Instagram Guides: the underrated Instagram feature you probably didn't even know existed
1. Instagram Guides is an Instagram feature
And we can immediately start with that. Did you know there was such a thing as Instagram Guides? Instagram Guides are a great tool to share curated, scrollable content with your followers. It is a simple way to consume a collection of Instagram posts, products, or places in an easy-to-digest format. I think it's a bit like Pinterest, a way to collect all your favourite images / posts. It can really enrich your account. Despite all this, Guides are still relatively underused — which makes them a great opportunity to set your brand apart on Instagram.
So where do you find them? And that's the good bit. Instagram Guides live on their own tab on your profile. They're not (yet) shared to your main feed. You can use Guides to curate product highlights, content roundups, FAQ guides, travel recommendations, restaurant reviews, and so much more. They’re unlike any other Instagram feature because you can curate feed posts, products, or locations from across Instagram (so not just your own content), bringing it all together with your own supplementary commentary. Brilliant when you're an Instagram based business, and perhaps don't quite have a website presence yet. Or when you (like me) get asked all the time what my favourite restaurants in my hometown are, for example. When you click on an individual feed post in a Guide, they’re directed back to the original post. So it's great to direct them to the right spot, or to recycle your own older content.
2. Instagram Guides are easy to make
To create your first Guide, tap the plus icon on the top-right of your profile page and select “Guide.” And then it guides you through the process. It's really easy. I started with a guide on my favourite restaurants, as a) I love food and b) I find myself sharing the same names with my followers over and over again. It probably took me all but 5 minutes (admittedly I didn't write an awful lot in the description box).
Once you're happy with your guide, you click 'Share' and you're all done! Now to promote it, you'll have to tell your followers about it. You can easily share your guide in stories for example.
3. You can create 3 different types of Instagram Guides
#1: Instagram Place Guides
The first Instagram Guide format is a collection of places. These Guides are great for city guides, restaurant guides, and travel recommendations. I have used this format to compile a number of my favourite restaurants with a brief description of why I like them. I have chosen images that are aesthetically pleasing for my guide, and where possible, they are posts of the restaurants themselves (not other accounts that tagged these restaurants).
#2: Instagram Product Guides
The next type of Instagram Guide you can create is a Product Guide. This Guide is perfect to show case products. They will have to be products listed on Instagram however. Personally I found this less useful, when I tried to create a guide with my favourite home decor products. Because not everything I like is listed as a product on Instagram. But obviously if you run a business account, and sell products this, is brilliant.
#3: Instagram Post Guides
The last type of Instagram Guide you can create is a collection of Instagram feed posts. I find this format perfect to collect a number of posts with a similar theme. For example, I created a guide that features my own posts with makeovers.
4. You can use Instagram Guides as a strategic tool
Using Instagram Guides is a great way to curate and organise content for your followers — the creative opportunities are endless. Think about what Instagram content your audience has been engaging with most, and use this information to influence your what content you add to your Guides. Do you offer a lot of 'how to' blogs? Feature them here. Are you 'famous' for your garden? Create a 'Garden Guide'. Do you create and sell your own art? This is your chance to create a catalogue to refer potential buyers to.
Share your Guides to your story as extra content to offer your followers. It's easy: open your Guide, click the little paper plane and share to stories.
Guides are a great relationship builder too, as you can feature other people's accounts. Why not sharing your products featured in other homes for example? Or a collection of your favourite images (think along the lines of a Pinterest board)?
5. Check out my Instagram Guides (and save them!)
Last, but not least, did you know I featured Instagram Guides on my profile? Probably not! Why not check them out and let me know what you think? You can save them for future reference too. And if you wish for me to compile another guide, let me know. I think they're a great addition to your Instagram presence and would encourage you to try and use this highly underrated (and so easy to use) feature.
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