September 21, 2022
Your Instagram bio is potentially your one and only chance to convince someone to hit the “follow” button. Learn how to optimize your bio in this article.
If I told you that your Instagram bio is the most important thing about your Instagram account, would you believe me?
Forget the pictures and captions, the compelling Stories and informative IGTVs. If your Instagram bio isn’t clear, compelling and action-driven, you’re missing a huge opportunity.
Because your Instagram bio is potentially your one and only chance to convince someone to hit the “follow” button.
Almost three-quarters of people look up a brand on Instagram and they make up their minds about whether to follow them in less than a second. That’s why it’s so important that you make your bio the best possible showcase of who you are and what you’re all about.
This means that even when you’re offline and not thinking about Instagram, your bio is doing all the work hard for you, turning strangers into new followers on autopilot.
To achieve this, you should include 6 essential elements within your bio:
Keep reading to find out about these Instagram bio tips in more detail and by the end of this blog post, you will have your very own optimized Instagram bio ready to go!
Depending on your brand or business, you will likely have either your face as the profile image or your brand logo/colours. Both serve important purposes.
Using an image of yourself (if you are a consultant, service-based business, strategist or educator, for example) will help people put a face to the account and start to build that crucial know, like and trust factor with them.
Using your brand logo and/or colours, will create an immediate and lasting impact on your audience, and helps increase brand recall value. This means that people will immediately recognize your brand when you pop up in their feed.
Just make sure that your profile image, whether you or your logo, is clear and high quality. It’s a very small image, so you want to make sure that if it’s a shot of your product it’s not misleading.
The last thing you want is for people to mistake your soap brand for a cake company! I once worked with a toiletries brand, whose best selling product (that they’d used as their avatar) resembled a slice of cake from a distance. To remove any confusion, they replaced the image with their brand logo.
The next step to creating an optimized Instagram bio is your name.
But you’re not going to use this section just for your name – oh no. You’re going to see whether it’s possible to include a keyword to help improve your searchability.
If you go by your brand or business name on Instagram, then this alone may take up the 30 character limit.
However, if you’re using your name, consider using just the first name so that you have space to include a keyword to describe what you do/your USP. For example, [name] + “vegan baker”, “SEO specialist” or “pet psychologist”.
Your name and username are the only fields that Instagram considers in the search queries, so this is the perfect opportunity to pop up in your target audiences’ feed when they search for your expertise or product.
Bonus tip! If you don’t have room in the “Name” field to add your USP, consider switching the two fields around like @maggiemagoodesigns has done. For example, include your name in the first line of the “Bio” field, and your USP in the “Name” field. This means you won’t miss out on showing up in the search results.
Your official Instagram biography (the “Bio” field in your profile) is where you add your offer or USP (unique selling proposition). In other words, what you do that sets you apart from the competition and/or your promise to your target audience – i.e. what you help them to achieve. And with only 150 characters available, you need to think carefully about what info is most relevant to your audience.
If you’re a product-based business, include your USP or “secret sauce”. Why should people follow your brand over your competitors? For example, prescription glasses company Glasses Direct makes the bold statement that “No one does prescription eyewear quite like us 😉.”
If you’re a service-based business, make sure that what you do and who you do it for is super obvious. For example, mindset and life coach @alexkatehare says: “I empower wild-spirited but unfulfilled women to trust themselves and live the life they dream of living.”
This section of your Instagram bio is another great opportunity to include keywords – particularly if you weren’t able to include one in the “Name” field. Using keywords here helps to connect to your target audience and gives your account a clear identity.
Think about the keywords that align with your values and the values of your target audience. What problems do they face (that you help to solve) and what interests light them up? Using keywords that resonate with your target audience will remove any chance of ambiguity and help them figure out whether you are relevant to them.
