Instagram #Trends – What’s Hot and What’s Not
You probably already know that Social Media changes all the time and new features are being introduced consistently. As a business owner you already have enough on your plate to worry about algorithm changes and new updates.
But there are some new changes happening on Social Media that you don’t want to miss. First, let’s talk about the ever elusive algorithm. There has been quite a few drastic changes on Instagram since 2019 when this post was originally written (updated September 2020). Everyone were going into frenzy of a huge drop in post engagements and story views. This has been due to IG Introducing ‘content that is relevant to you’ strategy, showing users the type of content they most commonly engage with. Meaning that posts will not show up in a chronological order and instead your feed is based on your or your audience exisitng activitiy.
This means that the content we see on our feeds is more relevant but at times, it may be hard to break through the visibility barrier as a brand.
What does this mean for you as a business owner? Come up with a content strategy that gives the Instagram algorithm exactly what it wants – and one way to do this is to create consistently high quality content that can stand up to future algorithm changes.
When you notice your Instagram engagement is down, it may not always be due to algorithm alone. However, here are some of our top tips that will help you future-proof and be ready for any new algorithm updates with outstanding content and a deeper understanding of how the platform works.
Just because Instagram makes regular changes to it’s algorithm, it doesn’t mean your audience are no longer there, it just means you need to figure out better ways of making your posts more visible and engaging.
So let’s talk a little bit about how you can use instagram in new ways that will create more engagement and build authentic connection with your audience.
Engagement is Everything
First of all, it doesn’t matter if you have 100 followers or 10,000, engagement is everything. The way the algorithm works, is it shows your content to people who most likely want to see your posts first. This means people who have previously engaged with your content, who liked or commented on your posts or have recently followed you. No matter how small or big your following is, the more engaging your audience are the more people will see your posts. Loyalty is everything.
Avoid: Non-engaged audience or ghost followers, the more of those you have the less visibility your posts will have to people who do want to see your posts. When trying to grow your account, always aim to attract audience who will genuinely engage with your content. That means, don’t take part in follow loops or use ways to boost your followers in an un-authentic way, it will only cost you in the long run.
“IGTV is going to get
even bigger in
the coming year.”
Boost your stories engagement – by posting when your audience is most active – this will increase your views and engagement via stories. People love to binge on stories, so make sure you give them enough interesting content to stick around or to even visit your feed. How do you know when your audience is most engaged? Check out your analytics section.
Want to get even more consistent with your stories? Why not schedule them with apps like Planoly or Later.
Whilst we are talking about stories – the current trend is using Stories creative features that allows you to draw, change colours, add animated stickers and do other fun and engaging things on your stories. It creates a fun factor and livens up your stories, pausing people from skipping to the next story or exiting your stories all together.
Using Vidoes and Lives
Are you a fan of doing videos or lives? Then you are in for a treat – IGTV is going to get even bigger in the coming year.
A lot of this has to do with improvements Instagram made to the video-sharing tool — for example, letting users cross-promote their IGTV videos on their Instagram feeds (making IGTV videos more accessible) and, more recently, letting users share landscape (or portrait) videos!
This second update came as a pretty big surprise – up until now, IGTV only supported vertical video, which was a big part of its launch in June 2018.
Unfortunately, this is also what made IGTV difficult to use for creators and social media managers. Vertical videos are more time-consuming to create and edit and they aren’t as easily repurposed to other channels.
But now that IGTV supports both vertical and horizontal video, we’re seeing a ton of brands and influencers jump on the new format and try their hand at long-form content!
We’re even seeing influencer partnerships develop on IGTV! For example, flip-flop brand @havaianas recently partnered with @wearetwinset to create a series of branded travel videos on IGTV.
Being More Intentional
Brands, influencers, and regular Instagram users are all getting more creative with their feeds, by using more advanced Instagram features, such overlay stickers, videos, courasells and other.
That means that you will want to ramp up your creative and design skills using some clever tools and apps to help you achieve that.
Colours are becoming trendy – colours and filters has always been pro-instagrammers ‘go-to’ signature. But who says you can’t do that too? With so many editing tools available today, your instagram can look as pretty and awesome as your favourite influencer and attract new audience members in your sleep. Because let’s face it, Instagram users love a good design, colour coded feed and filters that gives photos that dreamy ‘with my pink sunglasses’ look.
Do you have a brand that sells products? Now you must explore this new feature to add your products into your posts and stories. Simply connect your Instagram account to your Facebook business account, and follow the steps shown in your instagram and within a few days time, you will be able to make your posts and even stories shoppable. This is game changing for a platform that can not add clickable links in captions.
But it doesn’t stop there! Instagram has implemented a new “Shopping” channel on the Explore page to help you find product-related posts from the brands you follow and brands that Instagram thinks you might like.
And they’re also in the process of rolling out a new “checkout” feature that will let you buy products without ever leaving the Instagram app!
Now that’s a change worth raving about!
Authentic Content on Instagram is the last and probably the most important trend that is current right now.
Being more “authentic” on Instagram has been on the rise for quite some time now – in fact, it was one of our top expert predictions for 2019!
While highly curated feeds with perfectly staged shots were all the rage in the past, more brands and influencers today are stepping out of their comfort zones and sharing honest, unfiltered content to their feeds and stories.
Summer has finally hit, and while most brands are taking a vacay, now’s the time to level-up your Instagram strategy and jump on some of the hottest Instagram trends happening right now!
With so many features, post types, tools, designs, styles, and more, it can be difficult to know what’s currently “popular” on Instagram.
In fact, sharing content that isn’t particularly good quality or beautiful but has an authentic feel to it can actually enhance your feed.
Plus, according to Later’s social media manager, Melanie Brittner, these posts can often outperform high-quality photography!
This isn’t to say that curated feeds are no longer “in.” Building a cohesive aesthetic is still one of the best ways to get more followers and grow your account.
As more and more people turn to Instagram (instead of Google) to search for their favorite brands, your Instagram profile is becoming just as important as your website’s homepage.
So just because you’re sharing “authentic” content on Instagram doesn’t mean you have to step away from your Instagram look!
A lot of this comes down to the connection you have with your followers. Instagram audiences value honesty and authenticity way more than a glossy cover shoot. And displaying these qualities can help you foster a deeper, more trusting connection.
In other words, stepping back from perfectly curated feeds and stepping toward the “real-er” side of social media may even help your business!
Women In Business Founder