Instagram profiles are becoming like websites. You heard it here first.
Stories, the part of Instagram that lets people share snippets of their day in a slideshow format, used to disappear after 24 hours but not anymore. Now you can highlight stories you love and showcase them at the top of your Instagram profile.
The problem with Instagram
I’ve been a longtime fan of Instagram but there has always been a challenge for businesses. Businesses whose customers are other businesses particularly.
There are benefits:
- You can make deeper connections with your audience. When they see you in your stories every day, they will feel like they are getting to know you and will learn to trust you.
- It’s not just you they get to know. They get to know your business or brand too. You are in front of their faces every day. When they need your product or service, they’ll remember you.
It’s hard to strike a balance. Sometimes you wonder if people know who or what you are. You could be forgiven for thinking I just liked to cook and play with my cats if you view my stories.
That’s why story highlights are important. They give visitors to your profile a good overview of who you are and what you do. A quick skip between your highlights and they will have all the information you need.
But what are highlights?
In December 2017 Instagram launched story archives. That meant, that although your stories disappear from view after 24 hours you can revisit them and select the best ones as highlights.
When you ‘highlight’ a story it stays at the top of your grid for visitors to view for as long as you keep it there.
How to create a highlight
- From your Instagram profile click the circle above ‘new’.
- Select the story elements you want to add to your highlight and click ‘next’
- Give your highlight a name.
- Access your archive by clicking the clock icon at the top right-hand side of your profile
- Click the three dots at the top right of the archive page and select ‘create highlight’ from the menu that appears.
- Follow the same process as method 1
What should you highlight?
This is where the website vibe comes in. For businesses, you can add highlights that mimic the tabs on your website. Include an ‘About’ highlight and one for each of the product ranges or services you offer.
For non-businesses or personal brands use your highlights to showcase what you are about, what sort of content you will be sharing.
Or… If you are a creator and make epic stories use it to show off your best ones. Choose stories that attract the most messages. Highlighting them should encourage even more engagement.
Making pretty highlights
Your story highlights can last forever so it’s worth making them pretty. Here’s a list of my favourite story tools that will give your stories added oomph. They’re also highlighted on my Instagram profile.
Covers are important, these are the circles that advertise your story on your profile. Easil is my go-to tool.
Write a list of highlights you’d like to create. Don’t send them all out at once, your audience will wonder what’s going on. Instead work on creating one highlightable story a week.