Bonus Instagram bio tip! If you can, try to keep your Instagram bio as short as possible to avoid it being truncated. The majority of people won’t take the extra step to click “more”, so if you’re finding it tricky to shorten the copy, just make sure to include the most important information as close to the beginning of your Instagram bio as possible.
A super simple but game-changing addition to your Instagram bio is to include a call to action (CTA).
It might sound silly, but for people to do what you want them to – to sign up to your free resource, to check out your latest offer, to enquire about your services – you need to tell them.
Use action verbs such as join, download, visit, grab, and sign up, and if you’ve got the space, include emojis to help drive home the point. The use of the downward pointing finger emoji, for example, will help nudge new followers into the next stage of your Instagram funnel, converting them from a follower into a subscriber, customer or client.
With only one place on Instagram to include a link, it’s important to think carefully about the one you select.
Don’t just choose a generic home page to link to in your Instagram bio. This is a waste of precious space! Remember what we said before about having less than a second to make a positive and lasting impact on people?
As soon as someone new lands on your account, you want to maximise your chances of turning them into an email subscriber, customer or client. So what free resource or offer or cool, upcoming event can you send people to, so that they have no other option BUT to sign up, buy or register? Linked to tip #4 above, you want to make sure that your URL aligns to your call to action.
If you’re stuck between which URL to link to in your bio, then a tool such as Linktree could be the perfect solution. Linktree enables Instagrammers to connect to multiple destinations on the Internet all from one link, which is particularly helpful if you’re trying to attract a few different audience personas. Or, if you’ve got a brand new blog post and a limited-time-only offer you don’t want people to miss.
Last but not least, what contact buttons are you going to include in your Instagram bio?
If you have an Instagram Business profile, you can choose from a selection of buttons that include: reserve, book, get tickets, email, contact (to call) or message (to text/WhatsApp).
When deciding your contact buttons, consider what would be the quickest and best way for people to get in touch with you. This is their direct line to you, so make sure that whatever number or email address you have linked to the contact buttons is active and checked regularly.
Bonus tip! Once you’ve updated your Instagram bio, take another look at it with a critical eye. Better yet, give it to a trusted (and honest) friend and ask them: is it super clear what I’m offering? Will my target audience know I’m talking to them? Am I giving them a clear action to take? You don’t want there to be any room for confusion, so be as critical as you can and make adjustments if necessary.
Once you’ve got the Instagram bio essentials down, now you can start to think about some of the creative ways you can take it to the next level.
Here’s what we’re going to look at:
When used strategically, Instagram Stories Highlights are a great way of connecting with new followers and sharing information that doesn’t fit into a space-limited bio.
You can include Stories here like “About me/us”, “FAQs” and “Most read blog posts” or “Best loved products”. These kinds of Highlights provide more relevant content for your target audience to engage with and help to build the valuable know, like and trust factor with them from the moment they land on your profile.
And the best part is, Highlights can be saved on your account indefinitely (until you choose to delete them) so certain topics – such as the “About me/us” Highlight – won’t need updating for months, if ever.
Emojis can be a great addition to an Instagram bio, thanks to their ability to provide instant understanding, convey emotion and draw the eye. For new users deciding whether to hit “follow” or not in less than a second, emojis could work wonders!
And, according to a recent report, four in 10 millennials said they would rather communicate with pictures than with words. This is how many consumers are now consuming content, so why stop at emojis in your captions? If you’re able to include some in your bio, do it!
Here are some ideas to get you started:
In addition to adding relevant hashtags to your Instagram bio, why not include your branded hashtag?
Branded hashtags are great for promoting and gathering user-generated content (UGC). Plus, they’ll encourage your existing followers to get into the habit of posting with it if they see it every time they view your account.
Try not to use more than three hashtags (including your branded hashtag) within your Instagram bio, and don’t forget: hashtags don’t make your profile discoverable within those hashtags. However, they’re a great tool for community building, so even if you don’t yet have a branded hashtag, now might be the time to create one.
