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Your Instagram business profile is not only a HUGE consideration for your Instagram marketing, it’s also a key touchpoint in the customer journey. How your Instagram profile looks and feels, and what it says, play a big part in whether people follow you or click through to your website, or leave without a second thought. Let's take a look at how you can optimise your Instagram business profile for success.
The Complete Roadmap for a Killer Launch
With most Instagram marketing, you're driving people back to your profile. And, this applies to almost all platforms. Today I'm looking at how you can optimise your Instagram profile, but I've also written about how to optimise your Facebook page here.
Your Instagram business profile is a key touchpoint in the customer journey. Your profile is the deciding factor between whether someone clicks through to your website to find more, and possibly buy or enquire, or whether they just hit back, and leave and never return again.
Now, there are a couple things that are constant across all social media platforms:
Basically, your Instagram profile needs to feel similar to your website.
Then, what do you want them to do next? Do you want to send them to your website? Do you want them to sign up your email list? You need to give your audience some incentive to take action. So, for example, a valuable blog post or a free download can be just the incentive that they need to click through from your profile.
Now, Instagram is a little bit different to the other platforms. Before you even start thinking about how you're going to make your feed look pretty, it's important you set up your Instagram account properly. This means no private profiles.
So, if you're running a business account, your profile should be set to public. Otherwise, people who visit your profile are going to see that they have to request to follow you. They're going to assume you’re a personal account, not a business, and they're going to just ignore you. They're not going to request to follow.
There are also rumours that having a business account limits your reach. So, a business account is when you link your Instagram account to your business Facebook Page and it basically gives you access to a bunch of other analytics and features you wouldn't normally have with a personal account.
I haven't found that having a business account has limited the reach of any of the accounts that I manage. Honestly, even if it has limited them a slight bit, I think it's totally worth it to have access to the analytics. And, if you're running an e-commerce business, it gives you access to having a shoppable feed, which means that people can click on your photo and it'll pop up with the link to your product and they can go straight to the product page.
This is huge because, up until now, Instagram has only let you have one link in your profile and that's generally the one that goes straight to your website.
The Complete Roadmap for a Killer Launch
Likewise with automated posting. A lot of people think that Instagram auto-posting has decreased their reach. It's still early days, but I definitely haven't noticed any decrease in post reach at all.
The other thing with your Instagram profile is your handle. Your handle is the username – the thing that starts with “@”.
Now, your handle should be something that is easy to spell out, so your audience can find you. If your desired handle is taken, rather than adding numbers or characters (like @stephtaylor123), try to put a twist on it – so, for example, @stephtaylor.co. Or, with Wildbloom, @wildbloom was taken so I went with @wearewildbloom.
You want people to be able to tag you in posts without having to search the depths of Instagram. So, if a customer has taken a photo of your product and they want to post it and tag you in it, you want them to be able to find you and not get confused and not have to try and work out which account is the right one. It should be super simple and it should be really memorable – especially if you meet someone at an event or say it on an interview, you should be able to just say it out loud and they should be able to remember you and find you.
Next is your headline, also known as the “name”. With most personal accounts, this is where you would actually put your first name and your last name.
This is the bit that appears in bold, so it stands out the most and you get 30 characters – so you want to make the most of them. Chances are that, right now, you’re just using it as your business name or your personal name – and that’s fine, but it's not really maximizing your Instagram real estate. You can use the space a lot more strategically.
If there are any leftover characters, like, if you’ve got a short business name or short name, you can use the space to tell people what you do using just one or two words. For example, for the Wildbloom one, our headline is “Wildbloom | Wellness Marketing”.
If you’ve got a longer business name, you can actually forgo having your business name in your headline completely – as long as it’s in your handle. You can actually just use the headline space to tell people exactly what you do.
For example, I could say “digital marketing strategist” or “digital marketing blogger” or something like that.
It’s kind of important to tell people what you do in your headline because (A) it's searchable – so say someone is searching on Instagram and they search “graphic designer”. If you've got “graphic designer” in the headline, then you're going to pop up in their results. (B) It's also one of the first things people see, so if they're scrolling through a list of followers or a list of likes, they'll see exactly what you do and then that'll tell them whether or not they're interested and whether or not they should click through.
The next step in optimising your business Instagram profile is your profile picture. This should be eye-catching, even at a small size. That means not using lots of text, making sure there's lots of negative space or making sure that it's a really high-quality photo, if it's a photo of yourself.
Make sure that the profile picture is aligned with your brand look and feel. If you're a business, then using your logo is probably the best option. If you're a personal brand, then a professional photo of you – preferably one that's clear enough so we can see your face. Ideally, with a nice cheesy grin. That works really well.
And then, you've got your bio. And, this is probably the most important thing that we'll look at in this episode, because there's definitely an art and a science to writing it. You're going to get a lot of different, conflicting answers from different people about how you should be writing it.
Honestly, there is no one way to write your Instagram bio. There are some that are really good that literally only have three words. Then there are some that are so detailed and really use the space that they've got. That said, you want to make sure that your bio tells people who you are, what makes you different, and why they should click the link below.
Ultimately, you don't own your Instagram following. Instagram can flip tomorrow and you lose all your followers – and, suddenly, you can't communicate with them anymore. So, you want to get them off Instagram and either onto a different social media platform or, preferably, your email list.
By making that link in your bio strategic (either to get them onto your website or onto Facebook or into your email list) you can retarget them, or you can send them emails if Instagram shut down tomorrow. That's probably the most strategic way to use the link in your bio.
Instagram gives you one link spot, so you do need to use it wisely. But, there is an app called Linktr.ee – and Linktr.ee is really good, but I've noticed this problem quite a bit now, where a lot a lot of Instagram users put, like, 20 different links in their Linktr.ee. Like, that's cool – it gives people lots of options, but you might as well be sending people to your homepage. You don't want to give them so many options that they get overwhelmed and don't end up clicking on anything. It's like when you sit down to pick a Netflix movie and three hours later you're still scrolling because you haven't decided what you want to watch, because there's about 10 that you want to watch.
Ideally, send them somewhere that they can opt-in and download a freebie. Ultimately, the goal is to get them onto your email list or to get them to follow you somewhere else.
A recent feature for Instagram is tagging hashtags or other accounts in your bio. Contrary to what a lot of people believe, adding hashtags to your profile doesn't make your profile discoverable under those hashtags – it just looks messy.
Why on earth then would you actually want to tag hashtags or other accounts in your bio? If you have a branded hashtag (so, for example, one where your customers take product photos and use a particular hashtag when they post them), it's an easy way for your followers to find all those posts. Or, say if you want to categorize your content (so, if you have a special hashtag for every funny quote that you post) then you could share that in your bio. People could click on that and it's all your funny quotes together.
If you have two Instagram accounts, then being able to tag another account in your bio is quite useful. You can direct people to your other account.
I know that's a bit overwhelming but that's really all there is to optimising your Instagram business profile.
The Complete Roadmap for a Killer Launch
I help online entrepreneurs just like you launch and relaunch their online courses, memberships, digital products and podcasts to reach more people, grow their audience and become the go-to geniuses in their industry