5 Instagram Trends for 2020 Schools Need To Know About

Instagram Trends for 2020 header

We hosted a webinar with Oozle Media about five Instagram Trends for 2020! You can watch the replay below or get a recap of everything we covered.

Watch the Replay

We know it can be daunting to build your Instagram account, but it’s never been a better time to do so! Here are five trends we’ve seen to help you navigate the world of Instagram and build your account this year.

Let’s jump in!

1. Longer Captions

There was a time when shorter was better. But we’ve always told people to think of Instagram like a mini website or blog. It’s got a place for pictures, which catch people’s attention, but you keep that attention through the caption.

As long as you have something worth reading, people will engage with longer captions. In fact, data is starting to show longer captions get MORE engagement. Fohr, an instagram influencer marketing platform found that the average caption length has more than doubled since 2016!

They estimate that this year you’ll see more captions that average 60-75 words per post!

What should you talk about with all those words? Here are two types of captions you should be writing that could easily result in 60-75 words. (You can learn more about these in our Instagram 101 lesson on captions).


You’re a beauty expert, or learning to be one! People expect your account to have some expert beauty advice and knowledge. Your content lends to your credibility, so make sure you’re giving good, true, and helpful advice.

Share what you’re learning!

Even if it’s something an individual can’t do, showing off your knowledge builds trust.

We’ve been doing our best to follow this advice on our own Instagram account @beautyasabiz.



Don’t forget how misinformed people are about cosmetology school and the industry in general. Combat the stereotypes and empower by sharing information like how successful your education is going, the hard work you’re putting into school, or things like why parents shouldn’t be upset when they hear, “I want to go to beauty school.”

For schools, you can inform how beauty school works:

  • How to get enrolled
  • Why it matters to tour
  • What you actually do all day

People want to know and they’re researching your school’s Instagram account because they expect to find this info there! Make it easy for them to sign up and tell them what steps to take next, such as to click the link in bio and fill out a form. You can also direct people to DM and set up a tour time.

2. Fewer Posts on the Grid, but More Stories Please!

We’ve been advocating themed grids for a while now. This is a place where many students and schools are still falling behind. Our sister company Oozle Media, which manages Instagram and social ads for many schools, has seen that a consistent theme helps build followers and engagement and improves the results of your FB and Instagram ads!

This is also a key way to build your brand. Think about colors, fonts, and the overall look and feeling you want people to associate with you and your brand. This should touch everything you do from business cards, to social media, to your website.

We’re often asked how many times you should post on Instagram. Even though you COULD post daily, or even multiple times a day, the question is SHOULD you? We recommend at least two times a week. Data from a tool we recommend called Later shows that the number of posts has been declining, a big part of this is because of the rise of Stories.

Source: State of Instagram Influencer Marketing in 2020 by Later and Fohr

Stories are the temporary posts that disappear after 24 hours. They’re immensely popular and have taken people’s eyeballs away from their feeds. So for your feed, focus on quality, not quantity. Make it cohesive and then focus on daily stories that show what’s happening at the school!

We have an entire course on Beauty As A Business that shows what kind of stories you should be posting and how to make them beautiful.

3. Pinned Highlights

Because you’ll be investing more time in stories, you should also take advantage of your pinned highlights. This is story content that you can pin to your profile to make sure it’s seen by more people and lasts longer than 24 hours.

The real key here is to treat this like the navigation bar of your website. What is the info most people are looking for, want to see and how can you get them to it the fastest?

For schools, we recommend these topics be represented on your pinned highlights:

  • Programs. All the info you share on a program page on your website should be here too.
  • Touring a school. You want them to come in right? Tell potential students why this is a crucial step, give them some good questions to ask at any school they tour at, and then tell them how to easily get a tour at your school.
  • Financial aid and scholarships. Everyone wants to know how to pay for school. Give them an overview and then invite them to come in and talk details!
  • Student work. This is huge. People want to see your students doing awesome things because they believe it’s a direct reflection of the education you offer. Plus, your students will love getting a shoutout!
  • Salon Services and Reviews. Don’t forget that lots of people come to a school for their salon services. Let people know what you offer, show off some results of the student work and some reviews! This will help people be confident they’re going to the right place.

For students we recommend:

  • Before and afters
  • About me
  • Reviews and client selfies
  • Monthly specials or promotions
  • Product reviews

4. Everyone Is an Influencer

With Instagram likes going away, we have to examine how much more powerful people posting about your school will be. Why? Because it used to be that likes legitimized the trust we felt in who was posting.

More likes = more trustworthy and more validated

When you take away likes, we’re going to rely more on the real-life relationships we have with people and how much we trust what they say. So, even if someone only has 500 followers, their trust with those 500 people, if they know most of them in real-life, is pretty strong.

Instead of focusing on getting people with thousands of followers to talk about you, focus on getting your clients to talk about you to their family and friends.

For schools, you want to get your students talking about you. The easiest way to do this? Get Beauty As A Business – a social media curriculum that prompts them to create beautiful social posts and then tag your school and use your hashtag in them.

Then, let’s talk about Gen Z. They don’t even have to know the person in real-life! In fact, they trust strangers more because they believe if it’s cool enough or important enough to use a precious Instagram square on, then it must be good!

Plus, they believe that your students have no incentive to tell anything but the truth of their experience at your school. That’s what social media is for: a real window, a real look into what something like beauty school is actually like.

The best way to optimize this is to empower your students to talk about you a lot, and do it well. If your competitor is doing this and you aren’t, you’re going to lose no matter how many paid ads you run.

5. Video Is still a thing

There’s an incredible amount of schools who aren’t investing in good photography, let alone video. Video is here to stay. Video is important to creating stories, ads, and even ranking on Google. We have an entire BAAB course dedicated to photography and video for social media. Take it! It’s not just for your students!

Get Support With BAAB

Our mission is to help beauty schools teach their beauty school students to be successful online, with courses ranging from how to curate a gorgeous Instagram feed to how to best respond to reviews, both positive and negative. Right now, we are offering 20 free hours of our curriculum to beauty schools for free!

Check out what we’re offering and sign up!

If you want more out of your marketing curriculum, fill out the form to get a free demo. We’d love to hear from you, so let us know how we can help take your beauty school business curriculum to the next level.

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