Link Services Explained
Instagram currently limits business accounts in the amount of linking out of their app they allow. Pasting a link in the caption on posts will work on Facebook but not on Instagram.
If you don’t have a shoppable website connected to SideDoor then a free Link Service is a great way to send your fans to your shoppable collections. A link service is a landing page that allows you to have multiple clickable links. Having an option in your bio which doesn’t immediately force the user out of the app when they tap it, but instead allows them to explore more of your content and products from within Instagram is a valuable tool in monetizing your social media. Once you add one of these to your bio, there are infinite options of what you can do with it. Our favorite feature is that this is an option for inputting links to all of your SideDoor collections to allow users to browse and checkout (without leaving IG). There are many options for bio link services but in this article we are going to cover 3 of the main link services we see used frequently: Linktree, Linkin.bio (Later), and Smart.bio (Tailwind).
In our opinion, Linktree is the best choice for someone who doesn’t want to pay for this type of service and isn’t already using post scheduling apps like Later or Tailwind. Even if you are using those platforms, this may be a better option depending on the look you want for your bio link pop-up. This service has both free and paid plans, depending on the amount of visual customization you want to pay for. If you are planning to direct people to this bio link frequently and add links all over the web you may want to consider the paid option. You are a designer after all, and any visual representations of your brands on these platforms are important. This tool puts your links in a list of labeled bars/buttons, which aesthetically some of you may love and some may hate. Basic options for background colors are available with the free version, and if you want to customize the background and buttons with images or custom colors and fonts you will have to upgrade to the paid plan.
This tool is part of the social media planning platform “Later”. If you already have a Later account then this feature is available to you with differing functionality depending on the type of plan you have with the platform. This feature is available with the free version, but with any free version, it will have certain limitations. This differs from Linktree visually by creating a replica of your Instagram feed where you can embed up to 5 links per post with a paid plan and 1 link per post with a free plan. Essentially when someone clicks on this link in your bio, what pops up is something that visually has a similar look to your actual Instagram page but only the posts that you connect to an outside link will appear in this “feed”. This feature also highlights the most recently linked post at the top, so it is obvious to your users what your most recently added links are. This option can be good for users if you think it is safe to assume anyone going to your bio link because you highlighted a specific outside page/link/collection etc. in one of your posts would see that corresponding post in the linkin.bio feed and connect the dots that this is the one to click on without it being explicitly written out on a button.
This tool is part of the social media planning platform “Tailwind”. This is very similar to Linkin.bio in the way it creates your branded landing page but with this service, you can have a mix of buttons and photos from your Instagram feed. Again, the Smart.bio feature is free but there are always limitations that come with a free plan instead of a paid plan.
In summary, the service you select should be based on a variety of factors and it is up to you to choose the one that will fit best for your business. All of the options we have listed have built-in analytics features to measure your traffic and link clicks, so you will always have the option to measure your success and optimize your growth.
And if you really aren't happy with any of these, here are some other services to explore:
I Picked a Service, What Do I Do Now?
Now you connect your SideDoor Collections! When you are choosing what to include in your bio link, definitely include your website (some platforms allow you to connect this link to the logo on the bio link page) and any other sources you see fit. Then you can have multiple buttons or linked posts set up to connect your clients to your SideDoor collections. Simply use the public sharing link (provided at the top of each collection when you are logged in as a vendor) and then when people click on these buttons or posts in your bio link they will be taken to your SideDoor collection without leaving Instagram. Linked posts and link buttons are incredibly easy to add or remove on all of the above-listed platforms so depending on your Instagram content you can link whole collections or specific products as you see fit! As you reference specific products and collections in your posts definitely include them in your bio link and just slap the phrase “Link in bio.” on the bottom of your posts.
If you need more information on what SideDoor links to share and how to share them, check out our other knowledge center article on this topic. Happy Linking!