Do you ever miss the days when Instagram was merely a (single) photo sharing app? You know, before businesses needed to think about videos, and Boomerangs, and Stories, and Lives, and stickers, and Highlights, and IGTV, and Reels, and gaining enough followers for the swipe up feature?
Just reading through the list of the features that are currently available on Instagram feels exhausting.
The good news is that taking a “standard approach” to Instagram can still be effective. Plus, there are a couple easy ways to develop enough content to give you the Highlights you’d like to have on your Instagram profile, without the constant work of creating regular Stories.
Your Instagram Highlights are the circles you see beneath the bio section of any Instagram profile you visit (provided that account has added Highlights). Check out my friend, Nicte, and her gorgeous profile.
The two best reasons to develop and post a couple Highlights on your small business’ Instagram account are:
- Highlights provide a new visitor (and hopefully, new follower) of your account with more information about your business, culture, and what you sell. They quite literally “highlight” what you want someone to know first and foremost about your brand.
- Highlights remain on your Instagram profile forever, or at least until you purposely change or remove them.
3 Easy Strategies for Creating Instagram Highlights
Instagram Highlights are created from Instagram Stories. And Instagram Stories disappear 24 hours after they are posted to an Instagram account, which is a big negative for busy small business owners. Creating new content to only have it disappear in a day is a big “ask”.
So let’s talk about 3 easy ways to build those Instagram Highlights that you’d like to have featured on your Instagram profile.
- Decide on 3 or 4 Highlights for your Instagram profile, make enough Stories to populate those Highlights, and then never bother with Stories again. You might call this a “one and done” approach to your Instagram Highlights. Let’s say you’d really like a Highlight of your main service offerings, a Highlight to showcase the people who work at your company, and a Highlight of half a dozen glowing customer reviews. You can create Stories that would populate these 3 Highlights and be featured on your Instagram profile, and know that you have now enriched your Instagram profile and the first impression a new visitor receives, by taking advantage of this feature (and without a lot of extra work).
- Make a Story/Highlight template and develop a process for easy, ongoing Stories content. I’ve started doing this for myself. I have a Google sheet where I type up online marketing tips that I’d like to share as part of my social media content, and then drop in the tip to my Instagram Story template I’ve designed. When I do this, I also make a square version of the same tip to use on other social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google My Business (you could easily do the same for Pinterest or Twitter). I note in my spreadsheet once I’ve created the 2 sizes of images, and when I’ve scheduled them to post, in order to keep track of things. Thanks to this method, I’ve been able to increase my number of Instagram Highlights to 11 while also producing social media content that I’d need for my other platforms.
- Share others’ Stories that you are tagged in. This approach is perfect for businesses that are rich with UGC (user-generated content) and want a dedicated Highlight that features their UGC. If you have loyal customers or clients who regularly mention your business or your products and services in their own Stories, you’ll be notified of that tagging/mention in your Instagram private messages. When you receive the notification, Instagram gives you the option to tap to share those customer Stories, over to your own Stories.
It can be a tricky balance sometimes to feel good about how you are presenting your brand online and keeping your online marketing work to a reasonable level. Small business owners can follow one (or all 3) of these easy approaches to Instagram Highlights and feel confident the work they are putting in, will be worth it in the long run.