Instagram, at its conception, was meant to be a clutter-free alternative to Facebook. It was very good at doing one job, and didn’t need to impress anyone else with fancy glitter and half-baked functions.
But since the introduction of Stories, Instagram was able to again ride a new wave of expanded usage. The simple idea of impermanence seemed to have created so many positive effects among creators and users, most importantly in bringing the term ‘Social’ back to social media.
Brands have been seeing their content views and engagement thrive again in Stories, creating a stickiness that was lost so long ago in Posts. As users begin moving most of their attention away from the mess and clutter scattered across Facebook, there is an inherit pressure for Instagram to be more than it is but also not too much that it becomes another Facebook.
Thankfully, there already is a very powerful feature within Instagram that most brands have not learned to harness yet: Highlights. Tucked neatly between the Bio/Profile and the latest Post of an Instagram account are those circular bubbles that can be built to contain a collection of Stories. But unlike Stories, content tagged into Highlights will never go away until the owners decide so.
If you scroll through an old Instagram account with many posts compiled over the years, you will understand the pain of an endless library that is only ordered chronologically. There is no way to categorize them into albums or something similar to the Menus of a website. Here’s where Highlights can change everything.
If you have those memorable events or a compilation of your favorite moments, save your viewers the trouble of scrolling down your infinite Post feed. Instead, upload a version of the same image onto Stories and tag it with the Highlights category of your choice.
They will also appear in the 24-hour version of Stories, but upon expiry will still stay under Highlights albums.
About Us or Contact Us
The Instagram Bio is a pretty limited space to put all your company’s important information. Try using Highlights as an expanded version of your profile or bio.
All you have to do is design a Stories post that contain that will showcase all the personal information you need, then add it to your Highlights called either About Us or Contact Us. You can also include a short information of your employees as a nice introduction, and a way for your audience to know the people behind the brand.
On The Ground/At Work
Brands have always found it difficult to connect with customers on a deeper level, especially when they are in the Business to Business (B2B) environment. This is because they often hide behind perfectly coiffed banners, advertisements and PR Campaigns. But showing the inner workings of a company helps build trust, understanding and compassion for the work.
Create a Highlights album called On the Ground or At Work, and add your company’s daily Behind the Scenes clips. That way, visitors can always have easy access to the fun and casual videos of your employees with just a click of a button.
This section is also important for service-based businesses like Team Building, pest control or roadworks. Regular postings of your people at work can help instill better understanding and trust in what you do. Do it well, and it can become something like a Reality Show.
Promotions and Seasonal Giveaways
Promotions and Giveaways are incredibly time sensitive and also need to capture the attention of your audience above everything else. By creating a special Highlights bubble for this purpose, people can always come into your Instagram account and quickly browse through what offers you have running.
All you need is to create a nice 9:16 format poster using software like Canva, and post it onto Stories while tagging the Highlights album. After that promotional period is passed, simply remove all trace.
Highlight Products or Services
By now, you may be thinking “Now my Instagram is starting to look like a website.” This is exactly how some incredibly successful Instagram accounts are using Highlights. Let’s take it even further by showcasing some of your special products or services on a dedicated Highlights album.
Either lay out everything you sell into one Highlights album, or break them down by categories. Either way, having an easy to reach catalog of your best products and services will go a long way in helping your audience’s decision making process.
Compile All Your Tutorials
Tutorials generate an incredibly high amount of engagement, and they are probably one of the best ways to build good branding. They also make it a good reason for your audience to come back to your account. Cut all your long-form tutorials into short bits, then post them. You can either convert them to Portrait mode or leave them in landscape, either way is fine.
Testimonials and Messages from Influencers
Nothing speaks truer to your quality of work that positive testimonials from customers. Compile them in written, or better yet video format, and add them to your Highlights.
If you are a brand that employ influencers, it would also be a good idea to create a collection of screenshots of posts from your influencers. That way all the influencing power is concentrated in one focus point, and your investments can be maximized.
Upcoming and Past Events
Events are still powerful and effective PR efforts, whether it is an activation or celebration. Set up a Highlights album to announce all your upcoming events and where to sign up, and another to brag about past events.
You can always keep the Highlights albums updated by removing older events and replacing with more recent ones. That way, the amount of content will not overwhelm people.
With all the possible uses listed above, the capabilities of Highlights becomes endless. One can take it a step further and build entire Marketing campaigns around all the posts that go out. That way every bit of content in your Stories, Highlights and Posts will speak the same language. Doing this will greatly increase conversion.
As user engagement on Facebook drops, people are looking for alternative avenues to get as much social content as possible. And with the proper implementation of Highlights, your brand can stand out from the rest.