In addition to contact buttons, it might make sense for you to include your physical location and operating hours. Particularly if you’re a brick-and-mortar shop, or running a local service-based business.
If you’re using an Instagram Business profile, you can include your physical address within your bio without having to use up any additional character space. And having that clickable link to your store location can really help to improve footfall through your doors.
However, even if you’re not running a brick-and-mortar store (you might be running a pop-up shop or event), there might be an instance when it makes sense to include your location and operating hours. This will give your audience clarity on where, how and when to get in touch with you.
If you’re using an Instagram Business profile, you’ll have the option to choose a category. Being able to indicate whether you’re a restaurant, a public figure, a blogger or an artist, for example, is easier to do via the category field and means you don’t use up any precious bio space.
It’s always a useful exercise to analyze Instagram bios of established brands and businesses to see what tips and tricks you can use for your own.
Let’s look at some examples from the following categories:
Simmi Shoes / @simmishoes
A smart tactic for e-commerce shoe brand, Simmi, is the use of its website in the “Name” field to keep the URL top of mind for anyone new landing on the account. To be a “Simmi girl” (global girl, brains, beauty, and badass) is a core part of the brand’s philosophy, so its included the branded hashtag #SIMMIGIRL in the first line of the bio to encourage UGC.
Paper and Cities / @paperandcities
Print, cards and stationery brand, Paper and Cities, uses emojis to convey a light-hearted personality. For example, the flexed bicep emoji to encourage people to use the account’s branded hashtag and the heart emoji in place of the word “heart”.
Teachable / @teachable
Teachable’s Instagram bio is short and compelling. Its keyword (“online courses”) is included in the “Name” field and it has its powerful one liner offer in the “Bio” field. The brand’s use of downward pointing finger emojis nudges people to join the brand’s meetup group.
SugarCoated MuaHijab / @sugarcoatedmuahijab
SugarCoated MUAHijab uses emojis and space to create a rich but easily digestible Instagram bio. The line breaks help the eye keep reading, and the short lines of text gets new followers to the call to action quickly.
F. Mondays / @fmondayscoffee
Local coffee shop, F. Mondays, includes the most valuable information in its Instagram bio: the year it opened for business, its opening hours, location, and then a fun list of emojis to represent the food and drink it serves.
George Northwood / @georgenorthwood
The Instagram bio of hair stylist (and salon of the same name), George Northwood, packs a lot of information into a limited space. Three calls to action are included, with a great use of emojis to allow people to scan through and see what action they’d prefer to take. And, the clickable address of the salon is included to speed up people’s decision making process and remove any questions about whether the location is feasible or not.
Emma Gannon / @emmagannonuk
Multi-hyphenate Emma Gannon has a brief but punchy Instagram bio. Rather than using full sentences, she’s included emojis and the titles of her projects (e.g. her podcast CTRL, ALT DELETE), which is ideal to capture the attention of new people straight away.
Hetty McKinnon / @hettymckinnon
Cookbook author and food writer Hetty McKinnon has a relatively “clean” bio (not many emojis) but uses line breaks to keep the reader’s eye moving. Her bio is broken up into helpful sections: “My books”, “My magazine”, “My podcast”, and “My recipes”, so that new followers have a choice between what content they want to consume first.
Now that we’ve walked through these Instagram bio tips, are you ready to put them into action?
With just 150 characters to utilize, you want to make sure you’re showing off your personality and giving people a compelling reason to hit “follow”.
So be really critical. Once you’ve updated your existing Instagram bio, ask yourself whether it’s now click-worthy or if it’s still a bit “meh”. Are you using the space to boldly claim exactly what it is you do/who you do it for, or is it a little confusing?
The great news is, once you’ve optimized your bio you’ll only ever need to make minor tweaks for timely updates e.g. events/offers. That means you’ve ticked the most important Instagram task off your list for the foreseeable future!
Is your Instagram Business account well-optimized? Run a quick audit courtesy of Iconosquare.
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