By Shana Heinricy, Director of Social Media

The Instagram profile appears simple at first. Handle, name, description, link. What can go wrong? An Instagram profile that isn’t optimized will keep people from finding you, following you and contacting you. And isn’t that pretty much why you’re on Instagram in the first place? 

Don’t worry, we can help.

Let’s start with the basics.

Instagram Name and Handle

Your handle and name fields are the most prime real estate. They are the only fields that are searchable in your Instagram profile. 

So, if your name and handle are the same, you’re wasting that search space.

What terms would you like to be found under when people are searching? Change your name to that. For example, “Miami Interior Designer.” Careful though, you only have 30 characters!

Instagram Description

Someone comes to your feed, and in a couple seconds or less, they’ll decide if they should follow you. How do they decide? By your description and the look of your feed. (We’ll get into the look of your feed in later blog posts.)

Clicking that “more” button to see all of your description is WAY too much work, so most will base this on the first two lines of your description. This is not the place to put your skills or what you do. Only one thing should be here: What will people get out of following you? What are you giving your followers?

Most likely you have a value proposition for your business, but your Instagram value proposition will be different. It’s not about what your client’s get. Most of your followers aren’t clients. Try to be objective. Why would you want to follow you?  If you struggle with this, we help clients create social value propositions all of the time as part of their strategy.

With any remaining 150 characters after the value proposition, share more information about yourself. Here are some possible topics:

  • where you’re based

  • what services you offer

  • what you’re available for (speaking, podcasts, etc.)

  • your email (I know, you can link to your email, but a lot of people want to actually see the email address.)

  • how people should handle regrams (DM for permission, regrams okay with credit, etc.)

  • the handle of another account connected to you

Hashtags in Instagram Profiles

There is a common misunderstanding about hashtags in the Instagram description. People often think that it makes your profile appear when people search for the hashtag. That is not so.

Instead, think of adding hashtags to the description as a link. If you have a branded hashtag that people other than you use, put it in your bio. When someone taps it, it will take them to the hashtag page with all of the pretty posts. It also tells people what hashtags they should use when they post about you.

However, if you are the only one who posts to your hashtag, when someone taps it they will only see a list of all of the photos they already saw on your feed. It can draw attention to the lack of influence you have.

Are you ready to tackle your Instagram bio now? So people can find you and want to follow you when they get there? These optimizations are relatively quick to do and can help you see some Insta-growth!

Contact Wingnut Social at info@wingnutsocial.com if you’re interested in working with us for social media strategy creation, social media consulting or full-service social media management!