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  • Anna McDonald

Top 3 Trends in 2024 - Instagram Edition

The number of Instagram users reached 34 million in January 2024 in the UK - that’s a lot of potential consumers to reach. It also can mean that it is hard for brands to stand out from the crowd with so much competition. That’s why we’ve put together our top 3 favourite latest social media trends - an Instagram edition. 

  1. Users are seeking entertainment, not product promotion

Social media is a place where users want to relax with 64.8% of Instagram users engaging in funny or entertaining content. When scrolling through the explore page on Instagram and seeing which posts or reels have the most engagement, it is normally always something either funny or involves a cute animal. That’s because those using the platform want to unwind from their daily routine, with it being a form of escape for most users. Despite this, brands are posting a lot of promotional content on the app, resulting in a disconnect between what the user wants to see and what the brand is posting.

Entertaining doesn’t necessarily mean brands have to be funny. Users love looking at pretty much any content which intrigues or inspires them. Educational content like tips or tricks, or ‘did you know?’ type brand-related questions can provide users with interesting and informative content. Also, content that is people-focused or related to social responsibility can have an emotional impact on the user and make them feel inspired. Users want brands to be more relatable so brands must be using the platform as a way to entertain and build brand awareness rather than just to sell. 

Graphic image with a tip of the day for instagram, did you know adding emojis to your captions increases enagement by up to 15%
Here's a useful Instagram tip!

2. Artificial Intelligence and Social Media 

AI has grown massively in the past few years and Meta is heavily investing in it this year. Mark Zuckerberg recently updated his Instagram feed with the new version of ‘Meta AI’, which is available now in the US. It’s a free AI assistant across Instagram, Facebook and Whatsapp which can help with recommendations, generating photos and search queries with a search engine feature available across the Meta apps. 

With Generative AI surfacing into the mainstream in 2022, it is important brands use it to their advantage. Instagram has some AI features that brands could use to help them make their content more interesting, including AI-generated stickers where users can add stickers to stories or reels. There are pre-made stickers available or they can be custom made. Examples would be including a poll in a story to generate more engagement or adding a clickable link to a story that could drive traffic straight to the website, resulting in potentially more sales.

When using AI features on social media, it is also important to think about the brand’s target audience. Gen Z is much more likely to be open-minded when it comes to AI than boomers for example, with 33% of boomers less likely to engage with content that has been created with AI.

3. Video formats continue to be on trend 

When scrolling through Instagram, reels continue to dominate the feed, with options to view reels in the reel tab and explore page. The Instagram algorithm takes several factors into account including: prioritising content the user has previously engaged with; relationships the user has with other accounts and prioritising new content over older posts.

Tips to work with the Instagram algorithm:

  • High-quality content - funny, entertaining or inspirational content

  • Visually aesthetic - high-resolution videos, using Instagram filters and effects 

  • Hashtags - 15-30 descriptive and relevant hashtags, Instagram trending hashtags 

  • Trending Audio - trending music on Instagram will be favoured by the algorithm (any sound with the ‘up’ arrow)

Video content is one of Instagram’s priorities, with the platform often providing updates for reels with new features to encourage creators to keep video on-trend. Brands need to keep up with these trends to work with the algorithm and stay current. 

For more tips on how to improve your social media marketing find out more about our 1:1 social media coaching.

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