While you might already have developed a strategy for your Instagram posts, you may be neglecting a critically important element of your Instagram strategy. Your Instagram profile creates the first impression of your brand and is the backbone of your Instagram presence. It’s also your only chance to provide a clickable link anywhere on Instagram.
Your Instagram bio gives you 150 characters of prime real estate to show visitors who you are, what you offer, and why they should care, so it’s worth investing the time to get it right. With these Instagram bio ideas, you can be sure your profile paints an accurate and compelling picture of your brand on the social network Forrester Research called “the king of social engagement.”
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What’s included in your Instagram profile
Before you start developing Instagram bio ideas, you need to understand the key components that form the bones of your Instagram profile.
The text you enter in this field appears in bold at the top of your Instagram bio. You should include your brand name, of course, but don’t stop there. This field gives you 30 characters to work with, allowing you to include a variation on your name (such as Saturday Night Live – SNL), or a keyword or two to clarify what your brand is about and help users find you (like Headspace (mindfulness app)).
The name field is included in Instagram searches, so a strategic keyword here can help users find you… but avoid keyword-stuffing, which is a surefire way to turn potential new fans away.
This is your identity on Instagram, and it forms part of your profile URL, so choose carefully! Make your username consistent with your handle on other social networks so it’s easy for users to tag you on multiple networks at once.
This is the only place on all of Instagram where you can post a clickable link. You can change it as often as you like, so you can link to your newest or most important content (like your latest blog post or video), a special campaign, or a landing page that specifically speaks to visitors coming from Instagram. Try using a URL shortener with a tracking code to get real-time statistics on visitors from Instagram.
Your brand’s bio needs to explain who you are and what you do, convey your brand’s unique personality, and use targeted language to show your ideal audience that they have come to the right place. That’s a big ask for a small space—you only have 150 characters—so you’ll need to get creative and use a few tricks to make your bio stand out.
So, with your other profile elements in place, it’s time to tackle the Instagram bio.
How to write a great Instagram bio
Embrace the emoji
Even if you feel emoji are too cutesy to use on most of your brand communication, you may want to consider adding them to your Instagram bio toolbox. The emoji you choose—from faces to animals to the more restrained symbols like checkmarks and letters—create a sense of brand personality.
An emoji may not be worth a thousand words, but where character count is tight, the right emoji can tell visitors more about your brand than you possibly could with words alone. Take a look at how Asos uses a string of emoji in the example below to show visitors what to expect from their feed while creating a sense of the brand’s fun-loving approach. (Bonus points for the pointing finger used to highlight the clickable link.)
Note the use of the ghost emoji to introduce the brand’s Snapchat handle, a commonly understood emoji shorthand. Other emoji commonly used this way are the location pin (📍 ) to note your brand’s physical homebase or brick and mortar location, and the envelope (✉️ ) to indicate your email address.
If you’re nervous about dipping your 👣 in the emoji 🌊,, you can start by using emoji as customized bullet points. Seek out an appropriate emoji to introduce each item you want to include in your bio, even if it’s just a simple checkmark.
Break it up with spacing and line breaks
Line breaks and spacing allow you to break your bio into bite-sized chunks of information that are easy for visitors to scan, so you can highlight the most important things about your brand. In the example below, Vancouver blogger Rebecca Bolwitt (a.k.a. Miss 604) combines line breaks and emoji to highlight her personal brand.
Implementing this formatting can be tricky on your mobile device, especially if you’re using an iPhone or iPad. There are two ways to achieve this look.
- Mobile Method: On an iPhone, open up the Notes app and write out your bio as you’d like it to appear, including line breaks. Select all and choose ‘Copy,’ then open up the Instagram app. Choose ‘Edit Profile’ then paste the text from the Notes app into your bio field in the Instagram app and select ‘Done’ to save.
- Web Method: Visit your Instagram profile, select ‘Edit Profile’ and space your bio as you’d like it to appear, then click ‘Submit’ to save. Note that when you view your profile on desktop, it will appear without line breaks.
Line breaks and spacing don’t always work the same way for web and mobile views. Since Instagram is primarily a mobile app, you can prioritize the mobile look, but be sure to view your profile on both a mobile device and a computer to make sure it looks okay in both formats.
Use branded hashtags to collect user-generated content
Nothing creates a more compelling brand story than images of real people interacting with your brand. The easiest way to collect those images is to include a branded hashtag in your bio that gives Instagrammers a way to share their content for you to regram on your own feed.
Look no further than the GoPro Instagram account to see how this concept can be used to create a beautiful feed that gets people excited about using your product.
Branded hashtags are not just for products. PayPal combines emoji and a branded hashtag to set up a feed that showcases moving money as a deeply personal service, humanizing the brand.
Keep in mind that any hashtags you include in your bio are clickable in the Instagram web interface, but not in the mobile app. For more Instagram hashtags and how to make them work for your brand, check out The Complete Instagram Hashtag Guide for Business.
Include a call to action
Like any good marketing communications, your Instagram bio should include a call to action—what do you want visitors to do after they visit your profile?
Airbnb uses its Instagram feed to showcase tantalizing photos of homes available to book through the service. Since Instagram visitors are sure to have their curiosity about these particular properties piqued, Airbnb’s call to action is simple: “Book a home from our feed.”
What is your conversion goal for Instagram visitors? If you’re showcasing visually compelling products, like Airbnb, you might want to send visitors directly to a site to buy. But you might also want people to Like your page on Facebook, sign up for your newsletter, or take some other action that aligns with your marketing goals.
Be clear in asking your visitors to take this step, and be sure it aligns with the link you entered in your profile, which will appear immediately after your bio.
If your goal is to build an Instagram following, your call to action might be simply to ask visitors to follow your feed, or to share their photos with a branded hashtag.
With these Instagram bio ideas in hand, you’re ready to create a bio that showcases the best of your brand and compels visitors to like, follow, and even buy, all in 150 characters or less.
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