11 Instagram Trends to Use in Social Media Marketing

Bhavya Aggarwal

June 12, 202414 min read

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You may believe that Instagram Reels, filtered templates and funny memes created by influencers or brands primarily resonate with younger audiences alone, but that is not the case. Irrespective of your brand's offerings or target audience demographics, your company can leverage Instagram to connect with a much broader and diverse audience. 

These Instagram trends are what make content that much more current, engaging and fascinating for people from all walks of life. And if your business — be it in the finance, legal or technology industry — wants to make the most of the buzz for greater marketing success, it’ll need to adopt Instagram trends as and when they’re the talk of the town. 

According to Capterra's Social Media Landscape survey, 96% of social media marketers utilize Instagram and over 90% use Facebook. Why? Because when used right, the pay-off is substantial. Credit the popularity of the app or Instagram’s algorithms, but tapping into these trends is crucial to stay relevant and position your company for better engagement and outcomes. 

As such, to enable your brand to gain greater traction and visibility on the “gram” easily, we've compiled the latest Instagram trends for 2024 in this article.  

So, let's get right into it. 

Trend #1: Leverage Instagram SEO to consolidate your base 

SEO and content marketing extend beyond traditional search engines such as Google and Bing. As Instagram evolves into its own search engine, users are leveraging its search feature to find products and services.

Optimizing your business account using strategic SEO practices is crucial for maximizing visibility and social media engagement on Instagram. This includes not only using relevant keywords in your bio but also in your post captions and descriptions. Create content that aligns with trending keywords and topics to enhance its discoverability for those actively seeking your offerings.

Tip to ace this trend

Optimize your Instagram business account for SEO by utilizing the profile elements effectively. This involves crafting a bio that’s rich in relevant keywords, choosing a clear profile picture and adopting a username that embodies your brand identity.

A list of suggested hashtags showing up while searching for 'nye' in the tags section of Instagram.

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Go beyond the basics by engaging with similar accounts to increase your visibility, adding alt text to your posts for better indexing and adhering to Instagram's content guidelines. This holistic approach helps rank your content in Instagram's trending feeds.

Additionally, watch out for new Instagram feature releases such as music in posts and interactive story filters. When you incorporate these features into your reels or posts, Instagram prioritizes your content. The platform wants to promote the adoption of its latest offerings, and doing this leads to organic growth for your account as it showcases these features to a broader audience.

Recommended Read: Instagram Automation Guide for Social Media Marketers

Trend #2: Cultivate a brand community

Instagram recently launched its broadcast channels feature. You can now “message-interact” with hundreds of followers with a single tap on the send button.

Engaging with your audience meaningfully fosters a sense of belonging, making your brand more relatable. You can deepen engagement with your existing audience through exclusive content and personalized interactions.

It's all about creating a loyal and active community that feels connected to your brand; not just increasing your follower count. So, the “community” must become a key component of your Instagram strategy.

Various broadcast channels being displayed on Instagram.

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Must Read: Community Management on Social Media: The Ultimate Guide 

Tip to ace this trend 

Engage in genuine interactions to cultivate your community. Respond promptly to comments and direct messages, showing your audience their voice matters. Create exclusive content for your most engaged followers, perhaps via a "Close Friends" group or through special giveaways.

Consider hosting live sessions and using interactive story features like polls and question boxes to enhance engagement, including AMAs (Ask Me Anything). Remember, when your audience feels valued and heard, they are more likely to become active brand advocates.

If monitoring audience engagement consumes too much time, consider using social media customer service software. This software integrates seamlessly with Instagram and all your other social channels through an API, allowing you to manage and attend to your followers efficiently.

Sprinklr's unification of multiple digital chat channels in one easily accessible place.

Trend #3: Use short-form video reels and photo dumps

Video reels have emerged as a dynamic way for brands to showcase their personality, products and services. They are engaging and brief presentations. These quick, creative videos cater to the audience's preference for bite-sized content, making them a strategic component of effective Instagram strategies.

