Studies have demonstrated that it takes less than two-tenths of a second for an online visitor to form an idea of you or your brand. Therefore, it’s extremely important to create and optimize your Instagram profile to increase the likelihood of gaining a potential new fan.
Lets take a look at the elements that make a perfect profile, with examples from brands on Instagram that follow best practices.
First things first, remember that a perfect profile is not about you, it is about your ideal customers. It has to appeal to them and it has to tell them who your company is, what your company is about, and what you can offer to them, or in other words why they should connect and care about you and your brand.
What are the elements of the perfect Instagram profile?
Your Instagram profile is your chance to directly communicate to your audience, so you want to make sure that your profile is up to date, professional, engaging, memorable and it provides instant value. In order to do that, a perfect profile has to have the following :
Username (Account name)
Let’s look at two examples from well known brands, one is MAC, a cosmetic brand and the other one is from the famous chef Gordon Ramsay, to see how they successfully use each element in their Instagram profile.
As you can see both of them have a very clear and recognizable username, name, profile photo, bio and website link to their brand.
” A perfect profile is not about you, it is about your ideal customers “
How do you create your perfect profile?
Keep it simple. The rule of thumb is: If you are a business, use the name of your company, if you have a personal brand, use your first and last name or a combination of the two.
If the words you want to use for your username are already taken, you can try a combination of both.
For example, if your brand is Arisa, you can say: Arisa.Insta, Arisa.Shop, ArisaOfficial. If you have a personal brand and your name is Mike Cory, you can try using Mike.Cory, MikeCoryOfficial, TheMikeCory or ItsMikeCory.
In this section, you can use the name of your brand or your personal name and surname if you are a personal brand.
The photo should communicate the values and beliefs of your brand and reflect who you are. The profile photo dimensions are 110px x 110px and you can use one of your existing photos, or your current logo.
If you are an e-commerce business, use your logo but make sure that your logo fits well into a circle.
As you can see in the examples below, the brand on the left, Bad Company uses its iconic logo, but the photo is a little cluttered and the actual logo is hard to see. H&M, on the right, has a simple and recognizable logo that works really good within the circle.
If you have a personal brand, use a headshot of yourself to create trust and fully connect with your audience. If you want to use a photograph of yourself, please follow the guidelines below to make sure that the photo you use displays your brand and sets the tone of your business correctly.
According to research, 80 to 90 percent of your first impression is based on just two qualities — trustworthiness and competence.
If you are using a headshot, having a genuine smile, with teeth makes you more likable. Make eye contact with the camera, use a slight squint and show your jawline to increase the perception of competence and influence. Avoid sunglasses, too dark photos, close up or full body photos and stick with a head and shoulders photo.
Check out the two examples below, can you see the difference?
The profile picture on the left is a bad example because you can’t see the face of the person and unless the brand is about masks, the picture clearly doesn’t work!
On the other hand, the picture on the right is a great example of a good profile picture. The photo beautifully portraits the personality and likeability of Michelle Hunziker.
” 80 to 90 percent of your first impression is based on just two qualities — trustworthiness and competence “
Your bio cannot exceed 150 characters, make it engaging and give your followers a reason to read it.
End your bio with a strong call to action (CTA). A classic example is a unique offer, for example, a coupon for a limited item from your collection, your latest product and so on. This will prompt your followers to take action and engage with your brand.
Here are some good examples of call to actions from well-known brands on Instagram –
Quick tip : You can use emojis to make your bio more likable and fun. Apply them only if they fit your brand aesthetic and values.
” End your bio with a strong call to action (CTA) “
This is the only space on Instagram where you can include a clickable link, so take advantage of this space. Include a link to your website, landing page, or any other product you want users to connect with. Make sure that your link offers your followers something unique, appealing and targeted to them.
Quick tip #1: You can use bit.ly to shorten your link and make it memorable and to give your followers a reason to click on it for example. bit.ly/LimitedTeaSale or bit.ly/FreeShipping.
Quick tip #2: Make sure that the page you link to is mobile optimized because your followers will use their mobile devices to navigate it.
Let’s recap everything using some really good examples, so you can learn the best practices successful businesses and personal brands use in their profile.
As you can see, all these brands have very concise profile descriptions, recognizable logos and clear call to actions. They are linked to brand values and beliefs, and help their followers understand the benefits they will get by following these companies on Instagram.
Make sure you take advantage of each section: username, name, profile photo, bio, and website link. Once you’ve set up your profile, the next step is to share posts on Instagram. Apps like Viraltag let you schedule content ahead of time, so boosting engagement becomes a breeze! Here’s a comprehensive list of 7 apps we put together, that help you create the best Instagram photo.
Go ahead, put in practice what you have learned so far and let us know how it works for you in the comments below!
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Angelo Lo Presti is the co-founder of RisePro.co and the founder of Superhive.co. With 10 years experience in UX Design, he has worked with top clients in the ecommerce industry and provided UX design, UX research and social media marketing strategies.