2017 was a big year of changes for Instagram and 2018 will be no different. Instagram is the second most used platform (behind Facebook), and is set to grow in popularity more this year.
As the platform grows and it’s users are more than 800 million people, there are often new trends gaining in popularity. If you want your business to stay on top and acquire more leads or customers, the best thing you can do is to focus on finding the best Instagram trends and figure out how they can work for you.
Instagram Stories stole the social media show in 2017 and as the data shows, is only gaining in popularity. Instagram allows you to share your own Stories to all your followers (for free!) in their app from 1 second to max 15 seconds each. This makes it easier for you to promote yourself or brand more naturally. In fact, if you make good use of the Stories feature, you will have no problem dominating the organic feed posting. The best part about Stories is that they bring in a natural appeal to your brand. Think about it. Have you felt like you’ve connected more with a brand or person by their stories? I’m sure the answer is yes! If you want to stay on top of the latest trends, then implementing Stories is a must.
Tip: Instagram stories make you nervous? Instead of posting them to your story right away, practice just sending them to a friend first! It gets easier over time to see your face, and know what to write. Trust me. Send them to me at @adventuresofdw and I'll happily provide feedback.
Stand Aside Influencers and Make Room for Micro Influencers
As you many know, we tend to like recommendations and referrals from friends. In addition to the regular influences, businesses are also moving towards the micro influencer. A micro influencer is typically a change maker, opinion shaper and trend forecaster with followers between 1,000 – 50,000.
Lets think about this a little more. Say you see a friend post about a new product or event and you are interested. It’s most likely because the trust is already there. Micro Influencers have a more direct personal connection with their followers. So, if you’re a small business, partnering up with a micro influencer may be a cost affective and smart thing to do in 2018. Best way to find one? Search your own followers and see if someone meets your criteria. This works well as they are already following you so are familiar with you and your brand!
Profiles Will Be Important
One of the things to note about Instagram is that most people tend to focus on what pics they post and the filters they use. Normally, the profile information doesn’t seem to be very important for most users. Starting this year, profiles are becoming more and more relevant and important. People will click and view them to watch the newly launched highlights. So, if you want people to know more about you or you just want to better customize your profile, always make sure its up to date.
TIP: Practice writing your profile in an app like notepad and copy to Intsagram (this will also give you nice line breaks!)
Instagram Live is designed to help you connect with your friends, family and followers at any given time. Live is a very good tool for influencers, and it can also work well for businesses in that they can decide if its an educational, behind the scenes or Q&A session.
Tip: Make sure your Lives aren't always about selling, people will stop tuning if if they're felt like the only reason you are engaging is to sell.
Brands that sell products will have to jump on the Instagram Shopping bus in 2018. This tool was designed to improve the shopping experience for Instagram users by allowing brands to link items to their website to sell.
Also, in 2018 keep look out for Instagram + Shopify’s new shopping feature integration. Read more about that here. This new feature allows the Shopify user to tag the products they are selling and it allows the user to purchase the item… without having to leave Instagram!
Since We’re Talking Instagram…
A lot of accounts use bots and automation to try to increase their engagement. There’s the follow/unfollow, auto liking and auto commenting etc.. But the reality is that this doesn’t have a place in Instagram this year (and shouldn’t have last year either!). If you want to manage your Instagram authentically, then yes – you do have to do the work (or hire someone who will do the work authentically!). Sure, you can still use some scheduling tools (I like Planoly), but bots and automation that will help inflate your likes and follows won’t work in the long run. Think about it – you buy yourself a few thousand followers and your followers take notices (maybe brands too!). What happens with Instagram figures out how to delete them all – you’ll start from square one. No thanks.
Questions? Comments? Something to add? Put it in the comments, I look forward to chatting!