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Instagram Bio Ideas: 9 Steps to Crafting the Perfect Copy for Your Brand

The Instagram bio often is treated as an afterthought—a line or two about your company you hastily fill out when creating your account.

In reality, your bio is valuable social media real estate that welcomes users to your profile, creates a first impression of your brand, conveys key information about your business, and turns profile visitors into followers and followers into customers.

But aside from writing a catchy company description, how else can you optimize your profile to make the most of your Instagram marketing efforts?

What is an Instagram bio?

An Instagram bio is a small summary, found underneath your username, about yourself or your business. In your Instagram bio, you can include a short description, contact information, emojis, and more, provided you keep it under 150 characters.

Your bio can include one external link, hashtags, and a username, which you can customize separately from your handle (i.e., @user). Remember, your bio is one of the main things people look at when deciding whether or not to follow you on Instagram—so make every piece of information count.

What your Instagram bio needs to accomplish

It may not seem like you have much room to work with when you consider everything your profile should accomplish. Good Instagram bios will:

  • highlight essential information about your business (your brand name, category, etc.), which you can change in your profile settings
  • provide Instagram users with a way to get in touch with you
  • showcase your brand and your personality, matching your voice and style to your site and other social platforms
  • establish your unique selling proposition, helping your target audience understand what makes your brand valuable to them
  • drive valuable actions, such as sharing or viewing content, registering for an event, or heading to your site to make a purchase

Luckily, there’s an array of Instagram features you can use alongside your written bio that help cover these considerations and create a profile that helps users quickly understand your business, what you’re selling, and how they can take further action. The tips below will help you understand how to make money from Instagram and drive traffic more effectively with a perfect bio.

7 elements that make up your Instagram bio

Before we get into how to make the best Instagram bio, let’s take a look at the elements that make up this part of your profile.

1. Profile photo

Your profile photo is one of the first things people will notice in your Instagram bio. Make sure you use a photo that:

  • is easy to recognize and of high quality
  • captures the essence of your brand
  • is consistent across your other social networks

A business’s logo is often perfect for their profile picture. Keep in mind the minimum profile picture size is 110 x 110 pixels. Stay below 200 x 200 so visitors don’t see a stretched or blurry photo when visiting your profile.

2. Username and name

Your username is one of the most important aspects of your Instagram bio. It’s located at the top of the bio and determines how people search for your brand. Use your business name if possible. If it’s already taken, make sure your business name is at least the first part of your username. People searching for your business account are more likely to find it that way.

3. Description

Your profile description is the core of your Instagram bio. Here’s where you have 150 characters to showcase your company and encourage customers to take action.

4. Clickable URL

Clickable links are not allowed anywhere on Instagram outside of the Website field in your bio. Add a link in this box to send visitors to your website, a Messenger bot, a specific campaign, or anywhere you want to drive traffic.

5. Business category

The Category section shows up under your business name and is generated by the category chosen on a linked Facebook page. Indicating your business type will give visitors a better, immediate idea of the products you offer.

6. Call-to-action buttons

Call-to-action buttons are a huge part of a good Instagram bio. When people visit your profile, you may want to give them an easy way to contact your business. You can add a few different action buttons depending on the type of business you have:

  • Email: Send an email to your company.
  • Directions: Get directions to a bricks-and-mortar location.
  • Call: Contact your business via phone.
  • Book: Book an appointment.
  • Reserve: Make reservations at a restaurant.
  • Get Tickets: Get tickets for an event.

7. Story Highlights

Story Highlights are groups of Stories you can present as clickable thumbnails on your Instagram profile. Once you post a Story, you can save it to Highlights that will display in your bio. You can also save Stories in an archive and use them for future Highlights.

Highlights are made up of two parts:

  • Highlight name: Name individual stories as well as thumbnail Highlights.
  • Highlight covers: The custom icon or image that represents the topic of the Story shown in the thumbnail.

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How to create the best bio for Instagram

Since you only have a limited number of characters at your disposal, there are a handful of objectives you need to prioritize in your bio before you start optimizing the rest of your profile.

1. Tell profile visitors who you are and why they should care

However you choose to express it, the first thing your bio needs to accomplish is explaining what your business offers and who you serve.

When new users discover you on Instagram, you need to quickly give them the info they need to stay interested. As on most social media platforms, you won’t have a user’s attention for long, so use concise copy that gets your point across quickly.

For many brands, such as Knix in the example below, that means explicitly spelling out who they are in clear and simple terms.

