Social media is a fickle business. It seems that, just as one platform pulls ahead of the pack, another up-and-comer comes along to replace it. And, given the meteoric rise of video-centric platforms like TikTok, you might be wondering if investing in more established platforms like Instagram is really worth your time.
The answer is…yes.
Even with all the attention TikTok has received of late, you may want to consider this—according to CNBC, Instagram surpassed the 2 billion monthly user mark as of December of 2021, and it surpassed TikTok in number of downloads for the fourth quarter of that same year.
That being said, as is the case with any platform, the only thing you can be sure of when it comes to social media is that trends can (and will) change on a dime. What’s fresh today will be stale tomorrow, so we thought we’d share 3 of the most noteworthy trends currently happening on IG.
We’ve done the research so you don’t have to…and you’re welcome.
Adding Link Stickers to Stories
IG Stories continue to be one of the platform’s most popular features. Users can’t seem to get enough of these uber-engaging, somewhat voyeuristic snippets into someone else’s world.
But, until recently, creators were forced to acquire more than 10,000 followers before they were allowed to add link stickers to their stories. Today, anyone with any number of followers can use link stickers…and if you’re not adding them to your stories, you should be.
Link stickers allow you to add a hyperlink with a URL viewers can simply tap to be whisked away to a site of your choosing. It could be a products page where they can make a purchase, a compelling new blog, an engaging podcast, or an online signup for an upcoming event.
Just because Instagram has 2 billion global users doesn’t mean the platform is comfortable cruising along as-is. The execs at IG couldn’t help but notice the mind-boggling rise in popularity of video-centric platforms like TikTok…and they responded by introducing Reels to their own platform in August of 2020, allowing IG users to get in on TikTok trends and challenges.
There are so many ways to use Reels that can benefit your business:
- Record educational videos – Why not use videos to showcase your industry knowledge? Reels allow you to represent yourself as an expert in your field. Post videos discussing relevant industry news. Show followers how to use one of your products in a real-life situation. Answer questions sent in by followers about a service you provide. Use Reels to show the world exactly how much you know about your business.
- Give viewers a sneak peek – People love getting a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the nuts and bolts of your business. Show viewers what happens on an average day with a “day-in-the-life” video. Show off that healthy culture you’ve created in the workplace amongst your employees. Record your team as they set up for a public event. Such videos allow viewers to see the human side of your business and make it more relatable.
- Share customer feedback – There’s no better social proof than the kind words of happy customers. Use Reels to share a positive review someone shared online or, even better, create a video that compiles multiple reviews. You could also have a customer join you to discuss what they love about the products and/or services your business provides.
Making Use of Shopping Features
If you aren’t allowing followers to shop directly from your Instagram feed, you are missing out on sales. After all, a whopping 72% of IG users say they make purchase decisions based on something they saw on the platform, and implementing shopping features makes it even easier for viewers to purchase with a few clicks.
Instagram offers a variety of shopping-related features. It can be as simple as adding product tags to photos and videos, allowing viewers to shop directly from your posts, or setting up an Instagram storefront with collections and product details (this is particularly beneficial if yours is a business with a wide variety of inventory).
Using shopping features is beneficial for many reasons:
- They boost brand exposure and increase website traffic.
- They allow viewers to learn more about your business, products, and services.
- They make the buying process easier and increase the likelihood of converting that viewer into a buyer.
Consider this quote from comedic legend George Burns:” You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.”
Don’t let anyone tell you Instagram is over. Despite the attention newer platforms may receive, the OG IG continues to serve as a powerful marketing tool for your business in 2022. And, by incorporating some of the platform’s latest features into your feed, you’ll be able to better connect with followers, boost engagement, and increase sales for your business.