The Problem with Links in Instagram (and How to Solve it)

Summary for busy knife makers

  • Links in Instagram are not clickable, EXCEPT the website link in your bio
  • Make that 1 link count!
  • In posts, refer to the “link in my bio”
  • Either use a custom page on your website, or use a free tool (see below)

Instagram is a quite simple tool and that’s great because it means you can figure out the basics somewhat fast, and start marketing your knives.

(Try the same on FB, you’ll spend a week just figuring out how to setup your page.)

One of the major limitations is a bit difficult, though:

Links are not clickable.

You also cannot select text and copy it. Which makes it really (really) hard to use Instagram to direct people to your shop or website or YouTube channel. Here is an example:

Those links are not clickable! You can’t select the text in the app either, so you cannot copy it!

So you’re sharing a teaser clip for your latest YouTube video and want to add a link to it? You’re screwed.

You’re posting a new knife and you want to link directly to your Etsy store? You’re screwed.

Pretty annoying, right?

Well, there is one escape hatch, though, the one clickable link in the entire Instagram world: the website link in your bio.

The only clickable link in Instagram: The website link. Nomad Knives uses it to link to their Etsy store.

But of course, that’s just ONE LINK. What if you want to link to your latest video and your Etsy shop and your Facebook page?

Let’s look at the options:

#1 Hope they use Instagram with a browser

When you visit Instagram on a browser, you can actually copy text from the bio or a pic caption. That means your visitors could copy links, too.

So, is that a solution? Not really.

My best guess is that 15 people on Planet Earth use Instagram with a browser. Okay, that’s probably wrong, but my point is: You should expect that most people will use the app, so putting an age-long link there does not help folks.

Hoping that people can copy links does not work.

#2 Add a short link (and hope they are willing to type)

That’s more like #1.5 than #2: You use a link shortener such as bit.ly to make the links very … short. That way, people have a chance to type that link into the browser on their phone.

But who will do that? Only the most devout. How can you make it easier for everyone?

#3 Let your visitors do the work

Or you can ignore the whole shebang and let your visitors do the work.

For example, if you’ve a nice website, then you might just link to it and make sure that the Facebook and YouTube links are prominent.

Or you channel everyone to your FB and let them figure out the rest.

What if you want to link to that Shop article for a knife, or that new video? Maybe you could have a “news” section … but really, the plain website or FB link doesn’t give you many options.

Not good enough? In luck you are, we’ve got more options!

#4 Link in Bio: always the latest

The simplest thing is to set that video link you want to share as the website link in your bio, and in the post just say:

Want to see my latest vid? Find the link in the bio!

Here is an example:

That works! Until it doesn’t.

The moment you post your next video, or want to link to your Etsy shop or website, you’re screwed again. The old posts can still attract a whole lot of interest and when those visitors click on the new link they end up somewhere else.

#5 Link in Bio: custom web page

So, if you want to let people find your Website and your Etsy shop and your latest YouTube video, you need some sort of … “table of content”, an easy way for some folks to find that YouTube video, and others to hop over to your shop.

How do you build such a table of content?

You’ve two options. The first is to just use your website, if you have one. You create a new page extra for this and just add all links there. You then add the link to that page to your bio.

If you add a new IG post, then just say “to see the full vid, click on the link in the bio”. And on that custom page, top thing, you link to that video.

That’s it.

We use that approach, because we like to be free in what we put on that site:

We use our website indieknives.com/iglinks for this.

Visit our Instagram Link page if you’re curious.

But, what if all you need is a few links? Or if you don’t have a website or don’t want to use it for that purpose?

#6 Link in Bio: use an app (they’re free)

If you want that table of contents but can’t use your own page, then you use one of the many apps out there.

For example, @OrganicBlades uses linktr.ee for that purpose:

This is what you get when clicking on the link in the bio: A very simple interface (for the free version):

Here are some of these apps and they even have free plans. (We’re not affiliated with any of them, and endorse none.)

instabio.cc

Website: https://instabio.cc/

Here are some knife makers that use instabio.cc at the time of this writing:

linkkle.com

Website: https://linkkle.com/

Here are some knife makers that use linkkle in Oct 2020:

linktr.ee

Website: https://linktr.ee/

This seems to be the most popular choice from what we’ve seen.

Here are some knife makers that use linktr.ee at the time of this writing.

linkin.bio

Website: https://linkin.bio/

Here are some knife makers that use linkin.bio at the time of this writing.

How do you work around Instagrams limitations? Tell us on IG!


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