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How To Use Instagram Guides Update (Should You Use Guides?)

If you want your Instagram™ account to be a place where your ideal client can binge your content, Instagram™ Guides are a great place to start. Instagram™ Guides allow you to share more in-depth information with your followers and increase engagement with your already existing content.

In this blog post, I’m breaking down everything you need to know about Guides. From setting them up to picking your Guide content. Plus, when you should not share a Guide.

In this blog post: 

What are Instagram™ Guides?

Instagram™ Guides are an easy way to repurpose your existing Instagram™ content. From step-by-step guides to how-to tutorials and tips, Guides allow you to curate your Instagram™ posts into one cohesive piece of content.

Sue B Zimmerman's Instagram™ profile with the Instagram™ Guides tab open.

Where You Can Find Instagram™ Guides

To find Guides, navigate to the creator’s profile page. Then, tap on the Guide icon at the top of the feed. 

Sue B Zimmerman's Instagram™ Guide on Instagram™ engagement.

Now, you’re able to see all of the Guides that the creator has made. Once you tap on the individual Guide, you can tap through just like an Instagram™ carousel post.

Each Guide can also be shared via Instagram™ Stories or Direct Messenger, and include an individual link that can be shared outside of Instagram™. 

Should You Make a Guide?

In short, the answer is 100% yes. Here are a few examples of Guides you can share. 

Curate Content Around One Subject

Much like an Instagram™ Story, Guides allow you to curate content around one subject. For example, take a look at this Guide from Beats by Dre. Rather than leaving each Instagram™ post to stand on its own, they curated this Guide about supporting small Black businesses. 

An Instagram™ Guide from Beats by Dew that highlights small Black-owned businesses.

Put a Spotlight on Similiar Content 

Another example is a Guide that I recently put together. After sharing a ton of content around Instagram™ engagement, I opted to put all of that information in an Instagram™ Guide. Now, rather than sharing a bunch of Instagram™ posts, I can send my followers one link. 

Sue B Zimmerman's Instagram™ Guide promoting her content on increasing Instagram™ engagement.

Another example is this Instagram™ Guide I put together to announce my new YouTube videos. Now, when a follower asks about my weekly YouTube series, I can share all of my videos with one link. 

Sue B Zimmerman's Instagram™ Guide that highlights her latest YouTube videos.

But this strategy isn’t limited to YouTube videos. If you are a real estate agent, for example, you could put all of your active listings into a Guide. Then, you could share that link via Instagram™ Direct Message with your clients. 

Showcase Your Products

Guides are also a strategic way to showcase your shoppable Instagram™ posts. Pieced together in a Guide, like this West Elm table inspiration guide, you can add additional context and boost the value of the items together.

West Elm's Instagram™ Guide highlighting table inspiration.

Introduce Yourself and Your Business 

It’s always a good idea to remind people that there’s a real person behind your Instagram™ avatar. Once you’ve created a few Instagram™ posts explaining who you are and what you do, put them together in one Guide. Then, you demonstrate your value and expertise to your new followers. 

If you find yourself getting the same questions in your Instagram™ Direct Message, now you can direct people to your Guide. Just like Vestiaire Collective did with this Instagram™ Guide.

Vestiaire Collective's Instagram™ Guide that highlights 5 ways to keep clothes clean without washing.

Sue B Tip: Try to avoid linking to other people’s content in your Guide. That will drive traffic to their account, and away from your profile. 

When You Should Avoid Setting Up a Guide

Before you rush off to create a ton of Guides, it’s important to keep in mind that you need to build out your profile first.

Focus on the basics: setting up your bio and sharing content consistently. If you’re unsure where to start, watch this YouTube video to help you get started.

How to Set Up a Guide

Now, let’s dive into setting up a Guide. First, tap on the plus sign icon. Then, swipe over to Guides icon. 

If you don’t see Guides as an option, tap over to an account that has already shared a Guide. Then, scroll down to the bottom of their Guide. 

Sue B. Zimmerman's Instagram™ Guide with the menu open at the bottom allowing another use to create a Guide of their own.

Now, you should see an option to create a Guide for your account. 

How to Add Content to an Instagram™ Guide

Next, let’s add content to your Guide. There are three Guide options:

  • Places
  • Products
  • Posts 

Keep in mind that Guides only allow you to share feed content not Instagram™ Stories. If you’ve shared a Reel or IGTV to your feed, those can be shared in a Guide. 

Places 

If you want to share a Guide focused on a geographic location, you’ll need to pick posts that are all tagged with that geotag

Products 

If you opt to create a products Guide, you’ll need to make sure you’ve already shared shoppable Instagram™ posts. Then, when you tap that product you can share multiple images in a carousel post. But don’t worry, it won’t create multiple listings in that Guide for that product.  

Posts

If you select the posts Guide, you can choose from posts on your own Instagram™ profile or saved posts of other accounts. 

Sharing content from other accounts is a snap. Just save their content first (tap on the bookmark icon in the bottom right corner). Keep in mind, you can choose up to 30 posts to share with a single Guide.

Sue B. Tip: When you’re picking the Instagram™ posts to add to your Guide, try to pick them in a logical chronological order. 

How to Format an Instagram™ Guide

Now that you’ve selected the content for your Guide, let’s focus on formatting. 

Once you’ve picked your content, tap on next. Then, add a title for your Guide. I recommend keeping it as short and concise as possible.

Next, add a description to your Guide. Think of this as an introduction to a blog post. You want people to immediately know what your Guide is about and why they should care about it. 

Finally, pick a cover photo for your Guide. Keep in mind that you cannot upload an image for your cover. Instead, you have to pick from one of your selected posts. 

How to Publish an Instagram™ Guide

Then, it’s almost time to publish your Guide. Once your Guide is formatted the way you want, tap on share. If you’re not totally ready to publish, you can also save your Guide as a draft.

That’s it! You’ve published your first Guide. 

My Final Guide Tip

You’ve put a ton of effort into making a Guide — so make sure you get the most out of it. 

If you have a group of highly engaged followers, share it with them via Instagram™ Direct Message. You can also amplify using Instagram™ Stories so other people can share your Guide on their accounts. 

Discover the 4 Ways to Get More Followers & Buyers on Instagram™

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