The ways in which we use social media are constantly changing and evolving. While initially a place for users to share photos with their family and friends and post aesthetically pleasing updates for people to be able to see what is happening in their lives; social media has increasingly become more integrated within consumer culture. Social media platforms have become increasingly more geared towards driving engagement and generating ad revenue.
Some audiences who are primarily still using social media to connect and be “social” have been more resistant to this switch—but others love this integration. There are a plethora of ways to bridge this gap and encourage all types of audiences to engage willingly, and happily, with business accounts.
As everyone surely knows, Instagram is one of the most popular photo sharing platforms on social media today. According to Instagram’s own data, over 200 million users visit at least one business profile each day, 60% of users say that they have discovered a new product on Instagram and one third of the stories that receive the most views are posted by businesses.
As with the social media market as a whole, there has been a shift from Instagram being a social platform, to it being a media platform that places emphasis on unique content creation, as well as business and marketing. This is evidenced by its recent layout change which prioritizes shopping features--at an inconvenience to many personal users but is incredibly useful for businesses trying to sell products via Instagram. While it can seem negative to discuss the poor reaction by some users to this change in the platform, it is still important to be able to gauge market reaction to certain features. For example, some demographics will require a different level, intensity, or subtleness of marketing to overcome their initial disdain for business features.
So, to begin, with what exactly are Instagram Guides? Instagram Guides are the hot new feature that the problem has just been added.
To reiterate, this section will be discussing the founding principles of Instagram Guides, before giving a step-by-step explanation into creating one in later chapters.
In more recent months Instagram has become, not only a platform for people sharing the highlights of
their life but also a fantastic source of information. By introducing the Guides feature Instagram is
capitalizing this and allowing users to share information in a whole new way.
Instagram Guides were implemented because the platform wanted a way for its users to more easily discover recommendations tips and other content from their favorite users. When Guides were first rolled out, they focused on ideas of “wellness”; with specific brands and organizations that were wellness oriented being able to use
the feature first. Given how long many people spend on their phones, being able to get useful and actionable information—that is already integrated into the platforms that they already frequent, particularly on wellness topics was a fantastic idea.
Guides are a step-by-step flow of posts. Similar to a Story or video, Guides are a great way to show a running commentary of a particular element of business or add detail into certain aspects of your brand. They are somewhat similar to an article that you might link, instead it is an embedded feature in your profile. It is a great way to create unique content, yet still keep it on the same platform. Essentially, Guides are a way that you can create one single
resource around a specific topic or content area. They can consolidate your posts and thoughts into one single post, a Guide,
and even supplement your own posts with those from other users. Instagram Guides kind of resembles a blog post, in theory.
Guides can include text, photos and videos. A huge benefit to the implementation of this feature is that some users are unlikely to leave a platform in order to get additional content; having to click a link to a website or another social media site turns a lot of users off of buying or engaging with your content.
Guides are a great way to centralize your content onto one popular platform that your audience already uses.
When you are on your Instagram profile, you see, obviously, your bio, as well as any Story highlights. Below that, you typically see two choices; feed posts and tagged posts. Depending on your usage, you may see an icon that depicts IGTV or Reels, as well. Guides will add a new icon to your profile that looks like an open
magazine. We will be discussing the difference and benefits of different types of posts in the following chapter.
So, basically, an Instagram Guide is just that, a Guide. It is a resource and a way to expand upon your posts and create a deeper and more in-depth showcase of particular topics or content types.
Next : Is Instagram Guide For YOU?