Instagram is one of the fastest growing social networks to date, and with an increase in usage comes an evolution in behavior. Some of the trends that applied to Instagram a couple of years ago are still true today: Lifestyle content is still important; relevant hashtags are still important. However, there are also a few more recent trends that are important to consider when creating Instagram content for your brand.
1. Higher Quality Images
Gone are the days when authenticity on Instagram meant haphazardly uploading an image from a smartphone, with little thought put into lighting, composition and quality. The community values gorgeous photography, and while the charm of spontaneous, "homemade" looking images still has value on Snapchat, Instagram users prefer a more elevated aesthetic. It's just as important to avoid the other end of the spectrum—overly staged, "too-perfect" photos. Finding that balance of natural, organic imperfection with high quality photography is key.
2. Using Objects to Tell a Story
Creativity is celebrated on Instagram. When brands present their products in interesting or unusual scenarios—whether it's dressing them up, using them to represent different objects or illustrating a scene—it is more likely to draw attention.
3. Encouraging People To Tag Their Friends
On Instagram, commenting with a friend's handle on a photo you think they might find interesting, entertaining or relatable could be considered the equivalent of sharing a Facebook post on a friend's wall. It's how people on Instagram say, "Check this out!" A good way to take advantage of this is to include a call to action that encourages people to tag their friends*.
4. Hashtag Emojis
Whether or not you like it, the emoji has evolved into a language of its own, pervading the entirety of Instagram's user base. A single pictogram carries with it the connotation of several words, and a hashtag emoji provides brands with a concise way to join conversations that are already occurring on the platform. A boot manufacturer could hashtag a photo of its product with a boot emoji, and it would appear in the feed of anyone who is perusing the hashtag with boots on his mind. Or a refreshing iced drink could present itself as synonymous with summertime and sunshine by including a hashtagged sun in the caption. The possibilities are endless.
What other trends have you noticed on Instagram? Feel free to share in the comments below.
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*Pure Barre is a Likeable client.