How to choose an Instagram name and bio

by | Dec 22, 2015 | Blog

Transcript below:

Hello, everyone! Today we will be talking about Instagram marketing, and we are only going to talk about two things: number one, the name of your Instagram account — not the handle, but the name of your account — and the second thing we are going to talk about is Instagram bio.

Both of these things are extremely important because Instagram, in a weird way, is turning into a search engine. I’ll show you example: if we go into a search on Instagram, and I type something in like “Melbourne cafe” or “Melbourne bar,” what’s happening is that any account associated with the words “Melbourne” or “bar” comes up as the top recommendations.

You can see that the top recommendation here is Bar 1806, which is a cocktail bar in Melbourne. You’ll also see what their name is on their Instagram account: 1806 Cocktail Bar Melbourne. Then, they’ve got the address and the URL to their website. That is their whole name and their whole bio.

Let’s look up another interesting one, which is @archiesallday. This is an account that I really like, and I think the content on it is nice. The content on it is good, but this account here has no name, no bio, no website… Which is fine, because I think it’s their simplistic thing. But, if I search “Café Melbourne,” which is exactly what they are, it’s impossible for me to ever come across their Instagram account through search – unlike 1806, which I can find straight away.

So, when you’re on your Instagram account, and you click Edit Profile at the top, what that does is that it brings you to a Settings page that you probably haven’t looked at since you signed up for your Instagram account. The top thing – mine says “What to do in Melbourne” – that’s the name of your account.

Below that is your handle, your “at” – mine one is @melbournetodo. Next is your website, and after that is your bio. When we look at it together, the order gets jumbled up, but that’s how Instagram displays it all. You can see that in my bio, I am talking about what the account is actually about. @melbournetodo is about Melbourne’s secrets, you can reach us here, I’ve got an e-mail address, I’ve got a hashtag (which has over 23,000 photos uploaded to it)

It also has a call to action: Looking to learning Instagram marketing? You can click on that little URL, which is a shortened URL which allows tracking so I have analytics. Every single month, I know how many people from @melbournetodo Instagram clicked on it.
I was looking at this account the other day. This is quite troubling to me: @fordaustralia.
If you live in Australia, you probably know what Ford is. It’s Ford, I’m not going to explain what Ford is. But – they have one of the worst Instagram accounts ever. What they are doing is putting a whole bunch of ads on Instagram, which doesn’t work. They’re branding their content, which is unacceptable.

It’s called Ford Australia – the name on their account is Ford Australia, it’s from @fordaustralia… And they still feel the need to put their logo on a whole bunch of content. Not cool. They’re doing this kind of stuff and – I actually went through their whole account, every single time they have branded content or an ad, it gets less and less engagement.
This should be obvious. It really should be obvious.

They do this thing, which is interesting: Falcon Fridays. It’s all branded, and it’s interesting, but it’s not user-generated content. It’s just photos from their server drive, basically. So – looking at this, if the marketing manager says to that Instagram team, ‘Hey, how many clicks did we get from our Instagram profile to our website?’ it’s impossible for the social media guy (or girl) to answer that question. Their URL is I don’t know why there is a forward slash there, but there is.

Every time someone clicks on that, nobody knows about it. It’s just coming as a direct mobile view to their website; when I click on it, it says ‘Open in Safari?’ and I click ‘Yes’ and that tracking code isn’t coming across. It’s just a direct view to Ford, which then redirects to, which must be their mobile site. Anyway – if you work for Ford, you can fix this. It’s really, really easy. The first thing I would do is have a shortened URL or something like, and then you can track it. You can even have a specific Instagram offer for your Ford Instagram followers.

You could even have a call to action on there, like ‘To stay in touch with Ford…’ or ‘To stay in touch with – whatever, I don’t know what your cars are called – click here’ and have a little thing pointing down. People might click on it. I don’t know if they are at the moment, but that’s the point! You also don’t know if they’re clicking on it.
That’s enough about Ford. Going back to this…

The @melbournetodo Instagram account is called ‘What To Do In Melbourne’. So – when someone is looking for things to do or anything like that, my account will be coming up first. This is something that we spent a lot of time on.

We tried to think about what people are putting in there: if they type in ‘Melbourne,’ what else is coming up? Why are these accounts ranking? How do we get the as big an amount of people looking at our Instagram profile as possible?

So, going back to these two things: name is really, really important for how people see and perceive you.

Also, when I search ‘melbournetodo,’ the name of your account displays underneath it. It says ‘melbournetodo,’ and then underneath it, it says ‘What To Do In Melbourne’.
This is really nice because then I know that if I click on this account, I know what I’m getting into.

Then again – @archiesallday, which I don’t think you’d be very compelled to click on it right now unless you necessarily knew that it is a café. They’ve got a logo, which is really cool, but what is it? I’m not really compelled to click on it just because of the name.

So… By having a very highly optimised name, you can actually have more clickthroughs. Having a very highly optimised bio – that is the longer description, it has 150 characters in which you can have an e-mail address, you can let people contact you, you can give people a hashtag with which they can share content for you, and you can even entice people from your bio to click on your link.

I called it ‘link’ because Instagram calls it your website, but it’s not that. It’s so much more than that. It’s a way to track things, it’s a way to campaign things… This is the only active link that you are allowed to have on your whole Instagram page. You need to optimise it, and you desperately need to track it.

Thank you. That’s it for today.

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