Over the past few months, the introduction of Instagram Highlights has sparked a miniture revolution when it comes to promoting social media. Those small, spherical buttons at the top of your page are organically designed to showcase the finest, and most important pieces of content that you can share.
So what are the best ways to effectively use and utilise your Instagram Highlights, without creating a cluttered mess above your grids? I wanted to share my thoughts and ideas on some of the most unique uses of Instagram Highlights, to hopefully encourage our big community of Instagrammers to make the most of the gift we’ve been given.
Categorising Your Content
Taking and organising your Instagram stories can be a big boost to your feeds, if carried out correctly. Say, for example, a potential follower is perusing your feed, but wants to find out what your latest product release or blog post was?
Now imagine that there’s a little button at the top of the page which simply reads ‘Latest Work’, where they can find all of the information they need. Although it might take a little bit of time, creating categories in your Instagram Highlights can allow followers to easily flick between the different themes, purposes and styles of the content you share. It can help them find the content they’re looking for, promote the diversity of your brand, and display a sense of organisation that your feed might not showcase effectively.
Freezing Your Content In Time
Instagram stories, much like Snapchats, are by nature, ephemeral. They flit into existence and fade out just as fast before the extent of views can be reached. There’s nothing more frustrating than calculating the amount of time taken to perfect the story, vs the amount of likes and views it eventually achieved. With Instagram Stories, you can effectively freeze your content – keeping it present and easily accessible for later viewing and appreciation.
For brands, this can be a useful way to keep followers engaged in an event, story or promotion, long after it has happened – continuing to build impressions and interactions. It also offers a useful reminder of your best pieces of work – the stories you’re proud of, and want to keep showing others – without being limited to the day you posted them on.
Showcasing Your Creativity
There appears to be no end to the creativity involved in curating Instagram Stories. I’ve seen brands use them to promote their favourite quotes, testimonials, poetry, art and photography. Bloggers will use them to share mood boards, outfit goals, wishlists and tutorials. It’s an endless supply of creative inspiration, and it simply makes sense to share it on your profile, in complimentary fashion to the images on your feed.
Many bloggers and social media users are even incorporating their unique branding into the covers of their Instagram Stories, using fonts and colours to create titles to describe the content within. These covers are used as decoration for the Highlights, and for the feed itself, bringing in even more identity to the standard Instagram profile.
Direct Demographic Targeting
For Instagram accounts with a more consumer-facing purpose, such as brands and businesses, targeting through Instagram can be upheld in many ways. From hashtags to image tagging, users are finding new ways to reach out to specific audiences and followers every day. So why not use your Instagram Highlights to do this too?
Segregating your Highlights, and specifically curating their contents into the categories you know your target users will want to see can be a really innovative approach to social marketing. Using keywords, and descriptive titles to approach and engage particular consumer groups, Gen X, Millennials, Boomers, etc… allows your Highlights to have more of a strategy to be continuously worked upon.
Reflecting On Your Content
One of the most innovative and effective uses of Instagram Highlights has to be it’s ability to help you reflect on the content you share. Which stories are getting the most views? Which type of content tends to do better – imagery or polls? Are users favouring your Beauty Highlight over your Fashion Highlight? Taking stock of your content, and analysing the different interactions users will have to it can really help you to develop a new strategy for sharing content.
If one type of story isn’t working, change it. If timelapses or video content are working, keep it up! Use your Highlights to explore the content your users like to see, and factor it into your own insights into the platform. It’ll help you to evaluate your feed in the long run.
Overall, your Instagram Highlights will be competely unique to you and your brand, so the way you use them is entirely original. But if you’re looking to gain a little more purpose from your Highlights, why not try out a few of these uses and see how it changes your perception of your own Instagram account?