Welcome to Weekly Wisdom by SEMrush. In this episode, we will see how to optimize your Instagram profile and also how to create a nice feed, even if you don't have a lot of resources.
Before we start, I would like to give you a little bit of background about myself. My name is Andrea, and I am the founder of Webing and Webing Academy —a growth marketing agency. It is a location independent agency. We launched this way more than 10 years ago, and we were one of the first agencies in the world to be based on a 100% location independent model. Today, we also do a lot of online courses and also offline workshops in select working spaces in many different countries. And in my career in the past 20 years, I have been managing more than 700 campaigns on digital channels for many well-known brands and also for a lot of exciting and really great small firms.
Optimizing Your Instagram Bio
Now, let's see how to optimize your Instagram bio. The Instagram bio is essential, because it is the first thing that people see when they come to your profile, and it is imperative it is prepared in a way that engages with your potential follower immediately. There isn't much space, so we need to really plan and carefully prepare a nice and effective bio. Let's see how to do this.
First thing to keep in mind is that you only have 150 characters available, so in these 150 characters, including spaces, you need to condense all your business information, all your brand positioning, and all the benefits you offer with your products. So it is essential that you plan well and you add some symbols or emojis, so you make the bio look nice and less boring than just adding text.
Also, you should have your own branded hashtag; this is very important because having a hashtag allows your followers and customers to tag you in their posts. It is really important that you try to promote it as best as you can. For example, you can add something like, "Use this hashtag to be featured." If you sell products and your customers take photos with these products, they can be encouraged to post photos that could be re-posted by your Instagram profile. This is something that a lot of customers love when brands re-post their photos.
Creating the Right Kind of Link
The profile is the only place where you can have clickable links, apart from the stories, which we won't be talking about today very much. It is very important that you add the right link, and your link could be the link to your website, or better, to a landing page or your online shop if you have an e-commerce site. Make sure you prepare a link which is shortened and also includes a UTM. We will see this in a bit, what I mean by adding the UTM in the link.
Creating Logos That Will Work
Make sure that your logo looks nice, even when it is small. If you have a horizontal logo or a large logo which doesn't look nice when it is small, maybe it is time to prepare an alternative version of the logo so you can use it on your Instagram bio or anywhere you need to. You have the option to add a logo in a small format.
It is essential that you add a UTM link so you can track all the direct traffic coming from Instagram in your Google Analytics. You can see in this example that I added a campaign named Instagram:
I also added as source "link bio," which helps me to understand that all the clicks coming from this link are from Instagram, so it is really important. You can use several tools to add the UTM and then shorten that link to make it look nicer, so you don't have a very long set of characters on the nice profile that you prepared.
What happens is that when you go on Google Analytics, and you go under acquisitions, campaigns, all campaigns, you will see all the exact clicks and visits that you got through your Instagram bio, so it is really important that you use UTM links.
Optimizing Your Instagram Feed
Now let's discuss how to optimize your feed, which is the second most important thing that you have on your Instagram profile. Once people go to your profile, they are deciding whether to follow you or not. So if they visit your profile, they need to see immediately below the bio the photos and all the videos that you have posted.
It is critical that you plan your profile carefully, you use only high-quality media, and you try to inspire people. Tell brand stories. Tell the benefits of your products. It is vital that you post nice and high-quality content. I would always advise create great content because otherwise, you have to work much harder to convince people to follow you.
Let's see a few examples, and this is one of my favorite profiles on Instagram.
As you can see, it is very unique, and all the posts are really creative. She is an art director, so she is showing you her capabilities. Once you visit this profile, the first thing you think is, "Wow, it really looks nice."
These are a few other examples of Instagram profiles. Some of them use the grid method to display photos, so they use six or nine or even 12 different images to create one single large image. Or, like the one in the center, you can see that they use individual, beautiful photos, which look even nicer when you see all the puzzle together.
These are just a few ideas; you can see what is necessary for you to create a nice feed that will make you stand out.
What if you have no photos?
You can also create feed even if you don't have any photos. There are a lot of free resources, free photos that you can use to create your compositions and maybe even videos. One idea is to re-post images of your customers. Keep looking for photos posted by your customers, maybe who used the branded hashtags we were talking about earlier.
Also, allow people to take beautiful photos in your shop or even in your office if you have people visiting you often. Try to prepare natural settings, using patterned wallpaper, for example, or create areas in your shops or your office where people think, "Oh, that would be a nice place to take a photo." You can encourage people to take photos and post photos, and that will really help you.
Also, make your products photogenic. Whether you post, you ship your products to your customers, or you have a restaurant or any other shop or point of sale where you have people, clients, customers visiting you and getting the products in the premises. Just try to make it look beautiful and photogenic so people will actually take photos of the products and post them on Instagram.
This image is just a photo of ice cream, but it looks great. It is an ice cream that people can buy in the box. Customers can buy the cup of ice cream and create this kind of composition with the ice cream. It is very different if you see an ice cream like this.
Below is an example of a customer taking a photo in a bar. As you can see, sometimes if you have the right customers, let's say, you can just the take photos and re-post them, or post them, or monitor Instagram and see if your clients took any photos.
You can also search for locations. Just find photos that you can re-post on your profile. You can also get free images online, on websites like Unsplash and many others. If you are starting from zero and you don't know what to post, or you don't have anything, make a list of your main topics and main subjects and then look for related pictures. And when you find some pictures, you can add some easy customization, like in this example. Contact me on Twitter for the link.
And you can also create quote posts. Just add the photo and add another layer over the photo with another color, and then write a caption or a quote, something creative and meaningful for your audience.
And also, pay attention to your caption. Whenever you have to write a caption, make sure that this caption includes a call to action, because if you want people to do something, you need to ask them. You cannot just expect that they will do something on their own.
So that is it for this episode. In my next video, we are going to see how to grow your engagement. It is going to be a little more technical and hands-on and practical. Make sure you don't miss it. If you have any questions, post them in the comments, and I will be happy to reply. Enjoy the rest of your day.