• Hollyn Gayle

How to Prep Your Instagram for 2021

With only weeks left in the year, it's time to start setting goals and making plans to for 2021. As we continue to live through this pandemic, the need for social media and an online presence isn't going anywhere. We've done the research and rounded up everything you need to know about how Instagram is going to look in 2021, and how to start prepping for it.


Reels Are Here to Stay

We’ve already talked about Reels a lot in 2020, but let’s be clear - reels have cemented themselves as an essential part of Instagram, and we think they’re a breath of fresh air. Reels aren’t all about glamorous, perfect aesthetics, which has completely taken over our feeds. Reels are about creativity, innovation, and making relatable content. Glamorous and perfect do not equate relatable. If you've been nervous to jump on the Reels trend, know that you don't need to have amazing editing skills and perfect lighting to make a Reel. Users love genuine, relatable content that reflects their own lives.


Say Goodbye to Extreme Editing

Remember that "glamorous" and "perfect" aesthetic we were talking about earlier? While "perfect" may remain as a goal (even thought we'd like to see that go too), glamorous is definitely on its way out - especially when it comes to editing photos. Check out micro-influencer Lexie Carbone's feed. Everything is natural and casual, but if you look very closely - you notice that slight color fixes have been made to the photos to keep the feed consistent. We all want more authenticity in our lives, and Instagram users are started to apply that same logic to their editing. Authentic, in the moment photos are going to take over Instagram. We certainly won't miss the days of perfect poses and intense editing jobs. Our advice? Start posting more of what you want to post, and less of what you think the Instagram aesthetic expects.


Accessibility and Inclusivity Rule

Brands, influencers, and the casual Instagram user have all learned to value accessibility and inclusivity in 2020, and we're all going to take that with us into 2021. Brands are going to produce content that reflects their diverse audiences. Adding in alt text to photos to help users with visual disabilities is becoming the norm. Influencer, activist, and educator Blair Imani (below) has even created a separate Instagram account to add easily accesible image descriptions to her posts. If you're a casual Instagram user, be sure to start following voices from different perspectives to keep educating yourself on how you can be a better ally.


Hand Drawn Elements Are Adding Pops of Color Everywhere

This trend popped up in 2019, and it's continued to gain traction through 2020. Hand drawn elements are an easy way to add interest and dimension to an otherwise normal photo. They can also help add in your brand colors to your feed without creating graphic - only posts. Here's a free pack of hand drawn elements to download to get started. Or you can use an app like Canva, Procreate, or Adobe Illustrator to create your own hand drawn design elements! We love the example below from Meg Krupka. Unleash your creativity - the options are limitless with this new Instagram trend.


Let Go of the Aesthetic for an Occasional Meme

We know we sound like a broken record at this point, but the old perfectly curated feed is on its way out. Users want to be entertained on Instagram, and they don't want to get caught in the comparison trap that comes with following influencers who present flawless lives. Memes make us all laugh, and they're also easily shareable content to help boost your accounts discoverability. Media A La Carte likes to throw in funny tweets and self - made memes to keep our feed fun and full of life. See something funny? Don't be afraid to share it to your feed! Have an idea for a meme yourself? Create it and share it!

It feels like Instagram has thrown about a million changes our way this year - from the algorithm to the layout, and we're sure there will be even more changes on the way in 2021. Start preparing now so your Instagram doesn't get left behind in 2020.


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