2020, the year of COVID-19 of has been a year of change, rapid change. Over the last decade retailers the world over have noticed a shift from brick and mortar to online. COVID has supercharged this shift, strapped a rocket to it and sent it into the stratosphere. In this online arena, social media and particularly Instagram has become increasingly important. Social media doesn’t just have the ability to direct users to deals, but it can engage, grow brand identity, and create communities – powerful stuff! Now if you still thinking how much time and effort your brand needs to put into social media, two things to consider:
- There has been a 30% increase in online sales in the first months of 2020. And with continued concern about shopping on the high street, this trend will continue.
- Instagram is taking over. Instagram is growing faster than any other social network. And a key aspect of an Instagram account is its bio.
This article will break down what an Instagram bio is, the power of Instagram, what you should be aiming to achieve with Instagram, and the different elements of an Instagram bio which allow you to do this.
What is an Instagram bio?
First impressions count, and your Instagram profile is the first thing people will see once they find you, it is the cornerstone of your account. Presuming you want to garner attention, convert visitors to followers, and get people heeding you calls to action-you need an excellent bio. The type of Instagram bio that tells people what you offer, who you are, why they should care. You have 150 characters of opportunity, opportunity to paint your business any which way you like. So how to do it?
Getting attention and maintaining it.
Let’s stop and consider what we’re trying to achieve through an Instagram Bio:
- Get people visiting your Instagram bio
- Convert visitors to followers
- Follow Call to Actions
These three points are interconnected, the greater the number of your followers you have the more likely they’ll follow calls to action, and you’re more likely to get new visitors – simple! To do this you need the attention of your audience, and then once you have it you need to keep it.
Currently the average attention span of a human being has dropped to a bewildering 12 seconds, the attention span for Gen Z (24 an under) is even lower, at 8 seconds – one second less than a goldfish! Two important things to consider about this; firstly should we be concerned for the human race? I’m not sure, but for online retailers you should probably be clear on your brand identity and present it properly. Secondly, you should listen to Gen Z, ‘ahh but they’re not my target audience’, well research by BigCommerce has shown how older generations look to Gen Z for advice on online retailing, they have huge influence.
They are changing what is considered important in a brand and shopping. Brand affinity, ethical consciousness, online community, and emotional buying is here. And how are you meant to include this in the Instagram bio space? Read on.
The rest of the article includes lots of sexy ideas for the individual elements of a bio, but if you don’t do the following three things you won’t get visitors’ attention and you certainly won’t hold it. Make sure you’re clear on the following things and follow this through the different elements of the bio.
- Tell them what you can offer. This sounds simple, but if you don’t say it clearly, and clutter your Instagram bio, your message is lost.
- Tell them who you are. Personality is a key player. Consumer behavior and reasons for engagement are changing, people want brand affinity, meaning they want to know who you are. Do you know who you are? Sounds like a silly question, but when people reach your Instagram bio you need a clear, coherent message. TIP: In the same way you’d use adjectives to describe a friend, how would you describe your brand’s personality? Write down three adjectives and stick to it-they are your backbone.
- Show them why they should care. More and more people are shopping with their emotions, consumers want to know whether your company is aiming to have a positive impact. This means showing (where ever possible) your corporate social responsibility, social consciousness and environmental awareness.
The Elements of an Instagram bio and how to write them
Username/ handle @ecomitize_llc. At the very top of your Instagram bio you’ll find your username it’s really important to consider how effective your username is – does it include your primary keyword related to your business? Sounds simple, but if it isn’t you’re missing out on traffic. Is your business best known through the use of an abbreviation? Think British Broadcasting Corporation = BBC. If it is then definitely use it, this and abbreviation could actually be considered as a primary SEO word. Check out Saturday Night Live’s Instagram bio.
Picture. The first thing people will be drawn to when viewing your Instagram bio will be your profile picture. This literally show’s people who you are. With visuals being processed 60,000 times quicker than written text, this is something you need to get right. Remember people are drawn to personality. Don’t just pick any old picture. Do pick something which is consistent with your @handle. Consider – does this work together with you’re the written aspect of the bio? Does this convey your personality properly?
