However, Instagram is still selective about how and where links can be shared on the app. Links shared in the caption of a post are not clickable, which means readers will not be able to follow the link you've shared. How can you get around this to share useful news and updates with your communities?
Here, we’ve covered all you need to know about using links on Instagram, and how to get around not being able to share them in your captions, so that your church use links with confidence.
How to use links on your Instagram bio
One of the places you can add a link is in your Instagram bio. As this is one of the only ways to add clickable links, think about how you could use this strategically.
Add a link that sends your followers directly to your church website or AChurchNearYou.com site. The link could be to your homepage or you could be more targeted than this.
Are you using your church Instagram profile to reach out to a group within your community such as students from your local university and college?
Create a page on your website on AChurchNearYou.com page talking to this group. Include a special welcome and add the events they may be interested in. Link to this page from your Instagram bio.
Update the link in your bio monthly or even weekly, if you wish, to link to the events or news you’ve talked about in your most recent Instagram posts.
How to edit the link in your bio
First, copy the link you wish to add to your profile:
- Open the web page you wish to add as a link.
- In the search bar, highlight the whole web address which will start with https:// right click or tap and then tap copy.
Next, add the link to your bio:
- Open your Instagram app and tap on your profile picture
- Tap on the edit profile button
- Next to website, write or paste the web address into the box
- Tap done.
Create a custom menu using Linktree
Linktree enables you to create a custom menu of links for your Instagram profile, accessed through one link. Add the link to your Instagram profile, and when clicked, your customised menu will open.
Read more about Linktree features here to decide whether it’s the right choice for you.
In our opinion, creating a page on your website is a simple and free way to achieve the same thing. Some may prefer the menu display on tools such as Linktree, but there are some cost implications.
How to use links in your Instagram Stories
This is a relatively new update to the platform and one which had been requested by the Instagram community for some time. Previously, only accounts with more than 10,000 followers had access to a much-coveted swipe-up feature to add a link to an Instagram Story.
Since 2021, Instagram introduced Link Stickers for everyone, so now you can share a link in an Instagram Story.
New to Instagram Stories? Read our guide.
How to use the Link Sticker to add a link to your Instagram Story
- Go to your Instagram app and click on the + in the top menu and press story, or swipe scross to the right to open Instagram stories.
- Select the image or video to share, or take a photo or video by pressing the large circular button
- Tap the sticker icon in the top menu then select Link
- In the box, write or paste the web address for the link
- Tap customise link to edit the call to action as it appears on the story. For example, you could write CLICK HERE or SIGN UP
- Tap done
- Drag the link sticker into the best position on top of the image or video
- When finished, press share
Once posted, your followers will be able to tap on the link sticker on your story to follow the link to your web page.
How to use links on Instagram posts
Can you share a link in an Instagram post? You can write a link into the post’s caption however, links included in a caption are not clickable, and so readers of the post can't easily follow the link you’ve shared.
How can you get around this?
1. Use your bio link
Follow the instructions above to add a link to your bio. In your caption, write ‘To find out more, follow the link in our bio @YourProfileName’, for example. Include your Instagram profile name to make it easy for your community to go to your bio - in two taps, they’ll be there. 🤳🏽
2. Post the link in your stories
Follow the instructions above to post a link to your stories. Follow up the Stories with a post to your grid. In the caption invite your community to go to your Story to find the link.
3. Don’t use links
Instead of asking your community to find the information elsewhere, use the features on Instagram to share all they need to know in one place.
- Create a carousel post. This is an easy way to break down a story or update over a few images. Invite your community to scroll through to read the story or update over four or five images.
- Record a video. A two-minute (or less) video with an update, story or prayer can be more engaging than a long caption. Give it a go!
- Save a collection of Stories as a Highlight. If you have posted to Instagram Stories, you can save the Stories into a Highlight on your profile, which stays visible. Your community will be able to watch a series of stories on a topic when they click on your profile.
Take the time to try out the different approaches to using links on Instagram. After a few months, look at how successful each method has been - Go to your Insights to see how many people click the link in your bio or shared to stories – which method was more successful? Keep doing what’s working and try something new if it’s not.
Tools such as Linktree are useful for expanding your bio with a menu of links, but creating a dedicated page on your website could achieve the same for free. And, don’t forget the other tools Instagram offers – instead of sending your community to a website, if you can, tell them all they need to know in a video, post caption or carousel.