The Beginner’s Guide To Using Instagram Links

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Rafaella Aguiar

Last Updated: May 27, 2021

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When you use Instagram for business, you need to make sure your links are optimized fully. Let’s back up for a moment – did you know that Instagram lets you share links?

It’s a little trickier there than on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media platform. Never fear, there are actually quite a few ways that you can include links on Instagram. 

Adding A Link To Your Instagram Bio

This is the first and most well-known way to add a link on Instagram is by adding a link to your bio. Your bio is actually the only place on Instagram where you can have a link that can be permanently accessed.

Anyone who wants to follow your page will see your link in your bio before they hit the “follow” button. Everyone knows how to access this link if you promote it in one of your posts or even your Stories, too. 

The downside to the bio link is that you only get one. So if you’re always promoting a new link or resource in your posts, your followers might lose track, especially if they see your post a few days after you published it.

Similarly, you’ll have to remember to switch out the link on a continual basis so you have the correct one in your bio.

You can solve this problem by using a link in bio tool, like url.bio. These tools give you a page you can link to where you can include however many links you’d like. Url.bio also lets you customize the look of your page so your followers and visitors can know they’re in the right spot.

You can use this to always have a link to your website, your opt-in and your other social media platforms, and you can always add your latest blog post or causes you support.

instagram links using url.bio
kicksta's url.bio profile

Your link in your bio is very important, because when people want to learn more about your brand or your business, they’ll head to your bio to find your website, even if you don’t ask them to do so.

If you don’t optimize this link – or at least take advantage of it – you’re losing out on valuable clicks and traffic from your Instagram audience.

Swipe-Up Links In Your Stories

Your bio isn’t the only place you can give your audience access to a link. You can also add links to your Instagram Stories via the swipe-up feature.

More and more people are spending their Instagram time scrolling through Stories, so this is a great place to capture their attention and give them access to your great content that lives off of Instagram.

Before we talk about how to add a link to an Instagram Story, it’s important to know who can use the swipe-up feature. The first way to get access to this is by having 10,000 followers.

This is the milestone Instagram rewards, so if you’re getting close to 10K, you’re almost there. The second way to get the swipe-up feature is by being verified. That little blue check mark might be even harder to achieve than 10K. Finally, you can add a swipe-up link to your Stories if they’re paid ads.

instagram links in stories

When you add a swipe-up link to your Stories, there are a few best practices you should follow.

To begin with, if you’re filming a video, make sure you add captions. This makes your Instagram Stories more accessible for those who have hearing impairments, as well as for everyone who watches Stories without sound. 

Whether you use a video or a photo for your background, you want to communicate with your viewers why they should swipe up to get the link.

What’s in it for them? They’re probably very happy to be browsing Instagram, so make sure that your link has an incredible offer that’s irresistible. 

Finally, make sure you save your Stories that have the swipe-up feature to your Highlights. This way your audience can access them after the first 24 hours are over. You could even create a special highlight just for links or discounts to make it even easier on your audience to access.

Shoppable Links

If you sell physical products and you have a Facebook page for your business, you need to be using shoppable links. If you don’t have a business Facebook page, you need to make one and then start using shoppable links.

You can add these links to your feed posts or your Stories, and they make the buying process much easier for your audience.

Shoppable Links In A Post

For a post, you’ll want to start with a photo that includes the product(s) you want to make shoppable. You’ll also need to have your Facebook business account set up and have a shoppable catalog created in that account.

You can also use your Shopify account if you have one of those. Before you can create a shoppable post, you’ll need to activate this feature by going into your settings and then the “business” tab. From there you’ll select “sign up for shopping” and follow the on-screen prompts from there.

setting up instagram shopping
instagram shopping set up

Once your account is ready, you can create shoppable posts easily. Simply create your post and then right beneath “tag people” you should see an option to “tag products.” Select that option and then tag any product you want to make shoppable.

shoppable post and instagram links

Shoppable Links In Your Story

Creating shoppable links in your Story is almost as easy. As you’re creating your Story, choose the product sticker from the sticker options, and then select the product from your catalog you want to showcase. Position your sticker well, and then you’re ready to go.

But you don’t just want to create these shoppable posts and Stories and leave them hanging. Instead, you want to evaluate how well they’re performing. To do that, you’ll need to spend some time in your Instagram insights to check their conversion rates. 

Go to the post you want to analyze and select “view insights.” From there you’ll be able to see your product views, or how often users tapped on your tag, and product button clicks, or how often people visited a product page from your post.