Name. Handle and name, should they be the same? One thing is for sure the @handle and name are searchable parts of your bio-meaning if someone types into the search bar something included in either handle or name you’ve got a high chance of coming up. You’ve already used your brand name in your handle, should you repeat in the ‘name’? You could, but think about it, why not include a keyword (the one you think your most identifiable by), maybe consider using a secondary keyword, spread your net further and you’re likely to come up in a wider variety of searches. Check out Conscious Kin’s bio with two great examples back to back.
Website. The only part of your Instagram bio where you’re allowed to post a clickable link. And this is only available on a business account, if you don’t currently have one, make sure you do. The URL is not permanent, meaning if you have new content, offers, or news you want to share you can update the URL whenever you see fit. Tip: We did say this is the only clickable link allowed, what we didn’t say is there’s currently free tools, such as URL: bio which allows you to multiple links through a single URL, link to your eCommerce page, or other social media channels.
Category. The category tab comes right after, and quite simply allows people to see what you do. The neat thing about the category field is that is freeing up space in your name or handle, or bio to use one of your SEO optimized keywords.
The Bio. The grand stage. This is your 150 character opportunity to tell people about what you offer, who you are, and why they should care. It’s not a generous amount of space, and so you have to be clear on the message you want to convey and make use of the below tools.
Hashtags. Are a simple and highly effective way to link tagged content. They don’t take up too much space, and will make your content more discoverable and draw attention from a greater number of users. A branded hashtag also allows you to distinguish your content from others.
The great thing about hashtags are they can be interactive, and you can use them as calls to action.
Do consider using campaign specific hashtags such as the one used by Lays #DoUsAFlavour. Why? The audience wants to engage and share their opinions-this time about their favourite flavours. It allows you to track audience engagement, and increases traffic.
Do, tell customers you may share their photos using your hashtag. Topshop pick user generated photos using the hashtag #TopShopStyle, and displays them on their Instagram- who doesn’t want to be the face of TopShop? It’s a win, win-you get more exposure and so do the people using your hashtag.
Do, think about how you can use niche hashtags. For example, if you’ve already used the hashtag #healthyfood you then need to get a little more specific, what is your healthy food? #falfaeltime! This first hashtag is now giving you broad exposure to a larger audience, where as the second hashtag is going to allow people specifically looking for falafel a chance to find your instagram account, and get engaged.
Quotes. Remember, this section allows you to show your brand personality and your ethically conscious business credentials. Using a quote from a published author or even another brand, shows affinity to a particular belief or idea, and most importantly perks the curiosity of the audience who want to relate their values to your own.
Emojis. Ahh emojis, love them, hate them, they seem to be ubiquitous. And yes you can use them in your Instagram bio – if you choose. Instagram is one of the most aesthetically pleasing social media platforms out there. Marketing is about telling stories, and symbols are a great way of conveying your message, and brand personality.
But, and this is a big but, research by the journal of ‘Social Psychological and Personality Science’ has shown although impressions are heavily influenced by emotional responses such as smiles, contrary to actual smiles, smileys ‘do not increase perceptions of warmth and decrease perceptions of competence’. Don’t make your business look silly.
Important. With the whole of your Instagram bio, if you’re not sure on the style of writing, hashtags or what emojis to use, go back and ask yourself ‘who is my audience’. Create an ‘audience persona’, a make believe potential customer, put yourself in their shoes and consider; what they want, their goals, pain points and what they relate to. It’s easy to get lost whilst playing around with the aesthetics of things, and end up missing out what you’re actually aiming for.
Be clear on the purpose of this small but powerful space, you’re there to show what you do, your brands personality and why they should care. Know who you are and what you want to show people, a consistent brand message is paramount- you don’t want some illegible emoji’s, and out of context quotes to put off your audience. Instagrams
You now have the tools to make a great Instagram bio. The kind of Instagram bio that can and will draw people to your account, convert visitors to followers, get followers sharing your message, and even buy your product.
Want to create a first class social media marketing campaign, which includes an Instagram account which works? Ecomitize is here to help you make this a reality. Get in contact with the team to find out more!