Home SMM Instagram Bio in 2019: Biggest Hits and No-Nos, With Examples

Instagram Bio in 2019: Biggest Hits and No-Nos, With Examples

by Mary Ivanova

woman books desk working thinking contemplating

There are only two ingredients to an excellent Instagram bio for a business or a solopreneur – keeping it to the point and finding a way to stand out in the sea of similar bios from similar brands/professionals/gurus.

In this guide for a successful Instagram bio in 2019, we will be looking at the key ways to figure out the essentials you need to include in your bio, as well as considering your options when it comes to making your bio special and attention-grabbing.

The basics

Your Instagram bio is:

  • 150 characters long
  • searchable by search engines
  • only allows for one clickable link

What to mention

Depends on whether you are branding yourself as an independent professional or are running a corporate account, there are a few differences in the Insta bio must-haves, so let’s look at your options for each (just don’t cram all of them in one!).

Personality on Instagram:

  • profession/area of expertise
  • your latest project/collab/release
  • a mention of the brand you are working with, if they are on Instagram
  • contact information
  • follow invite

Brand on Instagram:

  • industry
  • type of product you make/services you provide
  • your locations
  • any sales or discounts going on
  • brand hashtag
  • follow invite
  • USP

The more known you are, the more vague and/or concise you can afford to be.

See this bio by Red Bull that only features a lead-in for the link in bio:

redbull instagram

Image from Instagram

Style

As a brand – whether a personal brand or a business – you have several ways to go when it comes to the style of your Instagram bio:

  • a pun
  • a listicle
  • something poetic, like a quote or a colorful description
  • minimalist
  • CTA-based

Here’s a bio from Boxed Water who went for a neat list of descriptives to characterize their brand:

boxed water instagram

Image from Instagram

CTA-based bio can direct their users to a landing page, a social media post, a contest, or even invite them to post under the brand hashtag. Here’s a simple CTA-based bio from Mejuri:

Mejuri instagram

Image from Instagram

Speaking of CTAs, you can actually build-in a call-to-action button under your bio, more about that in our themed post on CTAs on social media.

Structure

Instagram bio is a very short piece of copy, meaning you do not necessarily need structure to your text, but if you want to convey a specific message, you might benefit from a complimenting structure. Here are the few key types:

  • one idea per line:

cccshoesbags

Image from Instagram

  • emoji-based list:

hammonds icecream instagram

Image from Instagram

  • quote- or motto-based:

sinsay instagram

Image from Instagram

  • motto + CTA:

petal fresh instagram

Image from Instagram

  • simple descriptive + contact information:

redo home and design instagram

Image from Instagram

  • added space:

lacuna lab agency instagram

Image from Instagram

  • sub-brands directory:

hype beast instagram

Image from Instagram

To Emoji or Not to Emoji?

A good half of brand bios we’ve explored for this post contained at least one emoji. Emojis are expressive and fun. They allow you to tell the whole story with just one symbol. This begs the question – do bios sans emojis even work?

Let’s see:

reserved instagram

Image from Instagram

And another one:

kosta boda instagram

Image from Instagram

As you can see, no emojis keeps focus on the text and links, making it easier to concentrate on the message. At the same time, lack of attention-grabbing colors and shapes makes bio plain and the eye travels to the posts without giving the bio much more than a stingy glance.

Here’s a list of cases when you do need a bio emoji:

  • to draw attention to your CTA
  • to add fun/emotion to your message
  • to highlight a list
  • to tell more with fewer symbols
  • to relay brand identity

This is how The Body Shop uses emojis to emphasize their socially conscious business model:

the body shop instagram

Image from Instagram

Hashtags?

If you can @handle it, put a #hashtag on it. I’ll see myself out.

There’s only one excuse to feature your brand hashtag in your Instagram bio – when it is part of a CTA.

Many brands like to feature user-generated content on their feed, which means inviting users to share their images of your product or service under the brand hashtag is nothing short of called for.

pull and bear instagram

Image from Instagram

Now, this is how to REALLY make your bio pop

As we went through the basics of a good, up-to-date bio, let’s look at a few ways to make your bio cool again.

Way #1

Make it really, really short. All the cool kids of the internet don’t write a lot in their bio to avoid coming across as trying too hard. To win the bio game in 2019, include only a few essentials and keep it under 5 words:

castle cliff nyc instagram

Image from Instagram

avant arte instagram

Image from Instagram

Way #2

Make it authentic. Creating a short bio that reflects exactly what your brand is in a voice that’s akin to something you’d write in an email invite to a group of friends:

the very good bra instagram

Image from Instagram

Let’s review

  • An Instagram bio is 150 characters long. That’s roughly three sentences.
  • It’s searchable by search engines and only allows for one clickable link. You can add a CTA button right under you bio and highlights.
  • Short, descriptive bios work best. The shorter the bio, the cooler the vibe.
  • Use Instagram bio to advertise your events, deals, offers and locations and invite users to follow.
  • Bios can be a list, a pun, or CTA-based. Emojis and hashtags are optional.
  • Authentic, true to brand voice, simple bios work best.

Final thoughts

And now the bad news – no matter how cool or up to date you bio will become after you edit it once you’ve finished reading, you are still going to have to go back and update it in a few months, if not weeks. The thing is, Instagram bio is the kind of copy that goes stale fast. Let me explain.

Sure, your existing followers might not frequent your profile page that often. But not everyone on Instagram follows every account they are vaguely interested in. A good chunk of your target audience occasionally stumbles upon your profile here and there, either from ads you run, hashtags or plain accident.

To re-engage them with your content and, hopefully, convert, introduce changes to your bio that will keep your visitors reading it (human mind has evolved to spot change in the environment) instead of discarding the information as something they’ve already seen before.

Your bio information shouldn’t stay the same for prolonged periods of time, so here are a few ideas on how to keep it fresh:

  • update it with latest brand news
  • announce sales, discounts, upcoming events
  • add new locations if you have them listed

Show us your new bios in the comments below or tag us on Instagram!

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