Like all social media platforms, Instagram is constantly changing and evolving. Whether it’s the algorithm that decides what content users see (and changes frequently), updates in types of content you share to the platform such as Reels, or trending hashtags, the rapid changes can be hard to keep up with. Here are some of the most popular Instagram trends to know for 2022.
Maintaining a cohesive, aesthetically pleasing grid was once a big topic and is still relevant. But in 2022, planning your Instagram content around a cohesive grid look can come with drawbacks. The grid gives accounts a way to have a unified design through unified colors or images. For example, several posts may combine to create one large picture. Other grid options include repeating patterns and styles of posts.
According to the planable.io article linked above; disadvantages include inflexibility when a post doesn’t fit the pattern. Depending on your grid design, a single post may lose its impact. Also you have to make three posts in a row, at a minimum, to properly align images for a grid. Generally, best practices for Instagram suggest posting no more than once per day so that defeats the grid option entirely.
Additionally, grids are considered highly curated and carefully edited content. Instagram is moving away from this approach, which brings us to another trend.
The last few years have increasingly marched Instagram toward a more authentic, unpolished content style. This doesn’t mean to post a low-quality video shot on a 10-year-old phone camera. It does mean that users want content that doesn’t look staged or overly edited. Don’t shoot everything on your high-end mirrorless camera, then spend hours getting everything perfect through editing. Instead, use a photo or video taken with a regular phone camera and post unfiltered. This gives your account authenticity. This also extends to influencers; as the Influencer Marketing Hub article linked above mentions, users now gravitate toward “normal” relatable people, rather than celebrities.
In 2021 Instagram began increasing emphasis on short videos, thanks to the popularity of such content on TikTok and YouTube. Reels are essentially Instagram’s version of TikTok videos. The differences are minimal enough that some Reels can be seen with TikTok watermarks on them. (Don’t do this though, as Instagram will punish reach on Reels with outside watermarks). These videos, shot in portrait orientation and lasting up to 60 seconds, are a popular format among users. Like TikTok, Reels have trends of their own, set to certain songs, featuring certain dances and other types of popular content.
The aesthetic styles of Instagram are changing. Trends for 2022 include blurred images, pink hues, graphic styles reminiscent of the 1970s, grainy and dull photos, and colors to match seasons, such as soft browns, reds and yellows for fall.
According to the article linked above from Influencer Marketing Hub, Instagram Stories are an important piece to factor into your Instagram strategy. They cite statistics from media analytics firm Meltwater that state 86.6% of Instagram users post Stories. Also, almost 80% of brands say that Instagram Stories had a large impact on their influencer partnership content. And almost 90% of influencers publish Story content. On top of that, 63% of influencers in the survey said they would post Story content “much more frequently” in the near future.
With these kinds of statistics in mind, the importance of Story content can’t be understated. Accounts who post Stories also appear at the top of a user’s feed, gaining priority and requiring less scrolling than regular posts. Stories also add the ability to utilize a variety of content types, including polls, quizzes and links to outside content, which traditional Instagram posts can’t include. With all of these options for Stories at Instagram users’ disposal, it’s simply a matter of deciding which ones are best for your business.
Instagram is a rapidly evolving platform, adapting to consumer trends and taking notice of emerging platforms such as TikTok. With changing content tastes, new content types and an ever-changing algorithm deciding what content your followers see, it can be hard to keep up with the demands of running an Instagram business account.
Luckily, AZ Media Maven is here to help. We offer social media marketing services tailored to your business’s needs. We specialize in helping small businesses like our own firm! Contact us today using the form at the bottom of the page, and we can help get your Instagram strategy on the right track.