How to Write a Great Instagram Bio for Your Business Profile

Apr 27, 2017 by Lina Vashurina, Ecwid Team
How to Write a Great Instagram Bio for Your Business Profile
Posted Apr 27, 2017 by Lina Vashurina, Ecwid Team

If you’re running an e-commerce store, you really can’t ignore Instagram.

Besides the obvious massive user count, Instagram’s visual nature makes it the ideal platform to promote physical products. For many e-commerce stores, it is their primary social channel.

One of the most important characteristics of a successful e-commerce Instagram strategy is the profile bio. This is usually the first things users see when they land on your account. A strong bio can improve brand both brand perception and discoverability while driving more clicks to your CTA.

To figure out how to write a great Instagram bio, we analyzed 100 Instagram stores chosen at random. We studied what kind of CTAs, language, and information they used in their bios. By following the lead from these stores, you can change your store profile for better performance.

We’ll show you what we learned below.

5 Lessons from Analyzing 100 Instagram Stores

We started by choosing 100 stores at random through the #onlinestore hashtag on Instagram. For better analysis, we ignored affiliate stores and individuals promoting another store’s products.

At the end of the data gathering phase, this is what our spreadsheet looked like:

Research results

Our list was very broad in its scope. We had large stores with over 1.6M followers (@saboskirt) to new, one-person operations with just over 1,800 followers (@xanasboutique)

Here are some things we learned about Instagram bios from this analysis:

1. Write better CTAs

The CTA — Call-to-Action — is arguably the most important part of any Instagram bio. This is what you want users to click on when they land on your page.

CTAs can usually be divided into three categories:

  • Homepage: A link to the store’s homepage. This is less than ideal since it’s not very targeted. A user clicking in to see a product might get confused by the broad scope of the homepage.
  • Landing Page: This can either be a dedicated landing page for Instagram-only users (like the ASOS “As Seen on Instagram” page), or an inner page directing users to a product or category (such as “new arrivals”). These work great for most stores.
  • Social Shopping Page: This is usually a curated page with products featured on your Instagram page. Users can buy the products directly from this social shopping page.

Our analysis showed that most stores are still not making proper use of CTAs. A majority of stores (70%) were directing users to their untargeted homepages. Very few were directing users to social shopping pages.

The use of CTAs in bios

Our recommendation

If possible, direct users to custom landing pages for Instagram users. Here’s a great example from @georginasasha. The store bio directs users to an “instashop”:

Georgina Sasha instashop

The landing page is titled “Instashop” and shows recent items featured on the Instagram page:

Sasha Georgina instashop

Clicking any of the products (note how the URL changes to a unicorn — a fun little touch!) shows you a checkout form:

Checkout page

As an alternative, you can create a social shopping page with tools like Like2Buy. Here’s an example from SwimsuitsForAll:

SwimsuitsForAll

If you don’t want to go down this path (or if it’s too expensive/time consuming), at least link to your new arrivals, best selling or featured products. Dissh, for instance, directs users to its new arrivals:

Dissh

If you’re linking to your homepage, at least ensure that you have a dedicated section for new arrivals and featured products. Make this the topmost section on the page so users can find your in-demand products easily. You can learn how to set featured products here.

2. Keep bio length between 140-160 characters

In our analysis, we found that the average profile length was about 143 characters. The median was 150 characters.

Keep in mind that this length includes your CTA.

Stores that have very lengthy bios (over 200 characters) usually include a ton of information. The store @barbiesonly, for example, has 208 characters in its bio. It includes store address, email, phone number and website in the bio:

Barbiesonly

At the other end of the spectrum are stores like @sorellaboutique which only include the CTA and a hashtag.

Sorellaboutique

Our recommendation

Keep the profile length between 140-160 characters. This gives you enough room to include a CTA, key store information (email, phone, etc.) and some brand copy.

3. Use emojis

Should you use an emoji in your Instagram bio?

Our analysis showed that a majority of stores prefer to use them:

The use of emojis in bio

However, instead of highlighting an emotion, most stores use emojis to separate and tag key information. For instance, @thealphabetpress uses a simple block emoji icon to list all its capabilities and services:

Thealphabetpress

Similarly, @moorepiecesboutique uses emojis to identify its location, delivery policy, phone number and email:

Moorepiecesboutique

Does that mean there is no room for just plain fun with emojis?

