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How to use guides to grow your instagram

At the end of 2020, Instagram released a feature called Instagram Guides that provides a new way to curate, share, and promote content. We encourage you and/or your team members to TRY these new features so you can have a pulse on it and see if it might be a good fit for your social strategy.

What are Instagram Guides?

An Instagram guide is a curated round-up of posts, almost like a short form blog. It's great for creating tutorials, gift lists, tips, and more using a collection of posts you've created, saved, or that have been created by others on IG. Here are a few examples:

Why this is helpful for business owners

Guides provide a unique, easy-to-consume way to share and compile your existing Instagram content. For example, if I share a curated list of my favorite social media growth tips, I would include on topic posts I've already shared on the feed and provide commentary on each one. Users can click on those posts to dive deeper and go down the rabbit hole of my tips on that particular topic. If you're a service based business, you can see how this would be helpful for compiling tips about your area of expertise to further amplify your authority on the subject. If you're a shop, a themed gift guide with your favorite seasonal products would help people explore what you have to offer in a more entertaining way.


HOW to create a guide

1. To create a guide tap the "+" icon on the top-right of your profile page and select “Guide.” (Image 1 below)

2. Choose the kind of guide you'd like to create, a collection of places, products, or posts. For the purposes of this post, I'm going to share how to do create a "posts" guide, but I'll briefly go over each type. (Image 2 below)

A places guide allows you to optionally select a specific location and choose from posts with that geotag created by others, your saved posts, or your feed posts. You'll use this to curate lists and collections of places. This is great for travel, influencers, or location specific industries. A products guide allows you to search other shops that have products, OR your wishlist created through the IG shop feature. This is great for e-commerce and brands with shops. A holiday gift list is a great example of this. The posts guide allows you to build a collection of either your feed posts, or saved posts and can be used to create just about any collection of tips, round-ups, lists, or tips you can imagine using your own content, or content you're inspired by.

3. After tapping the "posts" guide type, you have the option to toggle between "saved" posts, or "your posts". In this case, I chose "your posts", because my goal is to filter people through my content on IG. (Image 1 above)

4. From there, pick your cover photo, add a title to the collection (i.e. "4 Ways to Elevate Your Social Media Game), and put an introductory description of the guide. (Image 2 above)

5. You will notice that the posts you picked auto-populate into a list. Simply add a title and description to each post. In this case, I detailed the 4 tips to level up your social media and then referenced, or teased the post so they can tap into it for more info.

6. Tap "Done" in the top right corner when you're finished (not pictured here). Once you submit, you will have the option to preview it again (image 1 above), share and publish it, or save as a draft.

7. Once you share it, you can find it in your "guides" feed (see circled icon in image 2 above).

That's it

Pro Tips:

1. There's No need to post these regularly

You can post these irregularly, maybe when you want to give a boost to a promotion, or an event. Guides don't yet have analytics behind them, so for now, use this as a way to funnel your customers and give extra value.

2. Plan ahead

Before you start making a reel, make a plan. Reflect on what your audience wants from you and give it some proper thought. You can repurpose an existing blog post, podcast, or other long form content piece, or simply come up with a question your audience wants answered to inspire the collection.

3. Take the reader somewhere

Keep in mind that you should aim to take the reader somewhere. What should they do next, other than keep reading? What is the CTA, or the ultimate action you'd like your people to take?

4. Share the love!

Be sure to share your guides to your stories from time to time. As of now, guides don't really get visibility unless someone clicks over to it from your feed, so make sure to share it to your story by clicking the little paper airplane icon in the top right when you're viewing your published reel.

That's it, friends! We'd love to hear how you utilize Instagram Guides, so feel free to drop your ideas or questions in the comments.

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