Thinking of elevating your Instagram account?
With the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Instagram initially rolled out this feature for health and wellness accounts as a resource for those struggling mentally and emotionally.
Accounts like @afspnational, @heads_together, and @headspace_aus were appointed to make Guides focusing on self-care and protecting your mental health during difficult times.
In November 2020, Instagram expanded its array of features by modifying “Instagram Guides” to provide access for all users.
What are Instagram Guides?
Guides are a great way for users to create and organize content into one concise page. If you have been looking to share recommendations on Instagram, this is the feature for you.
Instagram Guides give creators the option to easily build their personal or professional brand by sharing stories and recommendations through a collection of posts¹. This feature also mimics blog posts at a smaller scale by offering users to add titles and descriptions.
(Photo by Sarah Perez & Instagram)
Benefits of using Guides
Guides are a strong tool to have in your pocket, literally. This tool allows you to curate and share familiar content to create more organic engagement with users, without ever leaving Instagram.
This tool is especially useful as it also allows you to share your Guide on your Instagram story. Instead of users having to scroll through your entire profile, it creates a new themed Guide that can be pinned on your homepage, allowing for greater exposure to your brand or page. The three options that the feature currently offers are Places, Products, and Posts².
How to access Instagram Guides:
- Head over to your Profile.
- Click on the Plus Symbol on the top right located next to the Discover People option.
- Select Guide at the bottom.
(Photo by Jenn Herman)
- Choose either Places, Products, or Posts. The format varies depending on which option is selected. For Places, the location chosen can be from your saved locations, previous posts, or searched through the search bar provided. After selecting the place, you can continue by choosing images you want to add from your own personal or public accounts.
The Products option follows a similar pattern. You can select a business or influencer account and add the products you want to include in your Guide from either the accounts or through your Instagram Wishlist.
Lastly, the Posts option allows you to select between your saved and previously posted content.
- After deciding which posts to include, tap Next.
- Add a Title and change the Cover Photo (optional) for the overall Guide.
- Write a Title and an optional Description for each post.
- If you want to change the order of the posts, click on the Three Circles on the top right of each image.
- Tap Next.
- Click Share.
Tip: If you are not quite ready to post the Guide, save it into your drafts and refer back to it later.
Things to keep in mind:
Instagram Guides is a great new addition to your toolbelt to help boost your social media marketing strategy. However, with how new the service is, it does have some flaws.
A major flaw that professional bloggers have come to realize with the feature is monetization. Since all of the Guides are made within Instagram, creators currently do not have the ability to include affiliate links, which is a major source of income for creators, influencers, and bloggers.
Another problem we encountered with Instagram Guides was with the Product format. As of now, you can only include products that already exist within Instagram Shops, which could pose a major disadvantage.
Our last piece of advice is to make sure to refer back to posts selected from public accounts. If the user switches their account to private, the post will not be available for other users to view.
The same idea applies to deleted posts. This can completely throw off a Guide as it is now missing vital information related to that Guide.
Overall, Instagram Guides is a great new way to highlight experiences and offer insight to your followers. This feature holds a lot of potential for creators and influencers, and we are excited to see what the future holds as more users catch on to its benefits!