Various Instagram Reels being displayed on phones.

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Photo dumps, on the other hand, promote spontaneity and authenticity. They allow brands to share a collection of images in a single post as a carousel, providing a more unfiltered, genuine and quicker glimpse into their world. This mix of polished video content and raw, real-life snapshots creates a versatile content strategy that appeals to a wide range of followers.

A photo dump containing multiple photos on Instagram.

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Tip to ace this trend 

To excel in this trend, create reels that are not only entertaining but also informative or educational about your products or services. Experiment with different formats, like behind-the-scenes clips, how-to guides or product highlights. 

For photo dumps, curate a series of images that tell a story or capture candid moments related to your brand. Maintain a balance. Your reels should be high-quality and well-edited while your photo dumps should feel more authentic and spontaneous. This combination will keep your content fresh and engaging for your audience.

Trend #4: Start product tagging via direct links in content

In 2024, incorporating direct links within Instagram content has emerged as a critical social media strategy. Through this functionality, you tag your products and services via direct links in posts and stories to guide followers to product pages, enhancing the overall shopping experience.

The aim is to convert followers into customers through a click-and-purchase customer journey. Integrating direct links bridges the gap between discovery and purchase, making it easier for users to buy the products they see and like on Instagram.

The customer purchase journey on Instagram.

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Tip to ace this trend

To master this trend, leverage Instagram's shopping features. Ensure your products are correctly tagged in posts and stories, providing a direct pathway for immediate purchases.

Keep your product catalog updated and integrate your website or eCommerce platform with Instagram. Use compelling visuals and creative storytelling techniques in your posts and stories to make your products irresistible. This not only simplifies the shopping experience for your audience but also significantly boosts your sales potential.

Not so sure about the learning curve? Let a social media publishing platform do it for your brand. It will automatically synchronize your product catalog with its dashboard and help add product links to your Instagram posts effortlessly to drive sales.

Instagram product tagging being done more easily through Sprinklr.

Related Read: What is Social Shopping? How to Use It for Product Marketing 

Trend #5: Use relatable UGC content

This may seem ironic! But it's trending. Instagram is frequently cited as a platform that showcases artificial and unrealistic lifestyles through heavily altered images. Brands have begun to invert this phenomenon. They are using this criticism to their advantage by sharing unfiltered and unedited content.

This trend moves away from overly curated aesthetics. Instead, the strategy promotes sharing trustworthy and engaging content with target audiences. You strengthen your brand's relationship with its audience by sharing real, unedited moments and staying transparent in your communications, including acknowledging flaws or mistakes.

Tip to ace this trend

Incorporate user-generated content (UGC) to boost this trend's impact on your business. Encourage your followers to share their experiences with your brand and repost these authentic moments.

Alo Yoga showcasing customers who are wearing the company's sportswear on Instagram.

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Combine the UGC with your unfiltered content, including behind-the-scenes glimpses or "real talk" about your products and industry. This enhances your brand credibility and cultivates an engaging and varied content blend that deeply connects with today's audience, which values authenticity.

However, make sure your user-generated content is brand- and legal-compliant. How? Use an AI-powered social publishing platform that can automatically flag inappropriate language, biases and irrelevant content. This will ensure your posts align with your brand guidelines.

Sprinklr's AI-powered compliance feature flagging a non-compliant image.

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Also Read: How to protect your brand reputation in the social media minefield?

Trend #6: Do brand collaborations and partnership posts

It's 2024. Brands have realized the importance of collaboration and partnership posts to expand reach through shared traffic from mutual followers. These collaborations involve two or more brands or influencers co-creating content and sharing it on their respective Instagram accounts.

An Instagram user inviting another to create a collaborative post.

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This allows brands to tap into each other’s audiences, broadening their reach and appeal. Partner posts can vary from joint promotions, challenges and giveaways to co-branded content or shared experiences. These collaborations often lead to enhanced engagement, as they bring together diverse followers to participate in branded challenges and contests with overlapping interests.