Promoting Your Posts

Did you know there’s a special feature you can use to include a clickable link in your caption? There is. If you turn your post into a promoted post, Instagram will allow you to add a clickable link to the caption. They’ll even add a “see more” banner that goes on the base of your photo so viewers can easily be compelled to click.

clickable instagram links in post

This is an additional feature that’s only available for promoted content. As of the time of this writing, you can’t add clickable links in the captions of regular Instagram posts.

So, if it isn’t a promoted post with a clickable link, please don’t include a long link in your caption. It will just make it look messy and frustrate viewers who aren’t able to click on it.

There’s a way around this, though, if you don’t want to pay to promote your posts. It won’t give you a clickable link, but it’s a good runner-up option. You can add calls to action that direct your followers to the link in your bio.

pro tip star

Pro Tip: You can include a short link (like a bitly) that your followers can easily copy and paste or remember and type into their search engine.

If you’re going to use one of these latter options, make sure your caption is intriguing and makes your audience really want to learn and read more.

They’ll have to take a few extra steps to be able to see your content, so if they aren’t highly motivated to do so, they’re more likely to give up. High-quality posts and a compelling call to action can help you inspire them to take action.

Instagram Links In DMs

In your direct messages, you can include as many links as you’d like on Instagram. There’s nothing stopping you from sending direct links to your followers via direct message, but you’ll want to make sure it’s something they really want to see first, so you don’t come across as pushy.

Why Use DM’s As A Business On Instagram?

If you’re a business and you’re not using your DMs fully, you’re missing out on a gold mine of engagement with your audience. This is where you can really get to know your followers.

You can learn what they like seeing from you and what they’d rather just scroll past. You can brainstorm potential product and service ideas with them to see what really resonates. Using your DMs as a brand on Instagram is crucial.

When you’re in conversation with one of your followers, you can easily add a link and provide them with more value. If they’re asking you about your products or services, it’s easy to include a link to your webpage that has more in-depth information.

You can connect with potential partners, and then share your resources and offerings with them. Maybe they’d be willing to promote your business if you promote theirs. This can help you expand your network and increase your reach. 

Using The DM Sticker

Speaking of the swipe up feature – using links in your DMs can be a great replacement for that. If you don’t have the swipe up, add the “DM” sticker on your Instagram Story and ask your audience to send you a message if they’re interested in what you’re sharing.

Or, you can post a poll and then respond to every person who participates, and based on which resource they voted for you can send them a link.

utilizing instagram polls

Instagram Links In IGTV Descriptions

You can also add a link to the description of your IGTV video. As you’re creating your IGTV video, you’ll want to add your link into the description box, not the title.

For your viewers to access the link, they’ll first need to click on the title of your video, and then the description will appear and they can click on the link. It’s not the simplest method, but it does give you a chance to include a clickable link within the post itself.

adding instagram links to IGTV

Brands Who Kill The Game

Tarte Cosmetics does a great job of incorporating links into their Instagram account. As you can see in these examples, they have a link in their bio, one in their IGTV title, a swipe up on their Story and a shoppable post in their feed.

tarte instagram bio

By combining all of these tactics, they make sure that anyone who wants to access their products can do so.

tarte cosmetics using all instagram links tactics

Another brand that’s doing a great job including Instagram links is CALIA by Carrie, the fitness apparel line by singer Carrie Underwood. They use links in their bio, IGTV descriptions and shoppable posts.

Calia by Carrie Instagram bio

These links all show their followers where they can easily find their products, especially when they drop a new collection. By coordinating your link efforts, you give your audience easy ways to purchase from you.

Calia by carrie instagram links

Finally, Newman’s Own is also doing a great job using Instagram links. Yes, the salad dressing brand. They have sponsored posts to promote their new pizzas, and they have a link in their bio.

When you visit their page via a sponsored post, there’s also a link at the bottom to visit their website straight from there.

newsmansown sponsored instagram links

Using Instagram Links For Beginners

No matter how you choose to incorporate Instagram links into your marketing strategy, it’s important that you do so. After all, Instagram links are what can drive your audience off of Instagram and onto your website, email list or shop.

That’s where you can control their experience and really help nurture them from an interested follower into a converted customer. 

Instagram is truly an excellent way to find new followers and reach potential customers. But when you’re really ready to transition your followers into customers, you’ll need to take them off the app – and that’s where Instagram links can help.

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