With 500 million daily users and more than 80 percent of Instagram accounts following a business account, marketers must include Instagram as a part of their social media marketing strategy. It all starts with a perfect Instagram profile.
The best Instagram profiles have a few things in common, including easily identifiable usernames, a recognizable profile picture, a steady stream of Instagram Stories and photos, an informative yet delightful bio, a link to a relevant landing page, or campaign, and more.
Keep reading to learn how to customize your Instagram profile so it looks good, tells your potential followers who you are, and gives them a reason to follow and engage with you.
The Anatomy of a Perfect Instagram Profile
1. Public (Not Private) Profile
By default, your Instagram profile will be public — meaning anyone in the world can view your profile and posts on Instagram.
If you’re creating an Instagram profile for business, then that’s what you want: You want anyone to be able to view your posts and follow your brand if they want to. (Otherwise, if you keep your profile private, anyone who visits your profile won’t be able to view your photos, which could deter them from following you.)
Make sure that your profile is public: Open “Options” (the gear button on iOS, or three dots on Android) and make sure “Private Account” is turned off.
2. Recognizable & Searchable @Username (i.e., Handle)
Start by making sure your username is recognizable and easily searchable, like your business name. If you use your business name as a username, try keeping your business name as the first part of your username so that people searching for your business are more likely to come across your account. Here is an example from the Australian activewear line Lorna Jane uses the username @lornajaneactive.
To edit your @username: Go to your profile page and click the “Edit Profile” button to the right of your profile photo.
Then, tap on the text or open space to the right of the person icon and enter your desired username.
3. Easily Searchable Business Name
Next, make sure to add your full business name to the “name” section of your profile. This will appear right under your profile photo and your username in search.
To edit your business name: Go to your profile page and click “Edit Profile.” Then, click on the text or open space beside the clipboard icon at the top and enter your desired business name.
Instagram Profile Picture
4. An On-Brand Instagram Profile Picture
Your profile photo is one of the first impressions that catch people’s eyes when they visit your Instagram profile, as it’s displayed prominently in the top right-hand corner. It should be something easy to recognize – something that’s on-brand with your other social networks.
For most companies, this will be your company logo.
Now, notice that HubSpot’s profile photo in the image above is a circle. That wasn’t our choice; Instagram crops your profile photo into a circle (110 pixels in diameter) when you upload it to the app.
You don’t need to make the circle image yourself. Since you’ll have to crop your photo into a circle in the app, you’ll ideally want to upload a square photo with your logo in the center, placed so that the corners of the photo can be cut off without a problem.
For reference, keep in mind the minimum profile picture size for Instagram is 110 x 110 pixels — a perfect square. Don’t deviate too far from this minimum; staying below 200 x 200 is enough so users don’t see a blurry or stretched photo when visiting your profile page.
In the example below, you’ll see the corners are shaded, meaning Instagram will cut them off in the actual profile photo:
You can move that circle around or pinch-to-zoom until you find it good just the way you like it.
To add or change a profile photo: Go to your profile page and click “Edit Profile.” Then, tap “Edit” in the top right.
From there, you can import a photo from Facebook or Twitter, or choose one from your library. (We don’t recommend taking a new one on the spot.)
Also, consider the seasonal trends that take place over the year. Don’t be afraid to alter your image temporarily to honor a monthly theme. For example, because June is Pride Month, we gave our logo a temporary color change. Here’s what it currently looks like on the desktop:
Cool Instagram Profile Pictures
This Instagram, which highlights different cats on Instagram, hosts a profile picture that looks like that of a hipster cat.
Unlike most brands on Instagram, JetBlue shares a unique, but on-brand, color pattern rather than just their logo.
Kylie Cosmetics, which has a logo that features lipstick dripping off of voluminous lips, shook up its main image with some added holiday flair for. By simply added a Santa hat to the lips, the company instantly looked more festive.
5. Delightful, Actionable, Informative Bio
Like your profile photo, your “bio” (i.e., the description at the top of your profile) is one of the first things visitors to your profile will see.
You have a max of 150 characters: Use them to let people know what you’re about and give them a reason to follow you. Write down who you are, what you do, and don’t forget to add a hint of personality.
Here are a few examples for inspiration:
- WeWork: “WeWork provides you with space, community, and services you need to make a life, not just a living.”
- Oreo: “See the world through our OREO Wonderfilled lens.”
- Califia Farms: “Crafting, concocting, and cold-brewing up a delicious, plant-based future. Califia Farms Loves You Back”
- Staples: “We make it easy to #MakeMoreHappen”
You can also use this space to encourage some action. You can use a certain hashtag or clicking a link in your bio. Here are two examples:
- Lorna Jane: “Welcome to the home of #ActiveLiving – be inspired to #MoveNourishBelieve EVERY DAY. Show us how you live active – tag #lornajane to be featured ?”
- HubSpot: “All-in-one marketing & sales platform. We help businesses GROW. Follow for content, contests & more. Tag photos with #HubSpotting to get featured! ⬇️