How To Use Instagram’s New “Guides” Feature
How To Use Instagram’s New “Guides” Feature
It isn’t easy to capture our attention these days. Social media apps have to stay up to speed and be on their toes to keep up with the ever-changing trends and competition for users’ attention.
Instagram is no different if it wants to remain one step ahead of its other social media rivals in Hong Kong.
From the removal of the square aspect ratio all the way back in 2015, the introduction of Instagram stories in 2016, to the recent release of Instagram Reels in 2020, Instagram is embracing lots of changes to attract new Hong Kong users and keep its existing fanbase engaged – the next newest function being rolled out is Instagram Guides.
What is Instagram Guides?
Instagram users in Hong Kong can now publish long-form, curated lists of content to share with their followers on Instagram Guides.
The photos and videos in each Guide can be from the user’s profile or from other Instagram users. Users can simply tap on the image/video to view the original post.
To share a Guide, creators can share it to their own Instagram Story or on Instagram Direct.
The Guides are published separately from the photos and videos found in the tiled gallery of the creator’s Instagram profile. To view the Guides, click on the pamphlet icon on the creator’s Instagram profile or search within a Story for a mention of the Guide.
During the early days when the COVID-19 pandemic was ravaging different countries and upending people’s lives, Instagram Guides were mainly about wellness content, instead of travel it was originally planned for. Early creators include @heads_together and @afspnational.
The Guides function has since expanded to other uses such as Products and Posts.
5 Steps On How To Make An Instagram Guides
Instagram Guides is a good way for users to consolidate old and new content. Whilst a new feature is exciting, it may be a bit intimidating when you navigate your way through for the first time.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can create and upload your very own Instagram Guides.
Step 1: Tap the “+” sign and select “Guide” from the pop up menu in the upper left corner on your Instagram profile.
Step 2: Choose the type of Guide to publish.
- Places: To recommend places in your city and
- Products: To recommend your favorite
- Posts To recommend posts that you created or
Step 3: Select the locations, products, or posts you want to curate and click Next
Step 4: Add your title, description, headers, text and a blurb for each curated post in your Guide.
Step 5: Click Next to preview your Guide and Share to save your guide to your Instagram profile.
6 Tips for Awesome Instagram Guides
So how do you make your Guides stand out more so your followers will read them? Follow these 6 tips to create more effective, engaging and creative Instagram Guides.
1. Create a Product Guide
By creating a Product Guide, you have a chance to be featured on the Instagram Shop where users can discover new products from others they have not followed. To create a Product Guide, follow the steps above and choose “Products” in Step 2.
Guides is still a relatively new feature so not many businesses are adopting it right now. So if you’re struggling to stand out on Instagram, creating a Product Guide may be your lucky break.
- Have a theme in mind
With a clear theme for each Guide you post, the possibilities on Instagram Guides for both Hong Kong users and brands are endless.
If you’re a Hong Kong business selling clothes, create a look-book for your customers to get inspiration for the upcoming Chinese New Year. The theme can be CNY outfits.
If you’re a social media influencer that focuses on travel, consolidate your old posts about the places you’ve been to and create a Throwback Guide. This can help you drive traffic to your old posts and create engagement with your followers on your new Guide post.
3. Collaborate with other users
Team up with another user or brand to create a unique Guide and grow each other’s account in the process.
Fortunately, collaborations are made easy with Instagram Guides. Photos and videos in each Guide can be from the user’s profile or from other Instagram users. Users can simply tap on the image/video to view the original post from specific profiles.
This exclusive content will be sure to wow your combined audience.
4. Choose an attention-grabbing cover image
Regardless of the number of features and tweaks rolled out, Instagram is ultimately still a visual-heavy platform.
There are certain types of images that perform well on Instagram such as photos that contain faces, inspirational quotes, seasonal images and motivational images. Be sure to choose these images for your Guide cover.
5. Create a catchy title
The first thing that catches a user’s attention is the title of your Guide. Keep your title short and sweet, with clear keywords. A catchy title can elicit emotions in readers and prompt them to click on your Guide.
It is important to transform the language you use and make them unforgettable. This will make them take action, whether it is to engage with your post directly or even buy your product on Instagram Shop.
6. Add usernames and hashtags
Hashtags can make your content more discoverable.
Do ensure that you are using relevant hashtags. If you’re unsure of what hashtags to use, identify your competitors and follow their hashtags.
The new Guides feature transforms the way users share their content on Instagram. They can now consolidate new and existing content, with more opportunities for collaborations between users.
Your Instagram feed and stories aren’t the only ways to stand out among the crowd anymore. In this hyper-competitive photo and video sharing platform, Guides is probably here to stay and may very well be the next big thing.
Make full use of this new feature by creating your own effective, engaging, and creative Instagram Guide today.