Instagram Guides: What When Why

When social networks announce changes, you may roll your eyes. But these trends are always worth some attention. In this edition of Internet Marketing for Humans, Jen Meredith explores what the new Instagram Guides are and how useful they might be to your organisation.

What is Instagram Guides?

Instagram Guides is a new initiative launched by Instagram in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s main aim is to help users find content which gives them tips on how to cope with the impact of the pandemic, and the first set of guides is focused around wellness and mental health.

How do you access Guides?

You can access Guides currently only on mobile at the moment, and the way to find it is to go to a creator’s page and look for a pamphlet icon, and you find the icon underneath their highlights if they’ve got them, or under their follow button if not. 

What kind of content is available in Guides?

If you click on the pamphlet, you’ll be able to click on their Guides, and these are a bit like mini blogs, so they’ll include writing, photos and videos, and it’s like a collection of COVID-19 related Instagram content, so you can actually click on the photos and videos and be taken to where it was originally posted on Instagram.

At the moment, I’ve read a few guides on self care, kindness to others, and mental health. 

Who can create a guide?

At the moment, it’s just a few accounts selected by Instagram who can create guides, and they’re all verified users which isn’t surprising. So because it’s wellness focussed at the moment, they’ve launched the initiative with guides from Heads Together, which is a UK mental health charity, The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Headspace Australia and a few other organisations across the world.

It’s very organisation and charity focused at the moment, which I think is a good thing because these charities exist for a reason and they should be part of initiatives like this.

Should brands and creators bother thinking about content for Guides if Instagram is limiting who can make them to a few verified users?

Absolutely, because Instagram may roll out this feature to more users or indeed all users in future. And if that’s the case, you want to be prepared. So I would actually start bookmarking relevant content on Instagram, so physically using Instagram’s bookmarking feature and create collections for the content that you would want to appear in your guide.

For example, because my Instagram account is mainly about fashion and beauty, I might bookmark content about outfits that you can wear for a Zoom conference call, or skincare products to use before you leave the house for daily exercise. 

You can bookmark your own content and you can also bookmark content made by other people, and if I were to make a guide, I would include both, because it’s important that social media is ‘social’ in inverted commas, and that you’re including other people or brands in your content.

This is the same for all social media content – including other users encourages sharing and relationship building, which helps you and others excel on whichever platform you’re using.