We’ve all scrolled through Instagram, seen a ton of super-cool posts, and thought, “Ah! I wish I could keep these for later.” Instagram Collections helps you do exactly that. It is one of those nifty features that make you feel like the app designers read your mind to see what you needed to improve your experience.
What Are Instagram Collections?
Instagram Collections are like your own personal Instagram Pinterest. The name explains it all. The feature allows you to collect posts that show up on your feed.
In 2016, Instagram created the ‘Bookmarks’ feature, but Collections is a step-up from simply saving content. It allows you to categorize your saved content, and create a collection of videos and images.
How To Create An Instagram Collection
Step 1. Tap on the three lines/ burger icon on your profile page.
Step 2. Select “Saved” to open your bookmarked posts if you have any.
Step 3. Click on the (+) sign in the top-right corner. A page with all your saved content will appear. You can add a post to your collection by tapping on it. Or you can do it after setting up your Instagram Collection.
Step 4. Tap ‘Next’ and choose a collection name and cover.
Step 5. Click ‘Done’ or ‘Add’ in the top right-hand corner and you’ve created your first collection.
To save posts to your collection, tap on the bookmark icon at the bottom of any post. Select ‘Save to collection’ and choose the collection you want to categorize the post in. And that’s it. You can look at your collections by following steps 1 and 2.
There were rumors that Instagram was looking to make Public Collections a thing, but we’re yet to see this happen. Who knows though? Soon you might be able to share your curated collections with whoever you want… We wouldn’t put it past the clever Instagram Team.
5 Ways To Use Instagram Collections For Your Brand
So Instagram Collections are cool and all, but how can you use them for your brand if they’re just for you? Not many people know what they’re sleeping on with this feature and what an impact it can make on content creation.
So, here are 5 splendid tricks for using Instagram Collections to keep your Instagram popping!
Track Your UGC & Mentions
User-Generated Content (UGC) is uber-powerful brand content. It is all the content your followers, customers and other users include your brand in. Big brands like Coca-Cola and Starbucks have taken advantage of the power of UGC by creating campaigns centered around followers including their products in posts.
To gather UGC, encourage your followers to mention you in their posts, and engage with them by liking their content. Create a UGC Collections category to keep track of some of your favorite posts that you’re tagged in.
With your saved UGC, you have a content scheduling haven. Anytime you have a gap in your content or might be at a loss for relevant material to share, just browse through your UGC library. You can also create a campaign specifically for user content and share a series of UGC posts to your Stories.
Your options with UGC are endless… just get consent from the original poster.
Keep an Eye on your Competitors
Because collections are private, they are the perfect way to keep tabs on what your competitors are doing. Getting inspiration from brands similar to yours is a great way to see what works and what doesn’t. Save content that you like in a “Competitors” collection for your reference later.
You can gain a lot of insight in this way. Understand how other brands engage their followers and how their followers receive different kinds of content. This can spark your creativity for future content and marketing campaigns. It’s a perfect way to set up your own social media best practices and develop solid social media marketing strategies.
Create a Digital Mood Board
The perfect IG feed is about establishing a consistent brand aesthetic. Whether you curate and carefully structure your posting, or your vibe is go-with-the-flow chic, you need great content to sustain audience attention. Use your Collections as a space to save images that best suit your brand feel.
Think about color, tone, style, and gather content that fits your brand message. Having this content ready makes it easy to just arrange it using your scheduling tool.
You can also look over the content you save, and check out the feeds of the people who posted it to get inspiration for your page. Use a feed preview platform to see how your saved images will look on your feed.
A literal digital mood board!
Get Insight into your Content Saves
Although you can’t see other people’s collections, you can see if people are saving your content. Insights has a ‘saves’ analytics option that tells you the number of users that have saved your posts.
The data is only available to business accounts that have the Insights tool available to them. Businesses can view the number of saves by clicking on the burger icon, selecting Insights, and going to the content tab.
Here, you can adjust your filter to view saved posts over a chosen period. Use the analytics tool to calculate your engagement rate and improve post engagement.
Get Inspired & Collaborate
So, the first two points were all about getting inspired by other users’ content – UGC and competitors. But, you can also use Instagram Collections as a collaboration tool. Save the posts of Instagram influencers or other users you might like to work with. Having a collection of posts allows you to:
- Have broad research on influencers
- Compare their engagement on different posts
- Decide which of their content you like best
- Brief your marketing team about them
With all this information, you can design and propose your campaign. And collaborate!
Instagram Collections is a fantastic and super underrated feature. Now that you know how you can use it for your brand and business, get on it right away!