Your bio doesn’t need to rely solely on text. You can make it stand out by using:

  • LingoJam to customize your font (just copy and paste the text into your bio)
  • ☕️ fun emojis to add personality
  • ↴👇 directional characters or emojis to draw attention to specific parts of your bio, like a clickable link to your website

2. Use clickable tags to promote branded hashtags and sister accounts

The link in your bio isn’t the only thing visitors can click on to learn more about you. If you have a branded Instagram hashtag, include it in your bio to draw clicks and take interested users to an Instagram feed of branded or user-generated content. Just type it in your bio as you would any hashtag.

Learn more: Find out how to use Instagram hashtags for your business by visiting shopify.com/blog/instagram-hashtags.

Pura Vida Bracelets, for example, uses a clickable tag in its bio to promote the branded hashtag #PuraVidaBracelets.

This actively encourages customers to create a new post, use the branded hashtag in their Instagram captions, and share photos of themselves wearing their bracelets. Branded hashtags are also searchable, which provides a variety of benefits, such as:

  • making it easier for a brand to collect content and reshare it.
  • ensuring customers use the right hashtag
  • taking users who click on the hashtag to an entire feed of branded or user-generated content, which is a big win for the brand

Similarly, you can tag other accounts to direct profile visitors to your additional properties. If you have a sub-brand with a separate Instagram account or a partnership you want to highlight, you can mention it in your bio (i.e., “@username”) and it will appear as a link.

Fashion Nova is a fantastic example of a brand that uses mention tagging well in its bio. It has separate Instagram profiles for its men’s and plus-size sub-brands.

By tagging these accounts in its main profile, Fashion Nova ensures it sends users to the accounts with the content and products best suited to them.

3. Include a call to action

Featuring a call to action (CTA) in your bio’s copy can be a valuable addition. CTAs significantly increase the likelihood users will take the action you’re describing, because they explain exactly what to do and how to do it.

There are a number of different actions you can prioritize in your bio (you can even squeeze in a couple of different CTAs) so consider what would be most valuable to your business and make room for that.

Here are some approaches you can take with your CTAs:

  • Be direct: “Click our bio link to shop our latest products.”
  • Encourage users to share: “Tag #brandedhashtag to be featured.”
  • Promote a limited time offer: “Shop our Black Friday sale.”
  • Highlight a contest: “Share your favorite flavor for a chance to win!👇”

Leesa, for example, has two CTAs in its Instagram bio: one encouraging users to share and tag it in content and the other driving users to click the link and learn more about its products.

No matter the CTA you use, there are a few best practices to keep in mind:

  • Feature your highest priority CTA at the end of the bio. People will be more likely to take that action after you’ve established who you are. Plus, it puts your CTA in close proximity to your link.
  • Give clear instructions where needed. If you want to get users to contribute to your branded hashtag, opt for something like “Share your unboxing experience with #opensesame” with a clickable hashtag at the end.
  • Start with the action. Begin your CTA with a verb (Start, Shop, Tag, etc.) to get straight to the point and eliminate unnecessary words.

Keep in mind that you can adapt your bio to promote special events, like a seasonal sale, contest, or upcoming trade show. You can always swap in new CTAs and links to prioritize limited time offers or events.

4. Make the most of your bio link

With swipe-up Story links and Shopping on Instagram, there are plenty of options to drive traffic to your site. But your Instagram bio link is still a valuable opportunity to send profile visitors to any page you’d like them to visit—whether it’s a Kickstarter campaign or a YouTube video.

Many brands link out to their website’s homepage by default until they have the chance to promote something specific, like this example from RT1home:

You can also link to:

  • your latest product launch to ride the wave of any other Instagram marketing efforts that bring attention to it
  • a link curation page, powered by a tool like Linktree, to promote a variety of links
  • a signup page for a course, email list, contest, etc.
  • your latest article or video, if content is at the heart of your business
  • an event registration page, such as a Meetup or tradeshow

Just be sure to adapt your bio copy to incorporate a CTA for your new link when you add one.

If you want to track how effective your bio link is at driving traffic relative to other Instagram sources, you can use a URL shortener like Bitly, along with UTM tracking, to measure click-throughs.

Whatever you choose, keep your goals in mind and how you’ll achieve them in your business profile and content. You can change your bio link as often as you want and increase its effectiveness by letting users know in individual posts and stories to check out your bio link for more info.

5. Adding “Action Buttons” to help users reach you

Speaking from experience, it’s extremely common for users to contact you after they come across your brand on Instagram.

