With 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram is one of the most used social media platforms across the world. This is the testimony of Instagram’s popularity and people from different age groups are widely using it for various purposes.
We know that Instagram has become creators’ hub. Also, the use of various features of Instagram is known to many. It includes IGTV, Instagram Reels, and Stories. You will find thousands of tutorials on the internet giving useful information about these amazing features of Instagram.
However, there is one fantastic feature that Instagram has launched in the year 2020 which is still unknown to many. Known as Instagram Guides, this feature helps the users combine great content, already posted on Instagram, together and post on their profile.
What is Instagram Guides?
With this feature of Instagram, you can make a collection of posts by different creators and add a guide on your wall. Initially, Instagram had launched this feature for a few creators only. When it was launched in May 2020, its purpose was different and it had a focus on topics related to well-being as the world was suffering from the coronavirus pandemic. Instagram said that it was “Supporting Well-being with Guides on Instagram”.
But later in November 2020, Instagram made this Guides feature available for all of its users. Now, there are three different formats of Instagram Guides.
- Products- For recommending products from different stores on Instagram or from your own
- Places- For recommending places in a particular city
- Posts- Making a guide of favorite posts from your profile or someone else’s profile
The purpose of making Instagram Guides can vary for different accounts according to their niche. But if used wisely, Instagram Guides can become a powerful tool to improve user engagement.
How to access and use Instagram Guides?
It is very easy to make your first Instagram Guide.
- Just go to your profile and then on the top right corner, click on the ‘+’ button.
- Then you will get options to upload ‘Post’, ‘Story’, ‘Story Highlight’, ‘IGTV video’, ‘Reel’, and ‘Guide’.
- Just click on the ‘Guide’ option and then you will be asked to choose the type of guide you want to post. The options would be Places, Products and Posts.
- For the Places guide, you can select the location and then different posts with that location tag will appear on your screen. You can select the posts from there. Other than this, you can select the posts from your profile or the posts that you have saved earlier with the same location tag.
(You can only make a guide of the posts or products that are already there on Instagram. You cannot add anything from your camera roll.)
- For the Products guide, you can choose the products of the brands and people you follow. You can even select the products from your store and make a product guide. Also, you will see an option of wishlist that includes the products you have saved.
- For the Posts guide, you can choose from the content you have uploaded or your saved posts. If you want to add someone else’s posts in your guide, you will first have to save the posts.
- Once you select all the posts you want to add to your Instagram Guide, you have to give your guide a title. You can also add a short description of the guide. Other than this, you can also add a title to each post you add to your Instagram Guide.
Keep this thing in mind that hashtags, mentions, does not work in these titles.
- Your guide won’t appear in the feed of your followers. But it will appear in the Guides section of your profile.
- If you want to see someone else’s guide, go to their profile and tap the Guides icon. If you do not see any such icon, that means the user has not made any guide.
What are the benefits of using Instagram Guides?
- Guides give a new life to your older posts. Even if you are a regular Instagram user, most of the audience will visit your profile through the stories, posts, or reels (if one of yours appears in that section). However, if you add your older posts to your guide and then share it on your story, the engagement of those posts will improve. When you click on a post in the guide, you are directed to the original post.
- All of us have been taught that sharing is caring. You add someone else’s post to your guide, those users may visit your profile, share your guide on their story, their followers visit your profile, a win-win situation.
- It is a much-organized way to keep the important post on your profile page. With Guides, it becomes easy for the users visiting your profile to see important posts.
- If you deal in selling products, Instagram Guides can be very beneficial. Just select different products of one niche and add them to your guide. The users will be able to directly buy the products from there.
- Guides can also help you increase traffic on your business website. However, this is possible for the accounts dealing with products. If you miss posting content regularly, make a guide of the products and post on your story. Seeing your product guide, people will visit your website.
Tips to effectively use Instagram Guides
Make guides according to your niche
There is no point in sharing the content related to sports if you are a fashion blogger. Therefore, make guides of the posts or products that are related to the niche of your profile. This will surely help you build a strong network in the community of creators working on the same niche as you do.
If you are a photographer, just save the best pictures of photographers you follow or want to collaborate with and add them to your guide with catchy titles. Chances are high that they visit your profile and see your work.
The location guides for local community building
From the places guide, you can even feature the local creators. Just add your location and look for other creators as well. If you like their work, then add their posts to your guide. However, I suggest looking for the local creators from the main search option of Instagram, save the posts, and then make the guide from the posts section. The reason why I am suggesting this method is that many users even add the location tags on their selfies. Therefore, it is quite difficult to find creators from the places guide search option.
Top posts compilations
Select the posts from your profile that performed great in the year 2020 and make a guide. Add the guide to your story and improve the engagements of those posts. For the posts, that did not go well, you can select them and make a guide with the title “My personal favorites”. The purpose is to improve the reach of the posts. The methods can vary.
You can do the same with the products and places as well. Pick up the best products of your store and make a guide. If you are a travel blogger, pick up a location and make a guide of the must-visit restaurants.
Treat the Guides as a blog
Instagram gives you the liberty to write a description of each post you add to a guide. Treat a guide as a blog post. The users always look for something informative and unique. Undoubtedly, Guides is the lesser-known feature of Instagram. Therefore, if you start making guides, it will be a unique way of making the audience consume your content. Adding the right descriptions to each post can make your guide informative.
Make a “Guide” of several guides
If you have an Instagram account that provides different tips for different target audiences, read this point carefully. You might have posted content like “10 ways to improve your hand-writing” with multiple photos in a single post. That post in itself is a guide. There might be various posts like this on your profile. Select all of them and make them appear in the Guides section.
Show your growth and journey with a Guide
Just like the “How it started and how it is going” trend on Instagram Reels, you can portray your journey with the help of the Instagram Guides. If you are an artist or a fitness freak, this idea will do wonders for you. This is a great idea to portray the efforts you have been putting into the growth of your Instagram profile. Also, if you have new followers, it would be a great idea to make them engage with your older posts.
There is no doubt in the fact that Instagram Guides is an under-rated feature. However, we expect a great future of it. The discoverability of Guides may improve in the future which can be very beneficial for all the content creators. For now, Guides can be greatly used to improve the performance of your old posts, enhance user interaction and lend uniqueness to the presentation of the content.