Your bakery’s Instagram is like the lobby of your entire business. It can make or break a potential customer's first impression!
Poorly lit photos, missing information in your bio, confusing instructions on how to order… they can all impact how a customer perceives your business, and ultimately, their decision to make a purchase.
Perfecting your home-based bakery’s Instagram presence doesn’t have to be a full-time job. With a few small tweaks (some of which you might not ever have to change again!), your bakery business’ Instagram profile can create a great first impression.
The Basics: Instagram for Business
First things first: If you want to have access to Instagram’s suite of business-focused tools, you’ll need to have a business profile. If you ever plan to run ads, want insights into your post performance, want to set up Quick Replies to messages, or have contact buttons on your profile, make sure your profile is a business profile. Here’s how to set up an Instagram business account.
Choosing Your Handle
Your @handle, or your username, is how people identify your business on Instagram. This is the first thing that they’ll see when they come to your profile, and it’s what customers will share when they tag you in photos.
In most cases, you’ll want to use the name of your bakery business as your Instagram handle. However, with over a billion users, your first-choice handle might not be available. If it’s not, consider these variations:
- Add your city or state name to the end of your handle (example: @emilybakesNYC)
- Add periods or underscores to your desired handle (example: @emily_bakes)
- Add your product type to the end of your handle (example: @emilybakescookies)
If you don’t want to use your business name as your handle, you’ve got options. Maybe you’ll get lucky and claim a regional handle, like @nyccookies or @saltlakecitybakes. This can help your business become more searchable on Instagram, which we’ll cover in the next section.
Choosing a Display Name
If you’ve got major name recognition in your city, then by all means — use your first and last name as the name in your business profile. But if you’re like most of us, that isn’t the case. The name field on your profile is an opportunity to be found by customers.
How? When you choose your display name, include important keywords in your name. If my bakery sells cookies online and I’d like to reach customers searching for cookies in New York, I would choose a display name like “NYC Cookie Artist | Emily’s Cookies.”
Which keywords are important and relevant to your business? You might choose product-based keywords, like cakes, cookies, cupcakes, or cake pops — or you might focus on location (“Florida,” “Tri-State Area,” “West Hollywood”), event types (“Birthday Cookies,” “Wedding Cakes”), or something completely different. You know your products and audience best!
Writing Your Instagram Bio
An Instagram bio may be limited to 150 characters, but that’s plenty of space to provide your customers with the details they need to know about your business. This isn’t the time to write out your entire biography… even if this part of your profile is called your bio.
The perfect Instagram bio for a business:
- Is short
- Can be quickly skimmed
- Tells customers the information they need to know
- Contains important keywords
- Shares a little bit about you and what makes your business special
Let’s break down a few of those points.
A Good Instagram Bio is Skimmable
You’ve only got 150 characters, so your Instagram profile’s description isn’t going to be that long no matter what. But this isn’t the time to be nitpicky with grammar! Use emojis to cut down on text and immediately convey what you sell, how you sell, and where you sell. If you sell cookies, the cookie emoji only takes up one character, while writing out “cookies” takes seven!
So, what are those important details that a customer should be able to skim to find?
A Good Instagram Bio Tells Customers What They Need to Know
A great bio is key to successfully selling food on Instagram. For most home-based bakers, a good bio includes the same few pieces of information, like:
- What you sell (cookies, custom cakes, pastries, desserts, cake pops, cupcakes, etc.)
- Where you sell (your city, region, neighborhood, or state)
- How you sell it (pickup, local delivery, shipping in-state, nationwide shipping, etc.)
- When you sell (do they have to pre-order? How far are you booked out?)
- How to order (usually through the link in your bio, or “DM to order”)
A Good Instagram Bio Contains the Right Keywords
The right keywords depend on your business. Typically, they are location and product-based, but they could be focused on a certain holiday or event. If you ship your products, you aren’t bound to a certain geography, so the sky's the limit! Make sure to check your cottage food laws before you start shipping across the U.S. Consider “negative keywords” too — if you can’t ship, you might include that in your bio to prevent confusion.
A Good Instagram Bio Tells Customers Why to Buy
At the end of the day, your home bakery’s Instagram profile is a sales tool, right? Treat your bio as one, too. What makes your business unique? Why should a customer buy from you instead of their local grocery store’s bakery department? If you cater to special diets, mention that! If you’re a certified, licensed home baker, mention that! If you’ve been baking for 20 years, mention that! There are so many ways to set yourself apart from other bakers. Use your bio as an opportunity to stand out.
Choosing a Business Category
When you set up your Instagram business profile, you’ll be prompted to select a business category. For a home baking business, you’ll probably choose the Bakery category. Instagram offers a ton of business categories, though, so take a scroll through them and choose the one that fits your business. Some categories are more specific than others. For instance, Instagram offers a Cupcake Shop category, but no cake-related categories.
Adding Contact Information
One of the key benefits of using an Instagram Business profile is the ability to add contact information to your page. With just a tap or two, customers can email, call, or text you, directly from your business profile. While that may sound like a nightmare to some, it’s a great way to field new business directly from Instagram. Learn how to edit your business information here.
If you’d like to add a link to your Instagram profile (which we highly recommend), you’re limited to just one. Many Instagrammers use link aggregation tools like Linktree to get around the single-link limit — these tools create a list of links that your customers can choose from to find what they’re looking for.
We recommend adding a link to your online store or order form to make it easy for customers and potential customers to support your business. By putting your store link front and center, you’re less likely to lose customers who aren’t willing to go through a bunch of steps to order from you.
Adding Instagram Story Highlights
Highlights are like the cherry on top of a well-built Instagram profile. They add a pop of color to your profile, and also have the potential to answer all of the questions you can’t possibly answer in your bio. Share resources like FAQs, past order photos for inspiration, menus, and testimonials to your business page’s Instagram Stories. After you’ve posted, save them to a highlight on your profile! You can build creative covers for your highlights in Canva, too — match them to your brand, add photos, or keep them simple!
Use Your Instagram to Sell More Cakes, Cookies, or Baked Goods
Instagram is a powerful tool, and it’s powered many baked goods businesses. There’s no better way to show off your baking skills and reach new audiences than on social media. With a few adjustments and additions, you can turn a plain Instagram page into a valuable sales tool for your cottage bakery. Ready to move to the next step of perfecting your home bakery’s Instagram? Learn how to take great photos of your products here.