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Instagram’s new ‘Guides’ puts businesses right in front of consumers

(REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY) Instagram rolls out Guides section to share information, and ramp up word of mouth marketing for influencers, and eventually small business owners.

Instagram guides

Marketers know that the number one most successful type of marketing is word of mouth. It can be extremely powerful and effective to have someone you know and trust to share about a product or service with you.

Granted, it is usually an endorsement for something you believe to be interested in, or can be persuaded to be, but we love having someone we like give us recommendations – whether it be for new restaurants, a reliable hairdresser, a not-too-salesy car dealership, or a trustworthy auto body shop. We also are influenced by our circles to try things that we believe we need like new make-up, a local beer brewing company, a family friendly walking trail, or even suggestions on DIY home improvement projects.

According to Social Media Today, Instagram has added a new way to connect users to resources and products. They’ve started this by rolling it out with influencers, and due to the crazy times we are living in (aka a Global pandemic), they have started with health and wellness products. Essentially, the selected Influencers can add the “Guides” section to their profiles (so it sits where Stories Highlights sit), and they can share a wealth of information related to their brand (in the health and wellness industry). This information is highly curated and specific to a current topic, and can include recommendations, tips, and other content in a dedicated tab.

You can see a few examples here:
“Instagram Guides are available on selected profiles from today, including @afspnational, @heads_together, @vitaalere, @klicksafe, @headspace_aus, @deepikapadukone, @sudahdong and @eenfance.”

This has a ton of potential to expand to other industries as well as creating a lot of partnerships and cross-promotions that make a lot of sense. We can also see this working really well for small business owners that might be able to highlight their recommendations for local services as well as highlight resources that work well together (Hair & Make-Up Artist + Photographer), and even times of supporting activists who are working diligently to get their messages out. Allowing them to add Guides could help them share a very specific and accessible amount of information with their following.

With more and more people getting their information from social media, this seems to be a great product extension that of course, it’s fair to assume, Instagram may look to monetize, but it can also be cost-effective and likely reach a lot of eyeballs so may be worth the content creators time. It can also be incredible exposure for the partners that they decide to recommend and/or feature. Soon, if you’re a business owner, you might be looking to see who you can ask to feature you within their “Guide”.

Erin Wike is a Career Coach & Lecturer at The University of Texas at Austin and owner of Cafe Con Resume. Erin is fueled by dark roast coffee with cream AND sugar, her loving husband, daughter, and two rescue dogs. She is the Co-Founder of Small Business Friends ATX to help fellow entrepreneurs + hosts events for people to live a Life of Yes with Mac & Cheese Productions.

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