How to Create a Stand-Out Instagram Profile That Attracts the Right Followers
Your Instagram profile page tells people what you’re all about. A strong profile will reflect who you are as a brand, include key messaging and a call to action, ensuring that the right people follow and engage with you.
Below are my top 5 inclusions for a strong Instagram profile.
Before we begin,
If you are a business, I strongly recommend that you switch to an Instagram business profile. As well as providing valuable Insights data to track your post performance and view follower demographics, a business profile allows you to include an address and create contact buttons (email, phone) so you can ‘spend’ your valuable character limit on telling your brand story instead of these boring-but-necessary items.
Right, let’s get into it.
How to Create a Strong Instagram Profile
1. A simple, clear profile image that is relevant to your brand
Time to ditch that blurry ex-boyfriend-cropped-out profile image. I know you look good, but it doesn’t accurately represent your brand. If you have a logo, I suggest using a simple version of this here (e.g. remove subtext if it is difficult to read). If you are a known personality then use a high-quality, well-lit photo of yourself (not group photos) looking at the camera. Ensure that whatever image you select for your Instagram profile is the same for all of your other social media accounts, e.g. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter etc. so that users searching for you can easily identify (and follow!) the correct account.
2. An eye-catching name
Your name (that bold text at the top of your bio) is the only searchable part of your profile so use this wisely. If your profile image is your logo then, rather than repeat your business name, use this text to outline what you do or create a strong first impression with a quirky welcome message in this space.
3. Your key offerings
In the bio itself (the written description under your name) list your key products, services, offerings. This needs to be clear so that people can quickly understand what value you offer and make an educated decision whether or not to follow. Remember that your Instagram bio is just 150 characters, including emojis. This forces you to be concise. Pick one key message and don’t forget the all-important call to action. Don’t worry, your URL is NOT included in this character count. Phew!
4. A clickable link
I see so many profiles without any kind of link in them. This is a wasted opportunity. If you don’t have a website yet, use this space to direct them to another social media account such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. If you do have a website, fantastic! But simply dumping people on the homepage can lead to a bounce rate that would make Andrew Gaze dribble (pun intended) with envy.
Instead, use this link to direct users to a specific area of your website that aligns with your call to action (see point 5 below). For example, if you have written “Read my blog” then take them directly to the blog page. Better yet, use a tool such as Linktr.ee to create a mini landing page with multiple link options. Click the link in my Instagram bio to see how I use it to direct people to various areas of my website and to my other social media accounts.
5. A call to action
This is a must-have. If nothing else you need to tell people the next step you want them to take (after they have followed you of course). Do you want them to click on your link? to DM you? or email? Tell them (nicely) what to do and what they will gain by doing so (e.g. “Click here for your free e-book”).
Optional Extras for your Instagram Profile
Emojis. I love emojis! They provide a fun and colourful addition and, as a picture paints a thousand words, a simple emoji can help you to navigate that tight 150 character limit in your bio. Using instead of writing “unicorn” will save you six characters!
Tags. In 2018 Instagram added the ability to include clickable @tags to Instagram bios. This is useful if you want to link your account to another, a sister brand for example.
Hashtags. Again, clickable hashtags are now available for Instagram bios and provide a great way to direct users to use your own company hashtag in their own posts (e.g. “Share your own Instagram profile tip using #shallwesocial”) providing valuable brand recognition and an easy way to collate user-generated content.
Highlights from your Instagram stories. Personally, I feel that that highlights form an essential part of your profile so much so that I’m going to write a separate post about Stories and how to make the most of your highlights section. Stay tuned for this.
A strong Instagram profile will reflect who you are as a brand, include key messaging and a call to action, ensuring that users understand what you offer and can make an informed decision about whether or not to follow you. This reduces follow/unfollow behaviour and ensures that the right people – that is, people who will engage with your account and hopefully convert to paying customers or clients – follow you.
The best part, none of this is set in stone. You can update your Instagram profile as regularly as you wish – changing the look and feel and key messaging to align with what’s current in your business.
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