Creating A Social Media Profile: Instagram
When creating a business social media profile, locking down a solid profile is one of the most overlooked steps. Your profile sets the tone for your account’s personality. Is your account spunky? Sassy? Serious? When a newcomer stumbles upon your Instagram account, their eyes are going to dart straight to your photos, but snag their attention with a killer profile.
Before building your Instagram grid or posting your first Instagram Story, take a peek at these 6 PROFILE BUILDING GUIDELINES that will help you dominate the IG scene.
Describe the core of your business
This does not need to be a 5 paragraph essay describing your company’s mission statement. Consolidate your business’s personality, mission, and services into a short phrase or sentence. A piece of cake, right? Yeah, I know it’s not! Try tackling this by first thinking about your brand values: what emotions or actions are your company seeking to evoke from your audience. Do you want to inspire creativity or excitement? Encourage productivity and adventure… Maybe even sentimentality? Think of buzzwords that embody your company, or an inspirational quote that pushes your business towards success. This will help you develop a description that will catch your audience’s attention and emotionally connect with your business. Above all else, be sure to let the company’s personality shine through the core phrase. Instagram is a social media platform that enables companies to share intimate moments with their customers, so give them a snippet of who your business truly is.
Insert a call to action
Your call to action should align with the big picture goal of your page. What is your intention through using the Instagram platform? Are you promoting your business? Connecting and interacting with users? Building a community with fellow businesses? This big picture goal must be clear from the first glance of the profile. By doing this, you will be sending a message to the viewer of what your business wants them to do.
A great way to create engage your viewer is to promote action and connect with your audience. Does your business have a newsletter or subscription service? Remind your customers how to connect with you by adding a quick chunk of information in your profile. Be warm and inviting with your verbiage rather than aggressive and forceful.
For example, “For our behind the scenes and style updates, connect with us through our newsletter” and “We want to be your friend. Subscribe and chat with us!” are personal and concise phrases that entice the viewer. Now compare those phrases to, “You HAVE to subscribe to our newsletter” or “ You better be reading our newsletter. If not, sign up now.” It’s not rocket science, there is an obvious difference in tone and personality. Be friendly, yet direct, with your audience. It’s like when you ask your best friend to bring wine to your place….it’s more of a demand, not a request.
Break It Up
Your Instagram profile is not the time to share your business’s complete history, services, events and mission statement. It’s the time to give your 5 second pitch to the 500 million active Instagram users. No pressure, right? To let each piece of important information have their moment to shine, break up them up into brief sections. You can use spaces, dots, backslashes, hyphens, etc … be creative! It is crucial that the separation is clean and simple, not cluttered and over stimulating…Be strategic! As the information is chunked into sections, it will be easier for the viewer to quickly grab the essential information from your profile, get a taste of your business and move onto your incredible photos. Be sure that your information is cohesive and strategic. Think of it as crunchy peanut butter. All the crunch is separate but still cohesive in the cream of the peanut butter. Your quick essential facts are the crunch and your business brand is the cream. You gotta have them both!
Link it up
Adding a link to your Instagram profile is completely optional, but offers your audience a chance to take the next step in getting to know your company. Encourage them to check out and connect with your company’s website, landing page, newsletter, etc. For example, if you are a clothing boutique and a viewer loves the sweater you recently posted, they could easily jump on your website and buy the sweater if your website link was connected with your profile. When there are any unnecessary or extra steps, such as using their computer to purchase the sweater instead, it is most likely that the viewer will not follow through with the transaction. You can maximize opportunity for transforming passing viewers into engaging customers by offering a clear path to your business’s pot of gold!
So what kind of links could you add to your company’s profile? Well there is the obvious website or landing page option, as well as subscription pages and newsletter sign ups. Companies may also add a link to their newest blog post or other social media account names, like Snapchat. Whatever the link may be, be sure that it is short….extra long links are obnoxious and sloppy. If possible, use a mobile-friendly link. Nothing will turn your customer away like a confusing and awkward mobile website. When necessary, there are websites such as Bit.do and Sniply that can customize your link to make it short and sweet!
