How to Write a Killer Instagram Bio and Make a Great First Impression

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First impressions are important. Most people can attest to that. Once somebody’s initial opinion of you has solidified, it can be difficult to change their mind.

This extends to social networks as well. A bad first impression might cause a viewer to turn away from your page. At that point, it could be tough convincing them to give you another chance.

Instagram doesn’t offer much leeway when it comes to making an introduction. You are only given a small bio section at the top of your page. This means you need to optimize your bio to make the best impression possible.

Here are some tips on writing a killer Instagram bio that will engage viewers.

Name

Before doing anything else, you need to make sure that you have the right name. This is the first and most vital step in creating your bio.

Your name is how other Instagram users will be able to find and identify you. It is the only part of your profile that gets used in search results.

You need to use a name that your customers will recognize. Avoid alternate spellings, abbreviations or unnecessary words. Consistency across all of your social media accounts is preferable, as it avoids potential confusion.

You want your viewers to be absolutely certain that they are viewing the brand’s official Instagram.

Also, remember that there is a difference between your name and your username. Your username is the user handle at the top of your profile, while your name appears in bold next to your bio. You are free to edit your name whenever you want. Getting a new username, however, involves starting an entirely new account .

Profile picture

Consider where your viewers’ eyes will gravitate when they look at your page. They are most likely to look at the first visual element that appears. This is usually your profile picture.

Keep in mind the limitations you have to work with. Your profile picture is round, which means that the corners will be cut off. The focus of your picture should be close to the direct center. The image should also scale well, as your icon will be seen at a variety of sizes. Don’t pick photos that are too busy, or indecipherable when shrunk down.

If your picture has text, make sure that the font is clear and legible.

Some brands use their logos for their profile picture. This can work well, especially if your logo is distinct and memorable. Other brands like to feature images of the personalities connected to the brand. This helps with humanizing your business.

Who are you and what do you do?

Instagram has a 150-character limit for profile bios. There isn’t a whole lot of room, so you’ll need to be concise and economical in your word choices.

While describing your brand, think about what it does and what makes it unique. How can you communicate this in an effective and efficient manner?

Take a look at GoPro’s bio, for instance. It says everything you need to know about the brand and their products in very few words.

Starbucks provides another great example of a bio on their Instagram page. Note that it isn’t just a bland “We serve coffee.” Their description is infused with the philosophy of their brand. It elevates them, making them something more than a regular coffee chain.

Get creative. Express what sets your business apart from the others.

Link to website

Instagram doesn’t allow clickable links in the captions of posts. In fact, you can’t include clickable links anywhere except in your bio.

This presents businesses with an interesting challenge. You will need to carefully choose which link to put in this space.

The usual answer would be your main website, either the home page or a landing page designed for your Instagram audience.

On the other hand, you might want to link to your online store. This is the most direct way of converting traffic into sales. You can use Owlmetrics, our Instagram analytics platform, to get a custom link and track traffic to your website. 

Whatever option you go with, you should remember that this link can be edited at any point. You could even rotate among a handful of links if you wanted. Some brands do this if they have a specific campaign that they want to draw attention to.

Keywords

Unlike other websites, having keywords in the body of your Instagram bio has little impact upon search results. Some people discourage using them for this reason. They’re seen as a wasted effort.

However, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t worth putting in. Keywords serve the purpose of resonating with your target audience. Try to brainstorm which ones you want associated with the brand and its products. Certain words can evoke a mood or personality.

Be selective and sparing in how many words you use, though. There’s no point in overloading your bio with any extraneous words.

Approach it with a degree of practicality. For instance, if you sell clothing, you’d probably want to incorporate words like “style” and “fashion.” 

Additionally, keywords can be added onto the end of usernames, like “Starbucks coffee” instead of “Starbucks.” This is the sole instance where a keyword will show up in a search query. You should only do this if the keyword refers to the primary product that you sell.

Call to Action

A call to action (CTA) is an imperative statement in which you tell your viewer to perform an action. Common examples of this include phrases like “Visit our store at this page” or “Click to learn more.”

CTAs have long been a fixture in the marketing world. Their secret power is in the straightforward way that they urge a customer into an immediate decision without being too obvious. A well-written CTA is phrased in such a way that it doesn’t make the viewer hesitate before acting.

For example, a question like “Would you please download our app?” is more passive than the confident “Download our app here.” The latter is less blatant than the aggressive “You must download our app now.”

If you think you can fit a CTA in your bio, then by all means go for it. A good placement for a CTA would be right before your website link, like this:

You could also use a CTA to prompt viewers into using your hashtag.

Contact information

It’s always wise to display your contact information in a visible place on your page. You don’t want to make it a complicated process for somebody to get hold of you.

If you are on the mobile version of Instagram, then adding contact information is simple. You can consolidate it to a single button beneath your bio. It’s a handy feature, as you don’t have to use up any of your character limit.

However, this button doesn’t appear on the web version of Instagram. So if you believe that most of your page’s traffic comes from computer users, you still might want to include your phone number or email address in your bio.

Other necessary details

Does your business have a physical location? Is there a certain time period when it is open, or when you can be reached?

Include whatever informationsuch as your address or store hoursyou feel is relevant for your customers. Different types of businesses have different needs, so adjust accordingly.

Emojis

The beauty of emojis is that they can convey ideas and emotions in a single character. They are brilliant splashes of color that communicate attitude and add a visual pop to the page.

One way to utilize emojis is by selecting ones that relate to your product. This will help indicate what your business offers.

Another use for them is separating the sections of your bio. You could even put an email or a telephone emoji next to your contact information. This gives them a function aside from their aesthetic value.

Above all, emojis are just plain fun. Don’t be afraid to show viewers that you can be playful, friendly and lighthearted too.

Hashtags

As with keywords, putting hashtags in your bio won’t bring viewers to your page. If you are going to use them in your bio, they should be your own branded hashtags. This will be useful for any followers or visitors who wish to submit to your user-generated-content campaigns.

Coca-Cola is currently promoting their #ShareaCoke hashtag in their bio. Many of the submissions to this hashtag involve pictures of people enjoying a Coke, or showing off a bottle with their name on it from the wildly successful “Share a Coke” campaign.

Take some time to observe what your competition is doing. Learn from the brands that have already mastered the Instagram game.

About the author

Neal Hallenbeck

Neal Hallenbeck is a graduate of Adrian College. He is a freelance writer, media critic and computer game designer.

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