During my research I found that most businesses from small companies to large corporations are not taking the full advantage of the Instagram Story Highlight Cover feature. It looks like they’re using Instagram as a user and not as a company.
According to Instagram over 400 Million Stories people share every day so it tells you that this feature is extremely popular.
1B+ Monthly Actives
500M+ Daily Actives
400M+ Daily Stories Actives
Today I’m sharing some best practice and tips to help small business owners to use the Instagram Highlight Covers efficiently, and at the end of this note you will find a link to get free 200 icons Instagram covers I made for my visitors.
Best Practices & Tips
All businesses must have a strategy to use this area smartly and it should be customized to approach your business expectation.
Use it to keep your audience informed about the business activities and how they can reach out to you easier outside of Instagram.
Use it to engage new followers
Use it to tell visitors in a visual way what your business is about.
For example, the image below is how your Instagram Highlighted area looks like. It should give visitors an idea what type of service your Instagram offers. In this case it’s about a company who offers services or products related to Art.
Each icon represents one cover and it should tell something itself.
In this example each icon tells:
Location - to enjoy the art in person
Discount - to get a discount so you can buy it
Videos - to watch videos about the company/products
Gallery - to see several photos of the art
Art - to know more about the company or artist
You can add more highlighted stories with specific icons or clear images to show more activities. In this case, it could be nice to find an microphone icon for “artist interviews”, a shopping car icon for “store” where users can find information how to buy, a calendar icon to find a list of the “events”, etc
Customization - Personalize your Instagram highlight covers with different call to actions accordingly with the image, text or icon.
Consistency - Use colors that match the color scheme of your logo or brand.
Instagram Actions - Use them discretely on your cover such as:
Hashtag - add a hashtag if you want to reach a specific audience
Location - add your location if you want to attract local customers
Mention - add a handle “@” if you want to promote your profile or another account
Countdown - add a countdown if you want to promote an event or a sale
Highlight Cover Name - Make sure the name of your cover is not longer than 15 characters. For example you shouldn’t name your cover as “Customer Service”, but instead you can name it as “Help Center” or “Help”. It means the same but shorter, otherwise your cover name will break in consecutive periods like this “Customer Servic…”
Avoid Redundancy. If you use text instead an icon don’t name your cover with the same text.
Example: If I use the word “Blog” on my cover image I will use alternative titles to name my cover; something like “Useful Articles”, ”Fresh Notes”, “Great Content” or like the image below for example.
Avoid Emojis to Name your Covers - Unless your business is about jokes or memes avoid putting emojis as part of your cover name. Emojis are very small and it will be hard to see it on mobile.
Less tells More - Use powerful words and not too many texts. Remember stories are dynamic and run faster.
Refreshing the Covers - Social Media works different for each business that’s why you should be original and customize your experience that works for you. Try to monitor how many people see your covers and replace those who nobody see. Change the name of your cover or your cover itself with a new image or icon. You can also add in your strategy how often you are going to replace the covers for a new set. Instagram is visual so give your followers some color.
Bellow are my personalized covers to promote several sections of my website which is my priority to promote in the next three months. It will give you an idea how you can customize your Instagram Highlights Covers with additional information about your business. You can add call to actions such as landing pages links, address, phone number, email, specials, products, deals, etc.
Click the images below to see how it looks and explore the experience from my Instagram.
I usually add call to actions to promote a landing page but it depends of the long of your URL. It must be legible on mobile. Mine is short and easy to remember so I use this approach.
Small or Large Icons? - Is better to use a small icon because you can move and zoom in and out to fit it inside the circle area and make it look bigger; but you can’t crop a large icon after you uploaded it.
What’s the Instagram Cover Size? - The Instagram Highlight Cover is a large image and the size is 1080 pixels x 1920 pixels.
Design an icon to fit exactly within the Instagram thumbnail circle is tricky and time-consuming for newbies. If you are not a professional designer and want to do it yourself, just try to make sure the icon or text is in the center of your cover and avoid drawing or adding a circle around your icon.
Should I put a background image? - It depends of your taste. You can put color or image in the background but make sure your text, call to actions or icons look clear and legible on your smartphone and match your branding colors.
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