Sometimes they’ll send you a direct message, but if that’s their only option it can quickly become hard to manage. That’s why it’s important to direct customers to your preferred channels, whether it’s a phone number, email, or even directions to your store if you have a physical location.

Filling out your contact information on Instagram shifts most of this responsibility from your written bio to the appropriate “action buttons” that customers can easily find when they visit your profile.

You can do this by editing your profile and tapping Contact Options.

From here, you can enter contact information or channels that make it easy for customers to reach you, such as:

  • phone number, which you can set for users to either call or text
  • email address, which will open the user’s default email app, ready to compose a message to the provided address
  • physical address, which will be converted into directions, allowing users to pull up your business on a map and see where it is in relation to their current location
  • third-party services to book an appointment, buy a ticket, and more through platforms like Booksy and Eventbrite

People will use the contact information you provide, so only enter information for customer service channels you actually support. If you don’t have a phone line dedicated for customer support, don’t add in your personal phone number just because you want to have something there.

This contact info will appear as clickable buttons on your profile when viewed through Instagram’s mobile app.

6. Enable Shopping on Instagram to showcase your products

You may have noticed the Shop action button in some of the examples above.

The Shop tab will appear by default after you set up Shopping on Instagram and start tagging images with product tags. You can easily set this up in your own Shopify store.

The Shop tab is also home to all the content featuring your product tags, giving users the opportunity to shop your collection through the photos you’ve posted. They can tap on any of these photos to view them and to learn more about the products featured and tap once more to visit the product page on your website to make a purchase.

Try to only use product tags on photos that clearly show off your products in order to create a carefully curated gallery under your Shop tab. Here’s what the Shop tab looks like for the Lucky Tackle Box Instagram:

7. Curate Highlights for your profile

Instagram Stories are an essential part of Instagram marketing, and Story Highlights give them a longer lasting presence on your profile. Highlights allow you to save individual Stories into different “highlights,” which you get to name and organize as you see fit.

These Highlights will live in your profile indefinitely, right underneath your bio, above your feed, and when clicked will show the saved Stories one after another. United By Blue has Stories curated for product collections, its environmental cleanups, its online store, news, and press.

Not only will your expired Stories of the day be given a longer lifespan, but you’ll be able to feature content that strongly represents your brand at the top of your feed, where users are most likely to see it.

This gives you a chance to control the narrative, and even produce Stories with the express purpose of turning them into Highlights.

Creating Highlights is easy:

  1. Head to your profile page and tap New+ under your bio.
  2. Select all the Stories in your archive that you want to add to this specific Highlight. Choose them based on a specific theme or a narrative you want to convey.
  3. You’ll then be asked to name your Highlight. Note that you only get a maximum of 15 characters, including spaces, so you want to be clear and creative enough to grab attention on your profile.
  4. The last step is to edit the cover image (you can even create a Story to specifically use as your cover), and then your Highlight will be published to your profile. You can add to your Highlights at any time by simply clicking on it and pressing Edit.

There are countless ways you can organize your Highlights, but some of the more common themes include:

  • event coverage or event details
  • user-generated content
  • product tutorials
  • “how it’s made” content
  • behind-the-scenes content
  • product features or highlights of bestsellers
  • news and announcements

8. Share a “social media only” promo code

To give followers extra incentive to jump over to your site and make a purchase, consider putting a coupon code in your bio. Nutriseed does this in its Instagram bio, offering followers 10% off their first order.

Discounts and promo codes are proven conversion drivers. Not only do they drive users to your site to make a purchase, they also give you a more accurate way to track these conversions. Use a code unique in your Instagram bio so you can see exactly how many sales you’re driving.

Then dig deeper into the data and see what those people are buying. Use those insights to inform your Instagram strategy. If there’s lots of interest in a particular product, do a Q&A on your Stories about it. Partner with a local Instagram influencer to promote your brand. The possibilities for insights truly are endless.

9. Leverage IGTV

IGTV is an extension of Instagram that lets brands create videos up to an hour long (versus 60 seconds with a standard video post). These IGTV streams happen live and are then published to your main page so users can tune in later.

Kylie Cosmetics has built a strong loyal base of customers largely thanks to the influence of social media. The makeup brand frequently uses IGTV to publish makeup tutorials by founder Kylie Jenner and outside influencers.

Though product tutorials may seem a straightforward strategy, brands are also pushing creative boundaries with IGTV. Bacardi, for example, used it to create a music video with Grammy-winning artists—it even gave followers the role of director, allowing them to be a part of the process.

