Instagram is one of the most popular social media apps – it’s a place where over 1 billion users seek inspiration and discover new brands. If you’re a small business owner, it’s a brilliant app to grow your customer base, connect and build community. It’s always vital that you get the most useful information to your potential customers, and we’ve got some smashin’ tips on how to curate the perfect Instagram bio which will always work, and some amazing examples from Bristol based small businesses.
The last few months of navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic has been tricky for us all, and small business owners have certainly been hit hard. The government guidelines are gradually changing, meaning that the world as we knew it before is starting to feel within reach – many businesses are now allowed to be open again, with more set to open over the coming weeks.
Along with the rest of you, I’ve been spending a lot more time on my phone, and have noticed that so many small businesses don’t have the essential details in their social media bios.
Right now, it is more important than ever to have the most up-to-date, useful information on display. The rules and regulations are changing all the time, and customers need to know exactly what you’re offering, and when, or it’s likely that they won’t buy from you.
Something to bear in mind is that there are a limited amount of characters available for your bio on Instagram – only 150 – so it’s important to be smart with it to get all the info you need in there.
1. A clear description
And keep it concise too, so you can fit in other useful and fun nuggets of info.
Can you sum up your small business in just a few words? Great! The less waffle the better, even though we all love waffles. What’s your favourite topping? I think I’d go for a scoop of gelato and some nuts, as it’s a hot day.
As I’ve just beautifully illustrated, most people have pretty short attention spans. If customers can’t figure out what your business is and whether you can fulfil the needs or wants they have, they’ll probably click away from your Instagram profile pretty swiftly.
Keep it snappy and simple.
2. Business hours
This is a huge bugbear for me. If I had a penny for every time I’ve seen something super cool or tasty lookin’ on Instagram, and headed to a shop or restaurant’s profile hoping to find out when I can visit, only to be greeted with absolutely no useful information at all.. well, I’d have at least £2 by now. Maybe even £3.
£3 that I might not be spending on your business, because I don’t know when you’re open.
Small business owners: please let us know when we can come and buy your wares. If we’re looking at your Instagram profile, we probably like what you do, and we want to buy into it.
Due to the guidelines for COVID19 seemingly changing constantly, your opening hours could be different than usual and subject to change, but it’s crucial to update your Instagram bio to reflect this. Maybe you’re still closed, maybe you’re opening with reduced hours or days. It’s a bit of a faff, but it’s so important.
If the opening hours on your Instagram profile are incorrect & a customer turns up hoping to buy something and finds you’re closed, that experience will really put them off returning.
As above, if customers don’t know where your business is based, we can’t visit you. Big, sad faces all round.
This one doesn’t even take away from your character limit, so there’s no excuse to not include it in your Instagram bio. You can enter your exact business address, and when a customer clicks on it, they can open it in their map app, and get directions, taking all the stress out of finding your establishment.
4. Special offers
Got an exciting deal or a giveaway going on? Tell your audience.
You might’ve mentioned it in a post, but perhaps it’s not obvious. If you’ve got a promotion that will entice customers to make a purchase, make it sure it’s there in your Instagram bio for all to see.
5. Tag your pics
If you want your customers to share photos of products they’ve bought from you, say so in your Instagram profile. You can ask them to tag your Instagram handle, or use a specific hashtag. Make sure the hashtag is unique to you, so that you don’t get loads of irrelevant stuff clogging up the feed.
Doing this means you get loads of user generated content (UGC) that you can then use for your social media feeds – but don’t forget to ask the original poster for permission, and to credit them every time you use that image.
It also acts as a testimonial for your small business and helps to grow your Instagram presence – those customers have used your service/eaten your food/bought your wares, and loved it so much that they had to share with their followers.
6. Link to your website
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, and again, and again. If you have your own website, do not use a tool LinkTree (or any of the other websites which do the same thing) on your Instagram profile. Have a read of our very popular blog posts – Why LinkTree is bad for SEO (and an alternative solution for your website), and 3 basic reasons why LinkTree is still bad for SEO.
Instead, link directly to your website. You can send people straight to your shop page, a specific product or deal, or you can create a landing page with a list of multiple links that you feel are important.
Obv, if you don’t have your own website, then maybe it is the tool for you. But not having a website is pretty unlikely if you’re a small business.
7. Contact info
You can add contact buttons to connect your email address and phone number to your Instagram profile, so you’re not wasting any of those precious 150 characters.
Connecting your email or telephone number to your social profiles saves time for your customers too – they don’t have to faff around looking for your contact details, as they’re right there on your Instagram profile, right in front of them. So many people lose interest if they can’t find what they need in a short space of time, so don’t risk them getting distracted, and encourage them to get in contact with you.
8. Call to action
You can also add a call to action button to your Instagram profile, such as “book an appointment” – this tool is super useful for small businesses such as hairdressers who were allowed to open from 4th July, and for nail technicians and beauty salons when they are allowed to practise.
It doesn’t have to be tricky to create the perfect Instagram bio – in fact, the simpler the better. Just keep it clear, and think about the basic details a new customer would need to know about your small business.
Super cool screen mock-ups made using the Loreto Scene Creator by Moyo Studio.