If you use Instagram, you’ve seen people publicize a URL they want you to visit by saying “Clink link in bio.”
Why do people do this?
They do this because Instagram doesn’t automatically hotlink URLS that you put into the caption of your photo or other comments. And since the great majority of people use Instagram on their phones, copying and pasting a URL from a comment is, well, no one is going to do that.
The only place that Instagram does hotlink a URL is the “Website” field in your Profile. This is a ubiquitous field in online account profile screens, and it’s made for people to link to the home page of their websites.
But the Internet is smarter than that, and Instagrammers have come up with a “hack” to use this field to link to their latest blog post, or deal, or whatever the latest thing is that they’re promoting.
So, the simply say “Link in bio” or something similar. You click the bio, click the link, and you’re off.
Easy. (Sort of.) Clever.
What’s the problem?
Here’s how you think this works:
- Change the profile URL to the thing you want people to see.
- Post a new image to Instagram and include “Click link in bio” to steer people to it.
- People see the post, click the link in your bio.
- Everybody’s happy.
This would work if Instagram’s feed was simply chronological, showing your posts to your followers in the order you post them. But awhile back, Instagram followed Facebook’s lead and started using a fancy algorithm to display posts.
You’ve probably noticed that sometimes you see posts for two, three, five days ago in your feed. This is the algorithm deciding what to show you and when.
Are you starting to see the problem?
If you post every day, and in each post you put, “Click link in bio,” but I don’t see your post until several days later, the link in your bio will go to something completely different from the post I saw.
You know what happens when people don’t get what they expect on the internet? They leave. Because, oh look a cat video! Or #breaking news. Or literally anything else. There’s always something else.
And remember, because of the algorithm is based on each followers activity, likes, etc. you have no idea what post is getting shown to who or when.
What’s the solution?
The solution is to make an archive page on your website that has links to all of the things you’ve linked to on Instagram and put that link in your profile.
You might even want to make it www.yourdomain.com/Instagram to make it easy, like the NY Times does.
This way, no matter when your followers see a particular post they can easily get to the link they were looking for.
There are other benefits to this as well:
- Ease for you: It’s a constant URL, so you don’t have to take the time to change it with each new post
- Fool-proof: Similarly, you never have to worry about forgetting to change it with each new post
- Ease for fans: It’s super easy for your followers to remember, so even if they aren’t on Instagram, or can’t find your post but want to get back to a URL (you know, to share with a friend), they can simply go directly to this URL.
- SEO: This creates a nice launch page of links for search engines to crawl