When Instagram launched in 2010, it was a photo-sharing app with retro filters. Fast-forward a decade and its transformation to a full-on marketing platform is nearly complete. From the return of the chronological feed to creator-led commerce, here’s what you need to know going into 2022.
Gone are the days of shooting from the hip with short, quippy captions. There will always be room for creativity, but above all, consumers are looking for authentic and useful content more than ever. This means PR and social media teams working hand-in-hand to craft stories your brand can tell on your owned media, with useful tools such as Instagram Guides.
While the bulk of Instagram content is largely ephemeral (millions of users and brands churn out daily content that’s never seen again after a 24-hour period), new features like Guides allow you to create long-form content that lives in, giving people a reason to follow your page and keep coming back for travel tips, cocktail recipes, how-to guides, and more.
Chronologial and Suggested Feeds
On December 8, 2021, Instagram announced, “We want people to have meaningful control over their experience. We’ve been experimenting with Favorites, a way for you to decide whose posts you want to see higher up, and we’re working on another option to see posts from people you follow in chronological order.” We predict users will soon have an option to see posts from accounts they’re following in chronological order, which will make it easier for your current followers to see and interact with your content, and a separate feed where they can see “suggested” content, creating a new avenue for people who aren’t currently following you to discover your brand.
In 2022, Instagram will introduce affiliate (or “commission-based”) program to all creators. This would remove the need for complex influencer agreements and contracts, making influencer marketing on the app much easier for everyone to get involved in. Rather than paying pricey (and often arbitrary) influencer fees, “Creator Shops” will allow influencers to showcase products from brands they love (while earning commission from the sales they inspire).
People want to see personality on social media. For our industries, that means hotel GMs providing weekend travel tips, bartenders sharing their favorite seasonal cocktails (and how to make them at home), and master distillers going live from production facilities to share a behind-the-scenes look at the brand’s purpose, vision, mission, and values. In a nutshell: marketing messages are out, and authentic voices are in.
Responding to comments has been a huge engagement factor for years, but in 2022, conversation prompts will be more important than ever. From emoji reactions to interactive story stickers, Instagram knows how to drive conversation and build community.