Instagram offers various tools to facilitate these collaborations. Features like branded content tags enable transparent partnership disclosure, ensuring compliance with advertising standards. Facilitating the sharing of engagement metrics and view counts, the platform's “Collab” feature allows users to co-author posts and reels.

In 2024, these tools have become more sophisticated, offering detailed insights and analytics, making it easier for brands to measure the success and impact of their collaborative efforts.

Instagram's native analytics tool showcasing reel insights.

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Tip to ace this trend 

Collaborations should feel authentic and deliver value to the followers of both parties. To capitalize on this trend, identify potential partners with a similar target audience whose brand values align with yours. 

Use Instagram’s collaboration tools to streamline the process and gain insights into the performance of your partnership posts. Remember, creating content that resonates with both audiences while maintaining your brand’s unique voice and style is key.

Trend #7: Do soft launches through your Instagram page

Soft launches have become a great strategy for brands to tease new products, services or initiatives. All you have to do? Share hints or partial glimpses of something new, generating curiosity and anticipation among the audience.

It's a strategic departure from traditional, grand announcements, providing an opportunity to gauge audience interest and gather feedback in a low-pressure setting.

Soft launches thrive on Instagram, leveraging the platform's emphasis on visuals and the engagement patterns of its user base. By sharing sneak peeks in posts or stories, you can create buzz and nurture consumer excitement in the lead-up to the official launch.

Check out this video by OnePlus. Though it is from its YouTube channel, it repurposes all their content types on Instagram to create buzz.

Tip to ace this trend 

Capitalize on the soft launch trend by sharing cryptic images, teaser videos or behind-the-scenes content that hints at something new without revealing too much. Engage your audience by encouraging them to guess or speculate about the upcoming launch. 

This interaction will foster engagement and help build a narrative around your product or service. As you approach the official launch date, gradually reveal more details, keeping the excitement alive. This phased approach can create a stronger impact and a sense of anticipation, leading to a more successful full launch.

Trend #8: Step aggressively into meme marketing

Don't assume this trend is unimportant because we've kept it at number eight. Memes (often known as “funny images” in social media terms), are stealing the show on Instagram.

A 2022 Wavemaker report reveals that 55% of 13-to-35-year-old individuals share memes every week and 30% send them daily. When 40% of the consumer population comprises millennials and Gen Z-ers, social media marketers are expected to incorporate memes into their Instagram content strategies.

This trend involves using humorous, relatable and often viral types of social media content. Memes offer a unique way to connect with your followers more personally and less formally, showcasing your brand's personality. Your brand stays relevant and attuned to contemporary internet culture this way.

A Shopify meme showcasing a prominent political figure who's bored and waiting, with the caption reading 'waiting for your first sale'

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Tip to ace this trend 

To succeed in meme marketing, stay current on trends. Understand the humor that resonates with your audience. Create or share memes that align with your brand voice, ensuring they are tasteful and appropriate.

Incorporate your products or services subtly into these memes. This strategy not only boosts engagement but also enhances brand recall. Remember, the aim is to be relatable and entertaining, encouraging shares and discussions among your followers — not ridicule anybody.

Here, consider using a social media publishing platform with a multi-level approval feature to prevent potential issues that might harm your brand's reputation. This way, you can ensure multiple team members review and approve the content published on your social media accounts. Factors such as channel choice, account and message type get examined by experts before your content goes live. It also ensures easy approval status tracking and helps you exercise caution on social media.

An outbound message being approved easily with Sprinklr's customer approval workflows feature.

Recommended Read: How to build a social media content strategy (beyond the cat memes) 

Trend #9: Utilize multiple links in your bio

As of 2024, in a significant update from its previous one-link limit, Instagram now permits users to include up to five external links in their bio. This improvement offers a great advantage for brands and content creators, providing a direct and streamlined method to guiding followers to various resources.