You might not be ready to make a full-blown music video, but there are tons of other ways to use IGTV to enhance your Instagram bio:

  • Show behind-the-scenes footage of the materials being sourced or product being made
  • Partner with influencers to do an IGTV takeover
  • Broadcast in-person events you’re involved in
  • Record unboxing videos and showcase your premium product packaging
  • Host a live Q&A

Instagram bio ideas: 30 best examples

Fashion/apparel

1. Würkin Stiffs

Würkin Stiffs promotes its brand and magnetic collar-stay accessories for men on Instagram. Its bio has a clear and straightforward brand voice that aligns to its other communication channels. It also incorporated its hashtag and a simple URL to the main website.

2. Manitobah Mukluks

Footwear brand Manitobah Mukluks has an Instagram bio with a carefully curated visual aesthetic. Complementary Instagram bio photos and Stories thumbnails give it a clean, on-brand look. It also shares fun emojis, its branded hashtag, and custom clickable links to contests.

3. KaiKini Bikinis

KaiKini Bikinis makes major use of the Stories real estate, giving followers an inside look at its product and how it’s made, and a guide on how to choose the right suit for their needs. The bio also succinctly tells followers about upcoming events and sale items.

4. Johnny Cupcakes

Johnny Cupcakes gives followers a peek into founder Johnny Earle’s everyday life, building an authentic, personal connection with consumers. Social proof in the form of a nod from the Boston Globe and plenty of emojis give this Instagram bio the perfect balance of business and fun.

5. iHeartRaves

iHeartRaves also favors the use of emojis, which are particularly appealing to their younger, music-festival-going audience. The apparel retailer puts emojis in the titles of its Stories, which promote events, product collections, and giveaways. Its bio includes a branded hashtag and a link to shop for items posted to Instagram.

Jewelry

6. Patrick Adair Designs

Patrick Adair Designs has a more subtle approach to emojis, using arrows to direct users’ eyes to its Linktree URL. It uses Stories to go behind the scenes and show off the custom, handmade process that goes into its rings.

7. Beth Macri

Beth Macri’s jewelry is also custom and, like Patrick Adair, its Instagram bio has emojis that direct users’ eyes to the main Linktree URL CTA. Here, the Instagram bio also has a CTA to get customers to share their content via a branded hashtag, which Beth Macri can then repurpose for its own marketing initiatives.

Beauty/skincare

8. Blume

Blume’s Instagram bio is concise, witty, and targeted at women, showing them where they can buy product in-store. Also, Blume expresses its visual aesthetic with on-brand colors and style. The Linkin.bio link sends people to a page where they can also shop online.

9. Poo-Pourri

Unsurprisingly, Poo-Pourri has one of those funny Instagram bios featuring the poo emoji right in its profile name—but there’s more to it than that. The voice conveyed in the copy is completely on brand, matching the humor of its overall brand voice. A simple Linkin.bio link takes users to a page where they can learn more about and purchase products featured on Instagram.

10. Rocky Mountain Soap Company

Rocky Mountain Soap Company uses nature-inspired emojis, in keeping with the company’s products. The Linktree link takes you to a page where you can engage in more content, get a freebie, or shop the full online store. Stories highlight the brand’s commitment to sustainability and in-person stores and events.

11. ColourPop Cosmetics

ColourPop Cosmetics uses its Instagram bio to share a branded hashtag and remind users that its products are cruelty-free—in part by including a cute animal emoji. It also let visitors know where else they can find the brand, via Tik Tok, where ColourPop shares beauty tips and tricks.

12. Love Hair

Love Hair mostly dedicates its Stories to highlighting product collections, though it also shares tips to help customers better care for their hair. It reiterates the benefits of its products, includes a branded hashtag, and drive users to its website homepage.

Technology/electronics

13. Master & Dynamic

Master & Dynamic uses striking imagery on its website, and its Instagram is no different—the brand’s Stories thumbnails instantly jump off the screen. Stories highlight individual products, and the bio is simple and clean—just like M&D’s imagery. The website’s URL is also included for users who want to browse more.

14. Quad Lock

Quad Lock has a uniform, icon-based approach to its Stories thumbnails, with black backgrounds and striking white graphics. Its bio highlights its free shipping policy and promotes Quad Lock sister brands. Emojis direct users’ eyes, while a branded hashtag encourages social sharing and offers a chance to be featured. The bio also drives followers to a Linktree landing page.

