What does “link in bio” mean? And where did it start? Learn this and more in this informative article that will help you learn to drive traffic.
Keyword(s): link in bio
Modern marketers have a slew of digital tools at their fingertips. Social media is arguably the most powerful one, allowing them to reach an expansive community of followers with a single post.
With more than two billion active monthly users (MAU), Instagram is a top player in this space, bolstering the success of its parent company, Meta. Likewise, TikTok continues to grow in popularity, surpassing the one billion MAU mark in September 2021.
Both apps allow users to invite followers into their lives, but there’s only so much you can share within those boxes.
Enter, the link in bio.
One quick scroll through these platforms will reveal that this is an oft-repeated phrase, used by social media superstars and newcomers alike. What does it mean, where did it come from, and why should you use it? Today, we’re sharing all the details you need to know.
Understanding Link Limitations
Unlike other social media sites, Instagram and TikTok do not allow users to share links to other websites in their posts. While you’re free to type one in, it will not appear as a clickable URL. Instead, they’re required to copy and paste it into their browser, or type it out themselves in a new window.
In one way, this is a strategic move, as it drastically limits outbound traffic and keeps visitors on the app or website. After all, both platforms have turned into social selling sites that offer users essentially free advertising space, so it’s understandable that there’s a cap to it.
However, it also limits how much a user is able to share with their followers. For apps built largely around influencer marketing, it’s easy to see how this can be a roadblock.
However, Instagram and TikTok don’t completely prohibit linking. Depending on the type of account you have, you can add a link in your online bio, though the two sites differ in how they approach this rule. What is a link in bio and how does it work?
Let’s take a look.
Link in Bio on Instagram
All Instagram users are allowed to include one bolded, clickable link in their site bios, which are located at the top of their profiles. When a visitor clicks on that designated link, it will take them to an external site outside of Instagram.
In addition, users who register with a verified business account can also put links in their Instagram stories once they reach the coveted 10,000-follower mark. Though this is a convenient feature, it’s inaccessible for many people, especially those who are building their brand from the ground up.
Link in Bio on TikTok
TikTok is a little more restrictive when it comes to allowing clickable links in user bios. To unlock this feature, users have to register with a business account from the start, or switch over to one from a personal account.
The Purpose of a Link in Bio
To reach these links, visitors have to travel to your profile, first. While your posts can change daily or sometimes multiple times per day, your profile is up there until you decide to edit it.
At only a handful of characters, it’s a concise but critical space. You get 150 on Instagram, and 80 on TikTok.
Your profile is where you’ll summarize your mission and vision, and the online personality you want to carve out for yourself. This is true whether you’re at the helm of a global brand, or a self-employed influencer.
For that reason, most users will reserve the last line in their profiles for their link in bio. That way, they can capture their readers’ attention first, and get as many eyes on their content as possible.
Then, they can tease those links in their social media posts. Sure, it would be nice if you could simply link to a new product, blog post, or promotion. Yet, while that convenience would make life easier for your followers, it wouldn’t be as beneficial for you. There’d likely be lots more click-throughs on your content, and less on-page engagement.
By sending them back to your bio instead, you get the opportunity to hold onto their attention for just a little longer, and those few seconds could make a world of difference.
How to Set One Up
When you’re ready to add a link to your bio, the process is relatively easy. Here are the steps to follow.
First, click on your profile icon, located on the bottom right corner of your Instagram home page. This will take you to your main Instagram profile. Then, click “Edit Profile” in the top menu.
This takes you to your profile setup page. In the top section, you can enter your name, username, and a short bio. There’s also a space to enter your website. This is where you’ll enter the link.
Add it, save changes, and you’re all set.
If you have a verified TikTok business account, tap the “Me” tab on your home page. Then, click “Edit Profile” and add your link in the “Add Website” field, similar to the steps for Instagram above.
Notice that you don’t have that field available? If that’s the case, then your profile is set to personal. To switch over to a business account, click the three dots in the upper-righthand corner of your “Me” tab.
The first option is “Manage Account”. Click there, and then scroll to “Switch to Pro Account” and then click “Business”. Once you select the niche that your business operates within (e.g. beauty/fashion, food/cooking, etc.) then you can re-visit your “Me” tab and the “Add Website” field should appear on your profile.
Optimizing the Reach of Your Link in Bio
With only one shot to take visitors away from your platform and onto a new site, you naturally want to use your link in bio as strategically as possible.
There are a few different ways you can do so. Let’s take a look.
Link to a Landing Page
A landing page is a page that serves as a singular call to action. You can use yours to drive traffic toward a specific campaign.
Landing pages can help you capture leads and drive sales in many different ways, and if you don’t have a full-blown website yet, they’re easier to design and implement. You can use one to sell a product or service, get people to sign up for a one-off event, grow your newsletter subscriptions, or even run a contest.
