Wondering what’s popular on Instagram in 2017?
From a new way to shop on Instagram to the hottest teen trend, we’re sharing the best (and worst) of Instagram to help you and your business stay cool and relevant for the rest of the year.
Here are 5 of the most popular Instagram trends of 2017 so far:
Instagram Trend #1: “Tapping Text” in Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories have exploded in the last year, with over 250 million people watching or uploading stories every single day.
Most Instagram Stories are mainly video clips sprinkled with photos, but one trend we’re seeing is to combine photos with the native “tapping” function of Instagram Stories to animate a static image.
Confused? Here’s an example from popular food blogger Jenn Pallian of @Foodess:
Jenn uses the “tap to skip” function of Instagram Stories to her advantage by actually catching your attention when you go to “skip” her story, keeping your eyes glued to her content for longer and drawing you into her call-to-action to swipe up for the recipe at the end of her story.
She then complements her story with an Instagram post telling her followers they can see more in her story.
This Instagram trend is growing in popularity with businesses, probably because it’s a super easy way to create 3 clips for Instagram Stories using just one photo. Here’s how to do it using an example from @JuiceTruck:
Upload a photo to Instagram Stories! Need to upload a photo older than 24 hours? Just open the Later app on your phone and download any photo or video from your media library to your camera roll.
Add text on top of your photo and hit the “save” button. Remember to leave enough room for the rest of your text!
Upload the photo with text that you just saved from Instagram Stories and add your next piece of text. Don’t forget to save!
Upload the photo you just added and add your final piece of text!
Upload a *new* photo or Boomerang with your call-to-action. It’s best to keep this separate from the “tapping photos” so you don’t have too much text on one screen.
If you have over 10,000 Instagram followers and you have a business account, you can then add a link to Instagram Stories and encourage your followers to swipe up to view your blog post, shop your product, etc.
Did you know that over half of all businesses on Instagram are now using Instagram Stories?! If you need help jumping on this trend for your business, check out some of our Instagram Stories resources:
Instagram Trend #2: Slideshow Posts with 2 Photos
Some people love the new ability to upload more than 1 photo to Instagram posts, but it’s been hard to determine if uploading up to 10 photos is “cool” or not.
Also, Instagram seriously needs to name this feature. Is it a slideshow post? Carousel? Multiple photo? Who knows!
What we do know is that teens are starting to jump on this trend like no other, but in a very specific way. While uploading a ton of photos may be “extra,” uploading 2 photos that are very similar is seriously trending on Instagram.
Let’s take a look at “it” teen Iris Apatow, who executes the trend perfectly:
The photos are basically identical, with one small difference, and flipping between the two creates a GIF-like illusion.
I haven’t seen that many (if any) brands jump on this trend, but it’s definitely an easy trend to copy and could help you show your product in multiple scenarios. For example, you could show one piece of clothing two ways, or on two different body types.
In order to execute this correctly, both photos need to have a similar theme. Let’s take a look at how my friend Alisson Xavier posts photos of @thatpupollie. The first one is pretty creative and right on the trend, showing two photos taken from two slightly different angles:
The second post shows both him and his partner holding their pup, something I have seen a lot of couples / friends use on Instagram when they want to post stylized photos about both themselves and who they’re hanging out with.
Executing this trend is pretty easy, and the key is to only upload 2 photos and not 10. Views will most likely be higher if there’s only 2 images, since it’s pretty easy to swipe to see one more photo, but your followers may not have the patience to view more than that.
Ready to start taking Instagram for Business seriously? Download our free Instagram for Business Strategy Guide!
Instagram Trend #3: Adding “New Post” to Instagram Stories
A lot of popular Instagram trends in 2017 are super creative and businesses would be wise to copy them. But there’s one trend that needs to die before it ruins Instagram Stories forever: putting “new post” in your story.
Good morning to everyone except those who use their IG stories to write "New post! Check it out!"— paddington & mia khalifa stan account (@Adriyoung) June 22, 2017
Because I don’t want to put anyone on blast, here is what it would look like if I was to jump on this trend for myself and upload a “new post” to my story:
Some people take this trend even further by asking their followers to leave a specific emoji once they’ve seen the post:
I understand why people are trying to use Instagram Stories to promote their regular Instagram posts, I really do. Engagement is declining, and people are desperate to try anything that might get more people to “like” their post – especially Instagram influencers, whose livelihood depends on engagement.
But spamming everyone in your story is not the way to do that.
Some people do it well, but most people do not. If you are adding value with your story and then directing people to your post for more detail, it’s possible to do this in an authentic way.
For example, recording a video of you talking about a new Instagram contest and then telling your followers they can enter on your most recent post, like Studio DIY does above, is a completely valid and authentic way to use Instagram Stories. After all, you want your followers to win!
But blatantly uploading a photo of your feed and blacking out your new post, or desperately asking people to leave an emoji comment, is pretty spammy. Imagine if every business starting doing this on Instagram Stories? It would become incredibly annoying and we’d probably all have to go back to Snapchat ;).
Remember, it’s important to always add value and be authentic on Instagram. Fast grabs for likes or engagement boosts aren’t going to help your brand in the long run.
Instagram Trend #4: Adding Instagram Posts to Email Marketing
User-generated content is hotter than ever, and more brands are starting to take advantage of their customers’ awesome Instagram posts by integrating them into their email marketing campaigns.
According to Really Good Emails (my favourite email marketing site), this trend is alive and well in 2017:
“An impressive Instagram photo at the bottom of your email is still running rampant in the streets. More brands are bringing in social photos to drive them to purchase, follow, or instill a certain mood through photography.”
Let’s take a look at Studio DIY again. They send newsletters bursting with Instagram UGC, and instead of promoting their products with models, they use photos of real, happy customers.
Studio DIY uses UGC from Instagram to show their email list that people really do love their clutches, and they put together super fun emails that show off some of the best Instagram content created by their customers.
76% of millennials believe that UGC is more trustworthy than branded advertising, so adding Instagram UGC to your email marketing could help you seriously move product. Learn more about how to use Instagram UGC with these free resources:
Instagram Trend #5: Shop in Stories
Is “shop in stories” the new “link in bio?”
The hottest Insta-brands are using Instagram Stories to drive sales by linking photos in their story directly to product pages.
This is a great strategy for retail or e-commerce brands because it’s an easy way to link to individual product pages instead of a general “shop” page, which can result in more of your followers actually buying your products.
Let’s take a look at how Nasty Gal is using their Instagram Stories to get sales:
Another reason why this strategy is great for brands is because it’s a super easy way to fill your story with content. You don’t want to do this every day, but it’s the perfect fill in if you haven’t posted to your story in a while, or you want to promote a certain collection.
All you have to do to make your Instagram Stories shoppable is add a link to your photo, Boomerang, or video in Instagram Stories.
Unfortunately, you’ll need to have at least 10,000 Instagram followers and an Instagram Business profile.
Forever21 takes it a step further by integrating UGC into their shoppable Instagram Stories. Here’s an awesome example of how they used tagged photos, highlighted their community, and drove sales all at the same time!
This is such a great, on-brand example of how to get your customers to shop your stories! I love how they used Instagram’s stickers, emojis, and doodling tools to make the photos look more “fun” for Instagram Stories, and how they started it with a title slide and grouped UGC together in the theme of “fall transition looks.”
Here’s what it looks like when you “swipe up” to shop:
You’re instantly taken directly to the product page, where it’s easy to pick your color, size, and add it to your cart if you love it. Even if they don’t check out right then, you can always retarget them on Facebook later, since they’ve clicked the link!
Want to get the most out of your Instagram account this year? Start scheduling Instagram posts!