Part of optimizing your Instagram for your small business is making sure that the bio on your profile page is engaging, informational, and can direct your ideal client to your best content. There are a few different components of your Instagram bio, which I’ve broken down for you here:
First things first, you’ll want to make sure that your account is turned to a business account instead of a personal account. Business accounts give you access to more analytics and features than a personal account.
Q: Should I use my Headshot or my Logo?
If you are a service professional where your personality is the cornerstone of your business, you may want to use an on-brand Headshot (Read: What is Branded Photography and Why you Need it in Phase 3 of the Small Biz Start Up Guide). For example, if you are a coach, nutritionist, real estate agents, hair dresser, plastic surgeon, wedding planners, wealth management. Studies have shown that social media profiles have higher conversion rates when their profile image is a smiling headshot than when it’s a logo.
On the other hand, if you’re a brand, you’ll want to use a high resolution version of your logo…or even better a submark. (Whats a submark? We cover this is Phase 3 of the Small Biz Start Up Guide). Keep in mind that the profile image on your instagram page will be shown very small, and cropped to a circle so avoid using the longer format of your logo, because it will likely be unreadable at such a small scale.
This is where a lot of small businesses make mistakes. This is the part in your profile that shows up bolded. Instagram will default this to whatever your handle is. If you instagram handle is descriptive enough, I suggest changing this to something that is more search friendly. For example, for the @startupguide.biz instagram, we changed the Name from “Startupguide.Biz” to “#BizMode Entrepreneur’s eBook.”
This is specific to business profiles. You can choose your category from a list of preset categories that Instagram provides. Pick the one that is most specific to your business. Pick your category and subcategory that best describe your small biz and will help others find you.
Start using emojis and hashtags that can become synonymous with your brand. For Small Biz Start Up Guide, we love using the yellow notebook emoji 📔, and the #BizMode. This is a great way to create brand consistency, and grow your community!
Here’s where you can really make a great impression for potential followers on Instagram. You’ve got a limited number of characters here, so you’ve got to get a little creative. The description is a great spot to share an adapted version your mission and vision statements. Ours for Small Biz Start up Guide is:
Our Instagram description is adapted to: “5 phase, no-fuss, 100+ pg e(work)book that helps entrepreneurs w/ small biz planning, legal and branding process. 📔 #SBSUG #BizMode Get yours! 👇”
Earlier this year, Instagram announced that you can include @ mentions and hashtags in your Instagram bio. As you can see, we’ve decided to include #SBSUG (the acronym for Small Biz Start Up Guide) and #BizMode (our catch phrase). Hashtags are a great thing to include in your Instagram Bio because visitors can click through to see all the images populated by that hashtag. Pick hashtags that are specific to your business instead of general.
Your bio should always end with a call to action. As you can see on the @startupguide.biz instagram, we have a “Download Now! 👇” at the end of our description which points to the hyperlink to (at the time this blog was written) download the Master Timeline.
You have to think of your Instagram profile as your chance to make a first impression on a potential customer/client. Your profile page should be clear, concise and representative of your brand, mission, vision and goals. Your images should be curated to show of your aesthetic, and your captions should showcase your voice and engage with your community. (More on brand authenticity in Social Media Marketing in Phase 3 of the Small Biz Start Up Guide).
Instagram allows you one hyperlink in your Instagram Bio. You can use this to your advantage by making it really easy for your audience to hop over to your website from within the Instagram app. (Better make sure your website is mobile optimized! Covered in Phase 3 of the Small Biz Start Up Guide). There are a few different ways you can use this link to your advantage:
Link your Website - The most obvious link to put here is the homepage of your website. This is to the point and easy to understand, but you may be missing an opportunity for a call to action. If you’re going to use this method, you definitely want to make sure that the mobile version of your site is easy to navigate, clear enough to understand and organized so that someone can end up adding a product to their cart or filling out a contact form almost immediately.
Use Link Tree - Link Tree is a free (but they also offer a paid upgrade) service that turns the link in your instagram bio into a series of buttons that you can hyperlink elsewhere on your site. Link Tree is great for listing a variety of Calls to Action such as: “Read the ___ Blog,” “Download the ____ Freebie” or “Sign Up for the Newsletter.” You’ll always want to include a link that gives the person an option to contact you for the product or service that you provide. The free version of Link Tree is sufficient for most small businesses, but you are limited to their set of fonts and colors, so if you’re looking for the really seamless brand experience, the paid option might be better for you.
Create a Hidden Web page with buttons only - If you’re proficient in Squarespace or other website builders like Wordpress, Wix, Weebly etc. (we cover the difference in Phase 3 of the Small Biz Start Up Guide) then you might want to make your own hidden URL. I suggest making it something like "startupguide.biz/instalink." From there, you’ll create a series of buttons that can direct people to the other action points on your page, whether that be your shop page, testimonials, blog, about, portfolio or whatever you wish.
Route to a single lead page - A lead page is a URL with only 1 action on it, usually a box to input information in exchange for a freebie (downloadable content). The methodology here is that the less clicks someone has to make to receive what they are looking for, the higher probability that they will do the thing that you want them to do. Make sure if you’re going to add the link to one specific lead page, that your lead page is not up for forever, and that you give visitors a way to see the rest of your content. Before we launched the Small Biz Start Up Guide, we wanted to get people who might be interested onto our Pre-Launch email list. So instead of sending them to a website that didn’t yet have the option to buy our guide, we created a cover lead page in Squarespace with an option to join our pre-launch list. (We cover email marketing and list building in Phase 5 of the Small Biz Start Up Guide).