Instagram is capturing and sharing the world’s moments … are you onboard?
When Mark Zuckerberg purchased Instagram in 2012, many people thought he was crazy. Now as we approach the five-year anniversary of that acquisition in April, Zuckerberg must be pretty amused. When he bought the fledgling company, it boasted approximately 30 million users. As we closed out 2016, it had hit over 500 million – and it’s still growing.
Instagram is a mecca for visual storytelling, it presents a prime opportunity to market yourself and your business. Just like any social media, it is changing rapidly to meet market demands. You have to stay on top of trends and have a solid strategy in place if you want to use it successfully.
2017 Instagram Trends to Watch
- Enhanced Business Tools
In 2016, the Company unveiled new business tools to help business owners and marketers better manage their Instagram marketing efforts. The tools provided analytics on post engagement, company profiles, and a way to quickly turn a popular post into an advertisement. Instagram also recently allowed users to create (and manage) multiple accounts – making branding efforts much simpler if you need to market different lines of your business separately. In 2017, features dealing especially with analytics and ads will be brought online. The more you know, the better you can align your strategy to what resonates with your audience.
- Clickable Links
Links have been a sore subject when it comes to Instagram. Traditionally, you would see “Link in bio!” written everywhere because links were only allowed in bios. Look for more link opportunities in 2017. Links are already appearing in Instagram Stories for verified users. Keep an eye out for links in photos – and hopefully unverified users – this year.
There’s no doubt that Zuckerberg loves video content. With the Boomerang app, businesses can create 1-second GIF-like videos that loop on the site. You can also upload videos of up to 60 seconds now, with more changes undoubtedly coming soon. Videos are an amazing way to promote your business. If you are considering one, think about doing one that is silent. Many social media users prefer videos with subtitles or text narration in lieu of voice-overs and music.
Some people believe that Instagram Stories is going to wipe out Snapchat in 2017. While that’s a long-shot, we think that it will definitely steal a large number of users. Instagram has added filters and stickers to Stories, enabled users to tag others in some situations, and allowed for photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. Links within verified accounts can be seen by swiping “See more.” If you don’t take advantage of Stories, you’re missing out on one of Instagram’s most powerful features. Just make sure that you pick a theme and stick with it; consistency is key.
With Instagram testing out some branded product tags recently, we can only believe that shopping will get more and more user-friendly in the app. If they allow more product-tagging in 2017, users may never have to leave the website to buy your product with detailed product views and “Shop Now” buttons. Instagram is such a visual app that shopping is inevitable. Watch closely to see what new ways consumers can find your products in 2017.
With a little planning and a lot of watching, Instagram can become a powerful part of your social media arsenal in 2017. Track user engagement – not just likes – to see what works and what doesn’t. Set a visual theme for your business, take advantage of Stories, and be prepared to make some videos. This year is the year to engage your customers, and Instagram is giving you just the right platform to do it.