Ever noticed that there are some accounts on Instagram you just HAVE to follow? I mean, even if you’re not into cats on Roombas (who isn’t, though?), there is SOMETHING about the account’s profile that draws you in and lets you know they’re going to brighten your feed every day.
This is not an accident, my friends. There are things you can do to create that same desire to follow and like in others – to make your profile more attractive.
You know what they say about first impressions, right? This is true in life AND online. It all starts with a profile that pops. Here are eight Instagram profile ideas to make sure yours is among them!
Start by making sure you have an Instagram Business account. Some of the suggestions below will not work on a personal account. Plus, you’ll want access to analytics and maybe someday – advertising options. All set?
Instagram Profile Idea #1
Use a Photo That’s Really You
This is the photo other Instagrammers see when you share an image, make a comment, appear in notifications, or when someone checks out your profile. So, should you use your logo or a photo your own irresistible mug? It all comes down to which one is most recognizable as your brand! ?
If your brand IS you, Are you fun and a little zany? Or maybe you need to be seen as trustworthy and serious. Whatever the case, your Instagram bio photo really needs to encapsulate all that in one teeny tiny photo. No pressure. 😉
Tailwind member Color Me Courtney does a great job with her Instagram profile overall, but it’s her photo that really draws you in. Don’t you just want to be her BFF?
Then there’s superstar Marie Forleo. She’s approachable, funny, confident. And that’s reflected in her Instagram profile photo. Get the idea?
Obviously, there will be some exceptions where using a face wouldn’t make sense. For example, if you’re larger company with a recognizable logo, you almost need to use your logo to reassure people that they have found the correct account.
Whatever the case, make sure the photo is bright enough to be seen on mobile, and never use a poor-quality or fuzzy photo. First impressions, remember?
Instagram Profile Idea #2
Pick an Identifiable Username
Your username is that one-word lowercase “handle” that serves as your Instagram URL. So, for tailwindapp, the URL for the account would be https://instagram.com/tailwindapp. You have up to 30 characters here (no symbols or spaces). It’s also what people will use when they mention you in a comment. So try to make it memorable – it’s your Instagram identifier.
If you already have an established Instagram account and want to change your username, think long and hard about it – you’ll need to make changes to any place you’ve used that username in the past – guest blog posts, business cards, etc.
Instagram Profile Idea #3
Choose a Searchable, Meaningful Instagram Name
Your Instagram name, on the other hand is your display name on your profile. You have a bit more flexibility here (30 characters/spaces to be precise) to work in your keywords.
The name on your Instagram account does not have to match your username exactly. In fact, for most people, expanding on the username to use keywords or explain what you do makes a lot of sense. For example, “AMRAP Life | Active Wear”.
If you’d like to capitalize on search, try logging out of Instagram and search the name you’re considering using. Do you have a chance of appearing in the results? Might people actually search for that term in Instagram? If so, go for it!
Changing your Instagram name doesn’t require you to go back to fix links (as would changing your username), so while it’s not something you want to change often, if you need to optimize it, feel free.
Instagram Profile Idea #4
Write an Instagram Bio that Sizzles
You get 150 characters here, so make them count! Tell people what you do, who you are, and what they can expect to see from your Instagram updates. Most importantly, tell people WHY they should follow you.
Obviously, your business type will dictate how personal you get in your Instagram bio. Love the sass from Jenn’s Trends.
Many people get a bit squeamish at the thought of writing their own Instagram bio. If you’re one of them, ask a friend or a few – what do I do? What am I good at? What words pop into your head when you think of me? Use those to formulate a really fun bio that gets people excited to learn more.
Use emojis to add a little fun, and format your bio to make it easier to read. ?
How to Format Your Instagram Bio
- Write your bio in an online character counter tool so to keep it to 150 characters or less. Use an emoji dictionary to make sure you choose universal emojis.
- Add in line breaks where needed.
- Copy and paste to your Instagram bio on desktop. If copying from your online character counter tool, try pasting into Notes, Notepad, Evernote, or even a Facebook status update before you paste it to your profile in Instagram.
Note: You will not see the formatting on desktop, but when you switch to your phone you will!
Instagram Profile Idea #5
Choose a Business Category
Though this may not SOUND particularly glamorous, adding a category to your business account allows you to tell viewers more about you (“I’m a fashion model” or “I’m a local restaurant”) without taking up any of your precious bio real estate.
You’ll need to set this information from mobile, not on desktop. Here I’ve chosen News & Media Website.
Instagram Profile Idea #6
Set Your Instagram Contact Options
Make it easy for people to contact you directly by adding contact options to your Instagram profile.
With a business account, you can add an email address for click to email, a phone number for click to call, and a physical location people can tap to get driving directions. Add as many as make sense for you.
Again, you’ll need to set this from your phone or tablet. Contact options on Instagram are not visible OR editable from desktop.
Pro Tip: If you don’t want to add your actual address (if you work from home, for instance), consider adding at least your city and state. When you do, your location will be shown in your bio. People love to know where you are – and you could easily attract the attention of people who prefer to shop local!
Instagram Profile Idea #7
Make the Most of Your One Instagram Link
Most Instagrammers have one link – the one in their bio. Make sure it’s trackable or your Instagram referral traffic will be categorized as “direct” in Google analytics. D’oh! ?
Pro Tip: When using a bitly link, you can customize it to make it clear where they’re going. Simply create a new shortlink in bit.ly. After you hit the “CREATE” button, the “CUSTOMIZE” box pops up. As long as no one has used your customized link before, make it whatever you like!
Instagram Profile Idea #8
Create an Instagram 9-Grid that Dazzles
But it can be difficult to picture how attractive new content will look in your feed before you post it. Don’t worry – Tailwind has your back. Our 9-grid preview will allow you to see how content will fit into your feed before you hit “share”.
Ready for your own Instagram Profile Makeover? Snag our “Instagram Profile That Pops” check list, see how yours stacks up, and optimize it today!
Start a Free Trial of Tailwind for Instagram!
- Schedule photos and videos directly to your Instagram feed with Auto Post.
- Optimize every post for more engagement with SmartSchedule and Hashtag Finder.
- Automatically hide your post’s hashtags in the first comment to keep your caption clean & clutter-free.
- Make your posts more discoverable with user tagging & location tagging.
- Analyze what's working across every post and profile with smart analytics.
For such a tiny piece of online real estate, your Instagram profile is a powerful little property! Make the most of the space you’re given by utilizing all the fields Instagram offers to business profiles. Spend the time to make it pop with the eight Instagram profile ideas above and you’ll make a beautiful first impression and attract all the right people! PS – Don’t forget to get your checklist!
Check out this live (and lively) discussion with me and Jeff Sieh of Manly Pinterest Tips.
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Alisa Meredith is the Content Marketing Manager at Tailwind – a Pinterest and Instagram scheduler and analytics platform. She is a sought-after speaker and teacher on Pinterest and Promoted Pins in particular, having spoken at Social Media Marketing World, Agents of Change and appearing on The Art of Paid Traffic and Social Pros podcasts. Alisa has invested heavily in becoming an expert in her craft – realizing (and loving) the fact that the learning never ends! She lives in coastal North Carolina with her pampered pets Pepe the couch potato Cavapoo, and more cats than she’d like to admit to.