15. Studio Proper

Studio Proper, which also sells cases for phones and electronic devices, uses the inverse for its Stories thumbnails: a white background with black illustration. Here, the Instagram bio is sans emoji, creating a clean and simple aesthetic. The bio features the brand’s tagline, a brief description of its products, a cross-promotion to its B2B channels, and a website URL.

16. Zero Gravity

Zero Gravity, the third phone case company on this list (each of which offers its own completely different approach), doesn’t skimp on the emojis, even using one to title a Stories collection. This is the first instance in this list where an email address is included. Making customer support easy to access signals to existing and potential customers alike that doing business with ZG would be a positive experience.

Home goods

17. Port of Raleigh

Port of Raleigh uses its Instagram bio to describe what it offers in terms of products, as well as where customers can get them: online or at their bricks-and-mortar location (complete with store hours). Stories highlight retail spaces and commonly asked questions, as well as clips of other beautifully designed spaces and events in the Community Highlight.

18. St. Frank

St. Frank leads its Instagram bio with a form of social proof: Vogue magazine giving the brand praise for its textiles products. The brand also uses the bio to promote its ethical practices, brick-and-mortar locations, and free shipping policy. It regularly changes out the link—in this example, it’s promoting its main site, where people can check out new products and sign up for a mailing list.

19. Hem

Like St. Frank, Hem uses its Instagram bio space to promote its brand promise and mission. It also updates its bio to promote in-person events. Hem’s Stories are curated product collections and design inspiration.

20. Floorplan Rugs

Floorplan Rugs uses its Instagram bio space largely to promote its bricks-and-mortar locations. It keeps things simple, with the ultimate goal of driving Instagram traffic to become foot traffic at its sister store in L.A.

21. Au Lit Fine Linens

Au Lit Fine Linens has a clean, simple brand—and its Instagram bio reflects that. Simple graphics on a muted background make up the thumbnails for its Stories, which curate gift ideas, new products, behind-the-scenes content, and more. “We change the way you sleep,” promises the brand. It uses its clickable link to promote new blog posts, which it updates regularly.

Food and beverage

22. Perfect Keto

Perfect Keto seems to use emojis for one reason: to draw users’ eyes to the area it wants to emphasize. The first points to its mission statement and the second to one of its new products. (This URL in particular is for a new product.) Story collections include healthy Keto tips and motivation, podcasts, and recipes.

23. Ugly Drinks

Ugly Drinks has an Instagram bio and presence that’s anything but ugly. The list-like approach makes it easy to read each of the points, emojis match the playfulness of the brand, and there’s a branded hashtag encouraging users to follow and share. Social proof is offered by mentions of Quartz, Forbes, and Bustle, and where the brand donates profits to. The link takes users to a page where they can purchase its box.

24. Skinny Teatox

Global brand Skinny Teatox uses its Instagram bio to remind followers of the advantages of shopping with it: all-natural products and fast shipping. It also incorporates social proof: “Thousands of happy customers” means its product has worked for many, and it can work for you too. The CTA is strong and in all caps, drawing attention to it and driving users to the main homepage.

25. Press London

Press London’s Instagram bio reads like a list of bullet points, which is ideal for a quickly scrolling mobile audience. The Stories thumbnails match the branded green color of the main profile picture and feature simplistic illustrations.

Miscellaneous

26. Faucet Face

Faucet Face sells water bottles, but its Instagram bio is about more than just that. It uses emojis and messaging that shares the brand’s mission to make the world a healthier place for humans and the environment alike. Stories highlight the brand’s story and how it lives its mission, health and wellness tips, footage from events, and ideas on how to give back to the community.

27. Two Wheel Gear

Two Wheel Gear has five core elements in its Instagram bio: tagline, description, UGC CTA, social proof, and Kickstarter link. What’s most interesting here is the way it goes about social proof. Rather than touting a quote from an industry publication, Two Wheel Gear highlights the author of its blog, Joe Meissner, who is an influential figure in its niche. This brings the community full circle, and followers are more likely to trust the brand and its content.

28. The Giving Manger

The Giving Manger sells a unique product: a DIY manger kit for families to make together during Christmas. Though it sells just a single product, the brand has used its Instagram bio in a number of ways: a heart-warming and emotional appeal to users, simple emojis, and website URL. Stories give a look into how the product works, the book that comes along with the kit, and tradition ideas to start with your family.

29. Holstee

Holstee is a bright and playful brand, and its bio reflects that. However, instead of relying on the use of emojis, Holstee uses a short bio to express its unique offering. Its Linktree link leads to its tools, products, membership sign-up, and more. Its Stories feature bold, solid-color thumbnails for a unique but appealing aesthetic.

