How to Use Links Effectively on Instagram (3 Easy Methods)

While it’s a valuable platform for spreading awareness about your business, Instagram has historically been one of the more link-resistant social media sites. In fact, even to this day Instagram still doesn’t allow hyperlinks in normal posts.

However, times are changing, and Instagram has recently become much more accommodating when it comes to linking. There are now multiple ways of incorporating links into your posts and profile, and not all of them are obvious.

In this article, we’ll discuss how you can use links effectively on Instagram. We’ll show you how you can add them to your stories, your user profile, and more. Let’s get started!

Why You Should Use Links on Instagram

Instagram has seen a meteoric rise since it first launched in 2010. As recently as June 2018, this photo and video sharing network boasted one billion monthly users. This has naturally made it a desirable outlet for marketers, and anyone else who wants to spread the word about their brand or website.

The problem is that, up until recently, Instagram has been notoriously hesitant when it comes to enabling links. Even now, it’s not possible to add links directly to your posts through comments or post descriptions, even though this is something that has been possible on other social networks for a long time.

However, there are still ways to incorporate links into your business’ Instagram profile, and they’re well worth looking into. Many Instagram users follow brands specifically to find out about new products and offers, for example, and advertisements have proven especially successful with users in the 16-34 age range. The key is knowing how to encourage those users to check out your key marketing links.

How to Use Links Effectively on Instagram (3 Easy Methods)

Next up, we’re going to show you a few ways you can implement links on Instagram. To get started, we recommend that you use shortened and trackable links in all of the following methods. You can easily create these using Pretty Links. That way, you’ll be able to track your links and see how well they perform on Instagram, which can help you optimize your efforts even further.

1. Add a Link to Your User Profile

The user bio from Nintendo of America's Instagram profile.

Adding a link to your Instagram profile, as Nintendo of America has done here, helps direct users to your website.

The simplest way to get a link on Instagram is to simply add it to your profile. The link will then appear right underneath your user bio, enabling visitors to click through. This is a perfect way to send people to your website’s home page, or to a special landing page.

However, you can also use this feature to get around the fact that you can’t add links to your post descriptions. All you need to do is to include a link in your profile that is relevant to your most recent post. Then, add a message to the post itself, along the lines of: “Link in bio!” This is a common tactic, and it offers the added benefit of driving users to your profile.

2. Incorporate Product Links into Your Shoppable Posts

An Instagram post from Sephora, showing three product tags.

Product tags in posts let you link directly to your products, much like this example from Sephora.

If you want to promote physical products on Instagram, you can do so by creating shoppable posts. These appear just like normal posts, except that when a user ‘taps’ them, they’ll see links to the featured product(s). Users can then follow these links to each product’s page. In fact, Instagram recently extended this functionality to its Stories feature as well.

In order to create posts with product tags, your account needs to be approved for shopping. This requires your products to match the platform’s policies, and you’ll also need to connect your account to a Facebook catalog. Once you’ve been approved, you can enable product tagging in your settings, and start adding links to posts and stories.

3. Create Story Links

A screenshot from a Instagram Story video posted by Amazon, showing a See More prompt.

Instagram enables you to add links to your stories, as seen in this example from Amazon.

We’ve briefly mentioned Instagram Stories already. This is one of the most popular aspects of the platform, with over 400 million daily users. Stories differ from posts in that they only appear for 24 hours, and they can be customized with features like GIFs, polls, filters, and much more.

Best of all, Instagram enables you to add links directly to your stories. They’ll appear as a See More prompt at the bottom of the screen, which users can tap to navigate to each link’s destination. This is a terrific opportunity to promote your links organically. If your story manages to capture your users’ attention, they’ll likely be interested in seeing more.

Unfortunately, story links are currently only available to verified accounts, or those with more than 10,000 followers. However, it is possible that Instagram will extend this functionality in the future, as it has already lowered the minimum required number of followers. Meanwhile, if you are able to verify your account, you can start incorporating key links into your stories right away.

Conclusion

At first glance, it might seem like it’s impossible to use links on Instagram. However, while the platform is unusually restrictive with linking, it does offer numerous creative ways to implement links into your posts and profile.

In this article, we’ve discussed three ways you can use links effectively on Instagram:

  1. Add a link to your user profile.
  2. Incorporate product links into your shoppable posts.
  3. Create story links.

Do you have any questions about using links on Instagram? Let us know in the comments section below!

Categories: Social Marketing
About John Hughes

John is a blogging addict, a WordPress fanatic, and a staff writer for WordCandy.co

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