While your homepage is naturally multi-faceted and includes a ton of information, your landing pages aren’t meant to be as distracting. Rather, they’re simple in focus and direct in nature. They prompt users to perform one action, such as share their contact information, sign up for a free trial, enter a promotion, etc.
If you want to extend that campaign to your social media followers (and why wouldn’t you?), then adding a link to your landing page can be an ultra-effective way to use your link in bio.
Link to Your Top Seller
First, you could use the link to direct visitors to the web page that advertises your latest or best-selling product or service.
This drives traffic to your website, but it’s up to you to keep them hooked. If your website is responsive, engaging, and user-friendly, then they’ll be inspired to click through your other pages to learn more about your brand.
Link to a Promotion
Do you have a big sale going on over on your e-commerce website? Are you trying to build hype around a new offering that you’ve just launched?
Use the link in your bio to direct visitors to that page, and you can ensure the upcoming promotion doesn’t get lost among your existing content. If you’re offering promo codes or discounts, create a separate post and share them with your followers.
Link to Your Web Profile
Sure, you can give visitors a snippet of your brand in just a few words, but that rarely tells the whole picture. If you’d rather use this space to explain yourself a little more, then link to your personal blog profile, or the “About Us” page on your brand’s website.
This gives you the opportunity to expand the conversation and relay more information about your background, focus, and plans for the future.
Link to More Content
Do you want people to visit your social media site, and then explore the other types of content you’ve created? For instance, you may have a podcast, YouTube channel, or collection of blog articles in addition to your Instagram or TikTok page.
If so, then you can use the link in bio feature to advertise one of those features, too.
Using a Social Media Landing Page
Like asking a genie for three more wishes, you can also direct your link to more links, through a comprehensive social media landing page.
This is essentially a third-party app that acts as a micro-website. It allows you to list multiple, clickable links all in one spot. You can design each link with a graphic that hints to the content visitors will discover when they click it.
Like a website landing page, a social media landing page has one intent — to send followers to various extensions of your brand.
History and Origins
Instagram has been around since October 2010, and TikTok since September 2016. Social media landing pages first debuted in between those two dates, with the first usage noted around 2014.
Around that time, Instagram switched from a chronological feed to one based on an algorithm. For many, it resembled the shift heard ’round the world when, in 2006, Facebook debuted its revolutionary News Feed, replacing the typical profile page users were accustomed to seeing upon login.
With the new algorithmic setup, Instagram users had to find a way to make sure the links in their bios were relevant, even if someone saw them a few days later. They were also running into issues with time sensitivity. When their promotion was up or the event was over, they had to change their profile link across every platform.
The obvious solution was to create a personal website they could link out to, but not every influencer or startup owner had that budget or bandwidth. With a social media landing page, they could house their most important links in one spot, and updates made there would translate everywhere they shared the URL.
Thankfully, you no longer have to jump through hoops or spend a ton of time and money to enjoy a beautiful, functional website. Our Site Maker Tool lets you get started in seconds.
The best part? You don’t need any design or coding skills to get started.
Whether you link to it directly in your bio or add it to your landing page, it’s the all-in-one, smartphone-friendly way to launch your blog, personal site, project site, or CV. You can even register for a .LINK domain name that encompasses all of the different site elements you want to “link” together!
How to Optimize Yours
Links can go to your shop, website, blog, subscription service, or anywhere else that you wish. For a real-world example, check out Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s social media landing page.
Here, you’ll find links to the websites of all of The Rock’s various business ventures, including Teremana Tequila, ZOA Energy Drinks, and Project Rock. There’s also a link to his YouTube channel, as well as the latest song he’s listening to on Spotify.
This page does more than distribute data. It serves as extension of The Rock’s brand, and yours can do the same for you. It allows you to house all of your different interests and pursuits under the same roof, and reach as many people as possible.
While you can build a custom landing page from scratch and link to that, it’s much easier to use the plethora of online tools that are designed to do the task for you.
These pages are usually bare-bones in nature, and intentionally so. They are meant to act as take-off zones, so visitors want to click away (and onto your content) rather than spend too much time engaged on the landing page itself.
While most platforms offer users a basic micro-website for free, keep in mind that you’re usually limited in the number of links you can include. With a premium membership, you can access to features such as unlimited linking, web traffic analytics, and more.
Use Your Link to Your Advantage
It’s time to leverage the power of the link in bio feature. This URL can take your followers anywhere you want them to go, whether that’s a campaign, new launch, or simply back to your website.
The constraints of this tool are what make it so valuable to marketers and influencers. You only have one link but if you do it right, one is enough.
Interested in staking out your corner of the internet? If so, our team can help. We make it easy to register, host, and manage your own domain, so sign up for an account today!