In the past, tools such as Linktree were utilized to bypass the one-link constraint. The new multi-link feature reduces friction, making it more convenient for followers to access various types of linked content directly.

A micro-influencer using multiple outbound links in their bio on Instagram.

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The benefits of this feature are manifold. It enables your brand to direct traffic to multiple destinations, such as your online store, specific product pages, blogs, YouTube channels, event pages or social profiles on other platforms. This versatility enhances the user experience and can significantly improve conversion rates.

How do you do this?  

  1. Open the Instagram app and go to your profile 

  2. Tap “Edit Profile” under your bio 

  3. Select “Add links” and tap "Add external link” 

  4. Enter the URL and a descriptive title for each link 

  5. Hit “Done" to save changes, and note that you can add up to five links this way 

Tip to ace this trend

Consider the customer journey and your marketing goals when deciding which links to add. Include links to your most popular products, upcoming events or content that supports your current marketing campaigns.

Balance direct sales-oriented links with informative or engaging content to offer value and keep your audience engaged. By curating these links thoughtfully, you can turn your Instagram bio into an effective tool for diverse brand promotion and engagement.

Trend #10: Position your social media managers as brand personalities

Social media managers are becoming the face of their brand on Instagram to add a personal touch to the brand's digital presence. This shift sees individuals behind brand accounts stepping into the spotlight for a more resonating brand presence. These social media managers humanize the brand by showcasing their personalities and behind-the-scenes insights, making it more relatable and engaging for the audience.

Tip to ace this trend

Embrace authenticity and let your social media manager's personality shine through your brand's Instagram account. This could involve sharing personal anecdotes, engaging directly with followers or showcasing a day in their life at the company.

However, it’s crucial to maintain a balance between personal flair and your brand's core values and messages. This approach can boost your brand's relatability and follower engagement but should not overshadow your brand identity. 

Trend #11: Explore AR filters to develop engaging content

AR filters will be a significant Instagram trend in 2024. These filters add interactivity and creativity to your posts, allowing you to create more immersive and engaging experiences for your audience.

By utilizing AR in social media, your brand can offer unique and memorable ways for users to interact with your content, increasing engagement and potentially driving more conversions.

An AR filter on Instagram that provides a random physical exercise to perform for the day.

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Tip to ace this trend 

To capitalize on this trend, consider developing custom AR filters that reflect your brand's identity and resonate with your target audience. These could range from fun, interactive elements to virtual try-ons for products.

Promote these filters through your posts and stories, encouraging your audience to use and share them. This strategy elevates customer engagement and extends your content's reach as users share their experiences with your filter.

If you are struggling to come up with actionable ideas and want to adopt a data-driven approach to content development and delivery, a social listening tool can help. It can automatically surface themes and trends from billions of data points.

For instance, it can help you detect logo usage across visual formats, such as GIFs, images and videos. Such initiatives drive greater efficiency through granular and actionable insights powered by generative AI.

Charts showcasing social listening data, like total mentions and the volume of hashtags, on Sprinklr.

Final thoughts

Instagram trends may come and go. What sets you apart is your ability to embrace them. Setting trends on Instagram is achievable without a substantial budget. You can pave the way and inspire others with your creativity by leveraging the right tools. As such, your brand can lead and inspire with Sprinklr Social, which is tailored for Instagram marketing.

Sprinklr Social helps online brands make their mark on digital platforms. It offers comprehensive channel coverage, advanced AI for content management and in-depth listening capabilities to help understand audience sentiment. Particularly for Instagram, Sprinklr Social supports targeted content publishing, audience engagement, insightful social listening, detailed visual analytics and competitive benchmarking. These tools are designed to navigate and leverage Instagram trends for maximum impact effectively.

Interested to learn more? Claim your free demo to discover what industry-leading brands use for social media growth. Want a more hands-on experience for yourself?

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