30. Pure Cycles

Pure Cycles has a few key elements that make itsInstagram bio one of the best: light use of emojis, well-designed Stories thumbnails, and link to its website. Like some of the other examples, it also shares a support email address, along with a CTA for customers to post UGC with its hashtag.

Instagram bio FAQs

How many characters are in an Instagram bio?

The Instagram bio character limit in 2020 is 150 characters. That seems like a lot of room for your content, and it can be, but your word choice must be concise and impactful.

How do you put a clickable link in an Instagram bio?

To add a link to your Instagram bio:

  1. Open your Instagram mobile app.
  2. Visit your profile by tapping the person icon on the bottom right.
  3. Tap Edit Profile at the top of the screen.
  4. Add a link to your website or landing page in the format of shopify.com.
  5. Tap Done to save your bio.

How do you center an Instagram bio?

To center your Instagram bio:

  1. Open the Notes app on your phone. Create a new note.
  2. Paste your bio and add spaces to it.
  3. Copy the bio from Notes by selecting all (including spaces)
  4. Open the Instagram app and go to Edit Profile.
  5. In the bio section, paste the text.

The amount of spaces you add to the text will dictate if it gets centered or not. If not, go back to Notes and adjust the spaces as you like.

How do you edit an Instagram bio?

To edit your business information on Instagram:

  1. Go to your account.
  2. Tap Edit Profile.
  3. Under Public Business Information you can edit the following: the Facebook page your Instagram account is connected to, business category, and business contact info.
  4. Once you’ve finished updating your business info, tap Done to return to your profile.

How do you add a location to your Instagram bio?

To add the location of your business on Instagram:

  1. Go to your Instagram account.
  2. Tap Edit Profile.
  3. Under Public Business Information you can edit your company location.
  4. Once you’ve finished updating your location, tap Done to return to your profile.

Building the best Instagram bio for your brand

As you go about building relationships with others on Instagram and posting new content for your current followers—be sure to check our tips on how to get more Instagram followers—users are bound to visit your profile out of curiosity or for a quick update about your business.

With these Instagram bio ideas in hand, you can make a strong first impression on behalf of your brand and convince visitors to stick around for a while or even follow along.

Ready to create your online store? Start your free 14-day trial of Shopify—no credit card required.

About the author

Ana Gotter is a marketer, consultant, and writer specializing in content marketing and social media marketing.

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Your Instagram bio is valuable real estate. Find creative ideas for your bio and see real-world examples from notable brands and influencers.

How to Get Started + Use Instagram for Business

Social Media for CBD & Medical Cannabis Brands: H ow to Get Started + Use Instagram for Business

With Facebook refocussing on “connecting people” again, more and more cannabis brands now use Instagram for business promotion and brand awareness. With the focus on beautiful visuals and coherent themes your Instagram business profile is a natural and obvious match to help you build brand awareness, a loyal following and achieve your business goals.

In fact, the latest statistics show that more than 200 million users visit at least one business profile every day. Similarly, 80% of accounts follow at least one Instagram business account with 60% of people say they discover new products on Instagram, with 1/3 of the most viewed stories are from businesses. That is a lot of people that have the potential to become a follower, brand advocate or customer.

Here’s we’ll explore everything you need to know about how to use Instagram for business, whether you’re just starting out or you need to update and refine your current Instagram strategy.

First things first. Setting Up Your Account

If you don’t have an existing personal account of if you want to keep your personal account personal, creating a brand-new Instagram business account is the right choice for you. Setting you your Instagram business account from scratch is pretty easy.

Setting up an instagram Business Account from scratch
  1. Download the Instagram app for iOS, Android, or Windows.
  2. Open the app and tap Sign Up.
  3. Enter your email address and tap Next. If you want to connect your Instagram business account to your Facebook Business Page, make sure to use an admin email address to sign up, or tap Log in with Facebook.
  4. Choose your username and password and fill in your profile information.
  5. Tap Done.

If you want to convert your personal Instagram account with brand-appropriate content and/or an established following, it’s probably easier to simply convert it into an Instagram business profile than to start again from scratch.

Converting a personal instagram account to a business account
  1. Log into your existing personal Instagram account on the app.
  2. Tap the profile icon to go to your profile.
  3. Tap the three lines icon at the top right of the screen, then tap Settings.
  4. Tap Switch to Business Profile, then Continue.
  5. Recommended: If you want to connect your Instagram business account to your Facebook business page, follow the prompts to do so.
  6. Add contact information: Your Instagram for business account must include an email address, a phone number, or a physical address.
  7. Tap Done.

