to search and verify the handle isn’t already taken. Using a name generator doesn’t ensure exclusivity.
A possible solution when your 1st choice of a handle is taken
If, after you conduct a search for your preferred Instagram handle, you find it is already in use, consider whether adding “the” or “I’m” in front of the original handle will set you apart and still be easy for your followers to remember.
Would adding a period somewhere in the handle be easy to remember and work for what you’re working to communicate? Should you determine it’s a viable option, conduct a new search and determine if the revised handle is feasible.
If you still find your 1st option isn’t available, you don’t need to be frustrated. You’re prepared for this possibility because you already have a list of more than one option. Try option 2 using the original naming convention or adding “the” or “I’m” to the beginning.
Should you put your social media handles on your business card?
Your business card is the method people use to keep track of how to contact you. So, is there a downside to helping them find you on your social media platforms? Not likely.
The only time this wouldn’t benefit your practice is if putting your handle(s) on your business card creates too much clutter in the available space. A creative way to combat this concern is to utilize both the front and back of the card. Put your social media handle information on the back of your card.
Additionally, if you’ve been able to use the same handle for all of your social media accounts, it would only take 1 line of space to add the appropriate logos along with your handle that is available across all listed platforms.
Final thoughts on Instagram name ideas for doctors
If you’re still unsure whether creating an Instagram handle is the right way for you to go, consider that 62.4% of all social media users choose Instagram to research or follow products or brands.
Even if we limit that only to the active Instagram users in the United States, you have a potential population pool of 89,232,000 nationwide. Granted, you wouldn’t want that many followers, but it can assure you that plenty of people out there want to learn from you.
So, create an Instagram handle that will make you both easy to find and memorable.
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75% of people look online to find a doctor. Patients take a critical look at web presence, online business profiles, and reviews when they decide to pick a health provider. Learn where your practice should be online in the 2023 Patient Perspectives report.