It is important to add your link to the link section of your profile editor. This will enable your link to be clickable and will add it to the end of your profile (bonus!!). Placing your link at the end of your profile will eliminate any unnecessary clutter or disruption of the cohesiveness chunks. And of course, there is always room to share some personality too! Try to preface the link with a cute and short phrase such as “shop ‘til you drop: [link]” or “let’s be pen pals: [link].” Or simply add the link! If it is a time sensitive link, such as a blog post, sale, or new video, add a shoutout in a most recent post….”new blog post! Link in profile.” Changing up your profile link once in awhile will entice your audience to continue checking back on your Instagram profile and website. This is your opportunity to turn a casual onlooker into a customer. You gotta make ’em wanna come back.
Hashtags are another optional feature that can be added to your profile, but are a great way to create brand-centric conversation rather than direct self promotion. Choose one or two hashtags that best embody your company’s brand and insert them in your profile. Not only will the hashtags connect your posts and other’s posts together on Instagram, it will be a way to connect with your company, join its community, and communicate with you. Example: “Join the #DarlingMovement & #thatsdarling community by subscribing below.” As of right now, there are 2,384,018 posts with the hashtag #darlingmovement and 9,721,294 posts with the hashtag #thatsdarling. All Darling had to do was promote these two hashtags on their social media platforms. The more you use the hashtags, the faster your audience will catch on and begin to use your hashtags as well. One important reminder to note is to create hashtags that are versatile and general. It is hard to create massive brand conversation with hashtags that are limiting and specific. Generating brand recognition and conversation must begin with a hashtag that can be easily picked up by any viewer. These conversations have the potential to inspire others to create, pursue and achieve their own dreams and goals.
To Emoji or Not to Emoji
The very first thing I can say about using emojis is TREAD LIGHTLY….ever so lightly…or don’t use them at all. There is a very fine line of emojis going from quirky and fun to weird and unprofessional. Using emojis tastefully can portray your light hearted, fun side to your audience but inserting emojis after every phrase will clutter and scare your audience away. Assess your brand’s voice and image and act according to your brand’s best interest. If emojis do not fit with your company’s personality, DO NOT USE THEM. Don’t force the emoji emotions. Ask yourself these questions: Who is your audience? Can they understand or relate to emojis? Does my product or service align with the personality of emojis? How would emoji’s enhance the mission and goal of my profile?
So now let’s go over the order of importance within your profile. First rule: Start with the most important piece of information and work from there. Here is a very basic lineup I created that may help you organize your profile:
Company description/ mission statement
Call to action
Within these three chunks, sprinkle in some personality and fun! This is not a boring resume, instead it’s a chance to share a little bit of your company’s personality! But remember the big picture here–what is your goal? Does your profile promote your goal flawlessly?
Rifle Paper Co
Chunks of information—Who they are, how the account will serve its audience, points toward the company’s leadership
Simple mission statement—Communicates the company’s mission while inspiring it’s audience
Describes its “woman” (their customer)—Short, sweet, happy-go-lucky. Tasteful use of emojis!
Chunks of information– Service description, contact info, website, & a peek of her personality
Thurston The Corgi
A concise and witty description
White Buffalo Project
Inviting mission statement and call to action + link —“join us!”
Connects their service to a bigger purpose and meaning. Provides brand hashtags (2) and call to action (subscribe)
Hopefully, after reading this, you have created a kick butt profile that will blow all of your competitors out of the water. And remember, once creating your profile, it is not set in stone for the rest of eternity. You absolutely can change it up after a few months or for a holiday season, as long as the important pieces of information are still there. Social media is ever changing and your business must change with it.
If you used these guidelines when creating your profile, tag us on your page! We would love to see your profile masterpiece.