Instagram has a new feature and it’s a fun one!
It’s called Guides and it allows you to batch posts to create compilations. For a platform notorious for keeping things “simple” (WHY can’t I add links to my posts?!), this new feature is a powerful new way to take your content further.
Think Pinterest meets blogging. That’s kind of where Instagram seems to be positioning Guides.
Instagram is a massive platform with a billion Daily Active Users. Understanding all the tools they have to offer is a huge step in standing out from the crowd.
So let’s take a look at how Instagram Guides work and hopefully you can get some ideas for how to use them to grow your own brand.
How To Create an instagram guide in 3 easy steps
There are three types of Instagram guides
The three types are Places, Products, and Posts.
The primary difference is in determining how you search for content to add to your Guide. But all three are ultimately pretty similar and none of them limit your content options.
Places lets you search locations to add content.
Products lets you search shops to add content.
Posts lets you search your own posts, as well as posts you’ve saved from others, to add content.
Editing each Instagram Guide type is a bit different, but they do have most basic features in common. Let’s start with Places.
Instagram Guides Types
Once you’ve started a new Places Guide, you’ll see a search bar as well as some recommended places. Choose or search for a location to see posts geotagged in that location.
Select images to add them to your guide. Don’t worry if they’re not your posts — the image will automatically link to its creators’ account.
As with all location-based searches on Instagram, you can go super specific (Wisconsin State Capitol), more general (Madison, WI) or very general (Wisconsin).
A Capitol search will only find pics tagged at the Capitol.
A Madison search might find pics tagged at the Capitol, but also posts tagged in other places throughout the city.
A Wisconsin search could find Capitol pics, Madison pics or pics from anywhere else throughout the Badger State.
Go as specific, or as general, as makes sense for you.
If you choose multiple images, they will be added to your Instagram Guide as a gallery your followers can swipe through. To add a new item to your guide, simply scroll to the bottom of the page and tap + Add Place.
Note: to edit the cover photo, tap Change Cover Photo below your Guide’s title.
Once you’re done, hit post. Don’t forget to share it to your Instagram Story (tagging folks if you’ve used their content of course!).
Products is very similar to Places, except instead of locations, you can search through Instagram shops along with your Wishlist.
Posts is a bit more freeform, and as a result it’s the most versatile (and potentially most powerful) Instagram Guide type.
Wait, How Do I save Posts on instagram?
To save any post on Instagram, simply tap the bookmark icon located to the bottom right of the post. Doing so adds it to your Saved Posts.
To organize your Saved Posts (for Guides or in general), head to your profile and tap the hamburger menu in the top right corner of the screen. Tap Saved, and you’ll see your collections, including the default All Posts collection. Tap the plus in the top right to create a new collection. Here, you can choose posts to create a new collection of related posts. Boom — you’re in business!!
I use Saved Posts as a way to find posts I want to be able to find again later. I have collections for fun gift ideas, interesting ads I see (#DigitalNerd! 🤓), pics of my cat… Saved collections are private, so think of them as a safe space to save things you want to come back to later.
It actually seems that after years of having private Saved Collections, Instagram is using Guides as a way to simply have public Saved collections as well. And I for one am here for it!
With well-organized collections, you’ll start to see how flexible Posts Guides really can be!
How Do I find Instagram Guides Once They’re Published?
Once you’ve published your Guide, they’re actually super easy to find. Just head to your homepage and navigate to the map icon directly under your profile. If you haven’t yet created a Guide, you won’t find the option (the same is true for IGTV and Reels).
You can also visit other people’s profiles and click on their Guides the same way (if they’ve created any).
Want to see an example of an Instagram Guide? Here’s one I made that’s just pics of the Wisconsin Capitol. (Noticing a trend? I freaking love that building!)
Don’t forget, this feature is quite new as of this writing. There’s plenty to explore, and you can find your own way to use this tool uniquely.
Now… who wants to make a Guide explaining how to make Guides? Have fun and don’t forget to tag me (@jlemonsk) when you post your first Guide! I definitely want to see it!
Further Instagram Geeking Out
Want to know more about how Instagram has evolved over the years? Check out this Evolution Of Instagram I put together.
And then check out this episode of my podcast, Step Up Your Social, where I cover 10 Tricks and Hacks to Step Up Your Instagram Stories.
Ready to become an Instagram Champion? I provide private lessons to businesses, campaigns, nonprofits, solopreneurs, bands… anyone who wants to get more out of this powerful platform.