If you’re on social media for your business, you’ll know that there are millions of similar businesses to yours out there.
Research tells us that someone browsing online will make their mind up about you and your business within seconds. This doesn’t give you much time to impress those browsers. This is where your all-important Instagram profile is crucial – you need to find a way to capture that audience as quickly as possible.
To capture that audience, you need to be both creative and have a strategy.
Here are a few steps you can take to help you grab their attention.
Choose an image
For your business Instagram profile, you can use either a photo of yourself or an image of your logo. Either works well. I prefer to see photos, so I know the person behind the business, but either is acceptable.
Optimise your Instagram name
First of all, your name. Make sure that this is optimised with your name and a searchable keyword.
For example, say you are a photographer and specialise in new-born and family photos. You could include what you do in the name field – Jane Doe, newborn, and family photographer. Then in the category, you may choose to use Photographic Studio. This tells your audience what you do and that you have a dedicated studio for your photography.
Ensure you use a keyword that your audience are likely to search for and what you are known for.
Tell your audience about your skills
This can be difficult and takes some planning as you only have a limited number of characters to use to get your message across.
This section needs to cover what your business is about and who you are targeting.
Reiterate what you do. You could use a mix of sentences and bullet points to entice people in and giving them a bit more information about you. For example…
Make lasting memories of your newborn & family.
- 10yrs exp
- South England
- Book via website
- Natural photos to treasure
This is very simple and straightforward but highlights exactly what Jane Doe does on the tin.
In the profile you can add a link, so add one to your website if you have one.
Use relevant keywords/phrases
Although Instagram won’t use these words or phrases in any searches, as searches are conducted on your name and username fields, using keywords can help you connect to your target audience and appeal to emotions. In the example above, think ‘lasting memories,’ ‘newborn,’ ‘family,’ ‘natural photos to treasure.’ They are all things we’re looking for if we want family photos.
You do need to know your target audience, so this is where a bit of work comes in to determine who they are, what they want and how you can give it to them. Your keywords or phrases will address their pain points and give them a solution to what they’re looking for.
Drive traffic to your website
As I mentioned above, your profile can include a link to your website. Although it is planned to be able to use more than one link in future, now, you can only use one.
So how do you choose? You might have a website, a blog, or an Etsy shop. You might also have a link to sign up to your email that you’d like to use. But you can only use one link!
You can opt for just one, or you can sign up to something like Linktree. It’s free to sign up and works by you creating a landing page on the Linktree site, which features multiple links to your other sites. You simply copy and paste your Linktree landing page URL into your Instagram bio and instantly your followers have access to all the things you do.
The only time I would change the link on your bio from Linktree, is if you are running a special promotion or offer. Then I would advise to change the URL to go directly to your shop, landing page or wherever your audience can get instant access to your offer. Sending them to Linktree, and another step in a chain to get to what they want, may put potential customers off. If you have an offer on, they want to get there as soon as possible.
Have a CTA (call to action)
Linked to driving traffic to your chosen link is a CTA (call to action). Put a sentence that tells people what to do…visit my shop, for example with an arrow pointing down to your chosen link.
Add your contact information
You can add your contact details to your business profile on Instagram. This includes your email address, phone number and actual address.
The best part about adding these is that it doesn’t take up any character space in your bio!
Once you have all the information that you want to convey to your audience, use any extra characters to be creative. You can use emojis, either just for fun, or to highlight bullet points or your CTA.
Instagram always encourages its users to make use of hashtags. A hashtag, such as #newbornphotographer is used to categorise content and make it easier to find. You can click on hashtags and Instagram will show you a page that shows all posts tagged with that hashtag. So, it’s useful for getting your page found.
Instagram tells us that we can use the maximum number of hashtags in every post, which is 30, and up to 10 on a story. If you try to include more, your comment or caption won’t post.
But just because you can use 30 hashtags, it doesn’t mean you have to. There’s no right number, but the general opinion I’ve seen recently is that 10 or 11 is good for posts and just a few on stories. It’s best to do a bit of trial and error to see what works best for you. I tend to use around 10-12.
Who would guess there is so much to think about when doing your bio? As a quick recap, your Instagram bio or profile is the first things visitors see, so it’s important to make a good first impression.
Follow the simple steps I’ve mentioned, and you should be on the road to making that good impression. It’s worth taking your time to get it right.
Once you’re happy with it, show it some of your friends, or ask people in one of your networking groups to have a look and give you some feedback.
And remember, it’s not a ‘do it and that’s it’ thing either. It’s a good idea to revisit your bio every few months to make sure that it is still relevant to what you do, and still aimed at your target audience, as things can change.
Check out my blog page for more marketing help and tips to help you grow your small business.