Instagram Launches Hashtag Follow Feature … What You Need to Know

posted by:

Ashley Perkins

5 January

Yep… You heard that right. You can now follow hashtags on Instagram. #ItsBeenALongTimeComing

As a blogger, I focus a lot of my efforts on Instagram, leveraging it to promote new content and interact with my readers. In my view, it’s the one social media platform that has truly mastered the art of the hashtag. Unlike with Facebook and Twitter, people actively use hashtags to discover new accounts on Instagram, so incorporating them into your content can really make a difference.

In recent months, however, I’ve grown quite frustrated with Instagram. Out of nowhere, my followers weren’t seeing my content as often and overall engagement was down … even for post formats that previously performed quite well.

And I wasn’t alone. Several Instagrammers within my community shared similar grievances, stating that even their closest family members weren’t seeing their content. #WhyInstagramWhy

Since Instagram was one of the last remaining content sharing tools where organic engagement is still feasible, I grew worried that this meant it was slowly becoming just another pay-to-play platform…

Just as I began to lose all hope, Instagram rolled out a brilliant update that allows users to follow hashtags just as they would follow accounts, seamlessly placing tagged content directly in their news feeds. This change will also make it easier for users to discover new content they’d be interested in and connect with their favorite accounts.

What Does This Mean for Marketers and Brands?

After watching the new feature in action for a couple of weeks, I noticed several trends that could benefit your overall Instagram strategy.

  • You have another way to engage with and discover users
  • You have access to a new metric for measuring Instagram engagement
  • Your content will organically reach more Instagram users beyond your following
  • Your overall reach and engagement will likely increase

… With that said, what should YOU be doing to leverage hashtag follows?

Create a Custom Hashtag

Creating a unique hashtag for your brand on Instagram is even more relevant now than ever before. In addition to promoting your account, you should also encourage users to follow your hashtag – and post with it!

Hashtag It Up

Think about your target audiences and what hashtags they’re likely following … but only focus on those that are relevant (or at least somewhat relevant) to your brand. #StayTrueToYourself

Make sure to include these hashtags in your posts, either in the caption or in a follow-up comment to avoid clutter. You can use up to 30 hashtags per post, so take advantage!

Follow Other Hashtags

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my many hours spent on Instagram, it’s that you have to put in the time to get the results you want … and let’s face it, there’s not nearly enough time in the day – especially if you’re juggling multiple accounts at a time.

Scrolling through related hashtags is one of the most effective ways to discover prospective followers, but it’s a task that can quickly become daunting and time consuming. Instagram’s new hashtag follow feature places content that’s posted with the hashtags you’re following directly in your news feed – meaning less work for you. See a post you like? Simply give it a like, comment, and even a follow! #LessWorkMoreResults

 

Now it’s time to put these strategies in place. Follow us on Instagram at #SachsMediaGroup!