Now that you have your Instagram business profile set up, we can go ahead and create a killer strategy to help you navigate using Instagram for business promotion and brand building.

Step 1: Define your target audience

I know, I know… it’s the usual mantra. Know your audience. But it really is vital to know who you are speaking to before you can decide the type of visuals to post to Instagram. It will also help you define topics and themes as they relate to your cannabis business, your products and your audience.

To do this effectively, you really need to dive deep into your demographics to define your specific target audience that is unique to your cannabis business and brand. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Find out who are already engaging with and buying from you
  • Check the analytics on your website and other social media channels to learn who interacts and follows you there
  • Do some competitor research to see who follows them and what their audience generally looks like
  • Create a clear value statement for your brand and think about which types of people will be attracted to that
  • Create buyer personas. Check out this step-by-step guide to help get you started

Once you’ve figured out who your audience is and the types of people who you want to attract, you can start thinking of the type of content, themes and topics they would like to see from you. Taking a look at the type of content they post to their own accounts can help you with this. Also, take a look at how they interact with your competitors or similar brands to your own. What do they like and what types of post get the most engagement?

Step 2: Optimize your profile

When you set up your business account or converted your personal account, chances are you entered some basic information. Now it’s time to optimize your profile.

Tweak your bio

Start by tweaking your Instagram bio. At only a 150 characters, it needs to do a lot – everything from telling first-time visitors what your cannabis business does to conveying your brand’s personality to why they should care and bother following you. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Use your own unique brand voice and speak directly to the audience you defined in step 1
  • Include hashtags as they are both clickable as well as a great way to show off user generated content
  • Try including an emoji since they convey a lot of information while using very little space
  • Use spacing and line breaks to make your bio easier to read
Use Business Features to your full advantage

Instagram business profiles have a lot of features that personal accounts do not and it is totally counterproductive to not use these to your full advantage. Make sure the following sections are filled in completely:

  • Name and username: These are the only parts of your Instagram business profile that are searchable, so it’s important to include your real brand name. As with you logo, using the same username across all your social networks not only builds brand awareness and recognition but it also makes it easier for people to find you
  • Website: This is the only organic clickable link you have In instagram, so be sure to include a link to your website, latest blog post, a current promotional campaign, or even a dedicated Instagram landing page.
  • Contact information : When you add contact information, Instagram creates corresponding buttons (Call, Email, or Get Directions) for your profile. Make it easy for people to contact you directly from your profile so make sure to include your email address and/or phone number. And if you have a physical shop, add your business address as well.
  • Category : This appears under your name and shows people at a glance what you do so make sure to include some variation of what your business is about for example CBD brand or medical cannabis dispensary
  • Call-to-action buttons : If you have a face-to-face service based cannabis business including a call-to-action button on your profile will allow people to book an appointment with you directly from your Instagram profile. To create one, tap Edit Profile, then Contact Options, then Add an action button.
Optimize your profile pic

For most cannabis businesses, the best profile pic is your logo – the idea is to create brand awareness after all and your logo is vital in doing this. It is also important to stay consistent so makes sure you use the same picture on all your social profiles to help people instantly identify your brand.

Step 3: Set goals and objectives

If you don’t know what you want to achieve, using Instagram for business is a bit of a shot in the dark. Understanding and defining your goals and objective will not only help you develop a focussed strategy, but it will also help keep you on track to make sure your efforts are not for nought.

I like personal like SMART goals to help me create a framework when setting goals and objectives. SMART is simply an acronym that stands for

  • S pecific, i.e., goals that are well defined, clear, and unambiguous;
  • M easurable, i.e., goals that define specific criteria that measure your progress towards the accomplishment of the goal;
  • A ttainable, i.e., goals that are attainable and not impossible to achieve;
  • R elevant, i.e., goals that are reachable, realistic, and relevant to your business objectives, and;
  • T imely, i.e., goals that have clearly defined timeline, including a start date and target date to help create urgency.

When creating goals and objectives when using Instagram for business, it’s easy to fall into the trap of basing them on or focussing on vanity metrics such as likes, follower count , and comments. And although these are good to include, it is also important to make sure that you set goals that relate to real business objectives like driving traffic to your website or getting eyeballs on blog posts.

The specifics will vary from cannabis business to cannabis business, but generally speaking, the performance metrics that you should focus on are those that are related to your sales funnels . What I mean by this is that your goals should related to the four stages of your customer’s journey (i.e., awareness, interest, decision and action), and the metrics you use should help you get clear on exactly this.