Of course not! Here’s an example from @thyrahshoppe. Notice the water splash, bikini and palm emojis next to the copy — “endless summer”.

Thyrahshoppe

Our recommendation

You have limited space in your profile bio; make the best use of it.

Use emojis sparingly. They work best when you use them to identify key store information — store location, hours, email and contact number.

@suelasonline is a good format to follow:

Suelasonline

4. Use hashtags only if necessary

A common piece of advice you’ll see online is to use hashtags in your bio. These can be either:

  • Generic: These are hashtags related to a keyword (such as #shoes), an event (such as #coachella), or an Instagram-specific trend (such as #picoftheday).
  • Branded: Hashtags related to a brand, such as #ASOS, #cocacola, etc.

Generic hashtags are generally good for increasing your discoverability. If you include the #picoftheday hashtag in your bio, for instance, your profile will be visible when someone searches for this hashtag.

Branded hashtags are useful for curating posts. You can also use them to solicit UGC (User-Generated Content). Coke, for instance, recently ran a contest where users had to submit pictures with the #CokeEssenceFestContest hashtag.

Should you include such hashtags in your bios?

Here’s what our data showed:

The use of hashtags in bios

Clearly, hashtags aren’t particularly popular, at least in profile bios.

Interestingly, out of the 14 stores that used hashtags, only one used a generic tag. The rest used branded hashtags.

The most common ways to use branded hashtags was to gather UGC, like this @threadless example:

Threadless

Our recommendation

Hashtags aren’t necessary for a strong Instagram bio. But if you do use them, you should only use branded hashtags and pair them up with a UGC campaign.

You can also use branded hashtags as a way to brand your store. For example, @shoploveyourz uses the #loveyourzcurves hashtag to promote body acceptance.

Shoploveyourz

If you don’t already have a UGC campaign, adding a hashtag would be a pointless waste of space.

5. Include key information

What kind of information should you include in your store bio — email, phone number, address or store hours?

There’s a simple answer to this question: whatever is necessary.

In our data, we saw a clear bias towards emails and phone numbers.

Information included in different bios

This makes sense for online stores. They usually don’t have physical locations and thus, store hours. Email is a far better way to communicate and collect orders.

Interestingly, many stores mentioned their Whatsapp when they included their phone numbers. This was particularly true for stores located outside the US and EU.

Thewalkincloset22

When we looked at larger stores (>300,000 followers) we saw a clear preference for email over the phone. Larger stores get more orders. Tracking them over the phone can be difficult.

What big brands include in their bios

Our recommendation

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to key store information. Include whatever you feel is necessary to give your customers better service.

Including email is a good idea. Add a phone number only if you can actually attend to customer queries (can be hard for understaffed retailers). And of course, a physical location/store hours are necessary only if you have physical stores.

A good way to make this information more visible is to add emojis, like this:

Princesswalk

You can also include your Snapchat/Facebook account if that’s an important marketing channel for you. If space permits, add in your shipping information/policies as well. This is particularly useful if you’re targeting customers abroad.

Bringing it Together: Creating a Great Instagram Bio

Based on the lessons we’ve learned so far, here’s what you should have in your Instagram bio:

  • Your store name
  • Length between 140-160 characters
  • A CTA linking to an Instagram-specific landing or social shopping page. Else, a link to your latest/best-selling products
  • Emojis to highlight key information (phone number, email, etc.)
  • A branded hashtag to curate images and videos (if you’re running a UGC campaign)
  • A short description of the brand

Here’s a template you can use:

[Store Name] [Brand Description] Tag your pics with [#Branded Hashtag] 📧 [Email] 📞 [Phone Number] [CTA Link]

Including all this information will set your store apart from most on Instagram. You should see an increase in engagement and clicks once you make these changes.

What are some of your own Instagram hacks? Let us know in the comments below!

About The Author
Lina is a content creator at Ecwid. She writes to inspire and educate readers on all things commerce. She loves to travel and runs marathons.

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