When you signed up for Instagram, did you tell yourself you’d set your account up properly later?
If you’re like most small business owners, you probably haven’t gotten around to doing it yet. In fact, you may not even know where to start.
Your Instagram profile can make or break all of the hard work you put into creating content for Instagram, so it’s important that you take a few minutes to set your profile up properly. Our branding service comes with a social media branding kit if you need help.
To help maximize your efforts on Instagram, I’m going to share with you the five best practices that every business should follow when setting up an Instagram profile along with examples of other travel companies who are doing it right.
Read on to learn about the five elements of your Instagram profile that really matter, and how the perfect Instagram profile can help you sell more tours.
Your username, or account name, is the first element to creating the perfect Instagram profile.
It has to be unique because it’s how people mention you in comments, tag you in photos, and share your profile with other people. It’s also the part that comes after “https://www.instagram.com/” if someone visits your profile in their browser, so you want it to be memorable and represent your brand accurately.
When creating an Instagram username, keep in mind that there’s a limit of 30 characters, and it can only contain letters, numbers, periods, and underscores.
The best practice when creating your username for your business is to keep it as simple as possible and just use the name of your business.
For example, if your company name is “Big Wave Tours”, you would want a username like “bigwavetours”, but if that’s not available consider some of the following options:
Here’s an example of a great Instagram username in action from Sierra Whitewater Rafting:
The second important element in your profile is your name. You’ll want to put your business name here, but be sure to use your name the way you want your fans to remember it.
Don’t be too technical or formal here and use things like “LLC” or “Co.” in your Instagram name, unless that’s part of your branding.
If there’s another tour business on Instagram who has the same name as you or you have franchises in other parts of the world, you might want to consider adding your city or state to your profile name like “Big Wave Tours San Diego”.
Check out how Northwoods Zipline Tours does a great job of displaying their business name in this example:
Your profile photo is the third element in creating a perfect Instagram profile, and since your logo is what customers recognize most about your brand, you’ll want to use it in your profile photo.
Keep in mind that the requirements for your profile photo dimensions are 110 pixels x 110 pixels, so it might be hard to fit your entire logo in your profile photo. If you can fit your entire logo, make sure it’s not so small that it’s not easy to recognize.
If that’s the case, then it’s a good idea to just use your brand icon, as it’s the best option for those instances where you don’t have enough space to display your entire logo.
Remember, your profile photo shows up in Instagram’s search results and in their “Stories” feed so it will be helpful if users can identify your brand just by looking at your profile photo.
In this example by Polynesian Cultural Center, they do a good job of displaying their logo clearly including their icon and company name:
Did you know that 60% of Instagram users say they learned about a product or service on Instagram? So if you’re doing everything right to get discovered on Instagram, the next thing you want to do is get people who view your profile to take action.
This is why a well-written bio is important.
Your bio is limited to 150 characters, so you’ll have to be brief. Before writing your bio, determine what your goals are and what action you want users to take after they read it.
Next, clearly explain your value proposition in your bio.
When writing your value proposition ask yourself, how do your tours and activities add value for your customers?
Do you offer tours that are unique experiences and aren’t found elsewhere? If so, make that clear in your bio. Here’s an example of a good value proposition:
“Hawaii’s most popular tour company featuring the world’s only snow and lava tour.”
Finally, include a call to action based on your goals. Is your goal to have users call you? Do you want them to visit your website and make a booking?
Whatever your goal is, use a call to action in your profile to drive users to reach that goal.
The fifth and final element of the perfect Instagram profile is the link to your website.
Since it’s not possible to include clickable links in your bio or in your posts, it’s important that you make this link count, so keep in mind the following best practices:
- Be sure to link to a page that’s optimized for mobile devices.
- Send visitors to a page that speaks to the fact that they’re visiting from Instagram. Consider giving them an exclusive offer to help improve conversions.
- Use a URL shortener like bit.ly, or create a dedicated page on your website just for visitors from Instagram so that you can track visits and conversions to help you measure the ROI of your efforts.
Take a look at this example from Expedia where they use a custom bit.ly link in their Instagram profile:
Over To You
- Have you seen any great examples of Instagram accounts in the tour and activity industry?
- Do you need help creating the perfect Instagram profile? Send me your questions.
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