For instance, during the “awareness” stage, metrics related to brand awareness, follower growth rate, and post reach are useful while metrics like engagement rate (based on likes) and amplification rate (based on shares) are good to look at when looking at users in the “interest” stage. Similarly, followers that are in the “decision” and “action” phases look at things like click-through rates and bounce rates as well as testimonials in the form of reposts and comments.

Step 4: Create a Content Calendar

One of the most important things when it comes to using instagram for business is consistency, in other words, committing to a regular posting schedule. The thing is that, once you start building a following, you want to keep them aware of you and your brand while keeping them interested and engaged. Simply put, your fan base is going to expect to see regular updates and posts from you. And if they don’t, chances are they are going to start engaging with a brand that does.

This doesn’t mean that you have to post 50 gazillion posts every day. It does however mean that you should decide on a posting schedule that works for you and then stick to it – whether this is a post a day or three posts a week. An easy way to help you stay on track is to create a content calendar (check out this how-to guide ). Use this to help you create and organize your content, as well as your posting and promotional schedules.

To help you figure out which days and times are the best to post, check out your insights. That is the major benefit of having an Instagram for business account. You get exactly that, insights into your followers – who they are, where they are from and when they are online. Use that to your advantage. To access this information, go to your Instagram business profile, click the three bars icon in the top right, then click Insights. Click on the Audience tab and scroll down to see active times.

However, you’ll also need to do a bit of experimentation to see which times create the most engagement for your posts. Just because your audience is online at that time, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are engaging.

Step 5: Share great content

Posting pictures is the most obvious part of using Instagram for business but it is vital that you create a cohesive, on-brand visual aesthetic for your Instagram feed. Instagram is all about the visuals, so it’s important to have a recognizable visual brand identity on top of relevant and great content.

In addition to simply taking great pictures, you also need to decide on a content theme you want to go with. What do you want your posts to reveal and relay about you and your brand? For product based cannabis businesses this is pretty obvious – you will showcase your products. But if you offer a service, things might be a bit more complicated. Good options here would be to highlight customer stories and people and brands you work with. But including things like behind the scenes posts and introducing your followers to the people who make up your brand are also great post options for all types of cannabis businesses.

Once you have that down, decide on a consistent visual aesthetic or look. This will include consistent colors in-line with your branding as well as filters that will make it easy for your followers to immediately recognize that it is you when scrolling through their feed.

You also want to make sure that your captions are attention-grabbing. Captions allow you to tell your story and make each and every photo meaningful. If done right, captions will help your followers connect with and stay connected with you and your cannabis business. Develop and stick to your brand voice and create a set of guidelines, to help keep your captions distinct and on-brand.

It’s also a good idea to create a set of relevant hashtags as they are searchable and a great way to get your posts in front of people who aren’t already following you. Also consider creating your own branded hashtag. They are a good way to encourage followers to share photos that fit your brand image and an excellent source for user-generated content that will help you build a community of followers.

Step 6: Grow and engage your audience

Now that you have a business profile and you’ve decided on a cohesive, on-brand content them and aesthetic, it is time to get it out to an audience. Engage with people and brands you like and look up to. Comment on appropriate Instagram post and participate in discussions.

These are simple ways to make your presence known and directly attract people to you and your content, but also things that Instagram looks at when deciding what content to show in your followers feeds.

Step 7: Measure success and make adjustments

Once you’ve got everything set up, you started posting content and you started building a following, it is important to check back and see how your progress measures up to your business goals and objectives.

There are a lot of numbers to keep an eye on and you’ll want to track engagement on individual posts, stories, profile visits, website clicks, reach and impressions. And as you figure out what works and what doesn’t for your specific audience, you will be able to refine your strategy.

Final thoughts

The most important thing to remember when using Instagram for business is that it is a social media platform, and social media is that about exactly that – being social and building a community. A couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Although it is tempting to want a giant following off the bat, do not buy followers. It’s disingenuous and chances are your real followers will figure it out and you’ll lose all credibility
  • Regarding follower count – it is really so much better to have a smaller but relevant and engaged community of followers than 10,000 followers of which one or two of them are a little bit interested in what you do
  • Do not forget the social aspect of social media. This means responding to comments and mentions as well as returning the favor
  • When engaging with other accounts, please be genuine. Do NOT copy and paste a generic comments and do not use automated engagement bots to do this for you either (see point 1)

Everything you need to know about setting up and using Instagram for business for CBD & Medical Cannabis Brands