When Instagram hit the social media scene in 2010, the platform revolutionized how we connected with friends, loved ones, and brands. This change transformed the focus of posts from words to pictures. In 2020, Instagram gave the digital world even more innovative social media trends through Instagram Live, shops, reels, a refreshed home screen, and Instagram Guides.
While brands have become familiar with lives, shops, and reels, many have not yet tapped into the creative potential of guides. When used correctly, engaging Instagram Guides can do double duty for your social media strategy by giving new life to existing content and boosting brand engagement.
What is an Instagram Guide?
The Instagram Guide feature lets content creators publish themed and numbered lists directly in the Instagram app. Consider a brand with a blog post called “5 Best Places to Eat in Nashville.” That list can now live on Instagram as a mini-blog without directing users away from the social media site and your brand’s page.
The guides allow for a cover photo, an introduction, a selection of embedded posts, and optional descriptions of each list item. Currently, lists can be created for places and from previously published posts.
Creating Engaging Instagram Guides
Creating an engaging Instagram Guide is easy because it uses existing posts. In other words, you don’t need to spend more time creating brand-new content! Instead, use it to give new life to the published posts you’ve already perfected.
Instagram offers guides for places and posts. While product guides were an option previously, they were discontinued in June 2023. However, there are still many ways to maximize guides and boost engagement.
The Places Guide is geography-focused and allows creators to share locations. These are also typically based on a specific theme. Remember our “5 Best Places to Eat in Nashville” example? You can create a place guide by searching geotags, using saved places, or tagging locations that are geotagged in existing posts.
The Post Guide is the most open-ended of the two options. Because this one is not governed by geotags, there is much more freedom to be creative in how this guide can be used. You can share product instructions, steps to a recipe, team introductions, and more. Any content that shares a similar theme and can be gathered under a common theme will work!
Both types of guides will encourage followers to stay on your page for longer periods of time. Because your guides use embedded information and descriptions, they will not have to venture away from you for more information. You can also make it easier for users to find your guides by using hashtags and keywords.
Guides that offer step-by-step instructions, life hacks, tips and tricks, or a behind-the-scenes look at your brand increase engagement and offer genuine, helpful content your audience will be interested in. While they cannot like or comment on the guides, they can share them in stories and direct messages. Even though the communication is one-way, the benefits of users spending more time with your content is a definite plus.
Get Expert Help with Instagram
Successfully staying on top of your brand’s social media platforms is a full-time job! Let our team at Green Apple Strategy help you maximize your online presence with engaging content that makes sense for your business. Contact us today to see how we can work together to increase brand awareness and engagement.