As much as it’s important for businesses to set new trends, it’s important to follow them as well. By allowing users to follow hashtags, Instagram has offered an incredibly convenient way to do this.
According to research, 88% of all Instagram brand posts contain at least one hashtag. The same research shows that such posts have 12.6% more engagement than posts that don’t have any. This showcases the value that hashtags have. They help brands expand their reach and target specific niche markets more easily.
With the new feature, the importance of hashtags has increased even further. Now you can use hashtags to stay up-to-date with all the latest trends and topics relevant to your business. You can then use this information to grow your Instagram success.
Why You Should Follow Hashtags
Businesses take every new Instagram feature that rolls out and turn it into a marketing weapon. Hashtags are no different. Even though using them has always been important for growing your business, this new feature has made it even more so.
By following hashtags, you can get valuable insight into what your competitors are doing. Instead of following each of them, you can simply follow a relevant hashtag and receive updates on everything that’s going on.
You also get to explore fresh trends and jump on board before the competition does. Since users will now be able to see posts from the hashtags they follow, every business will aim to create premium-quality content that will reach the feeds of their audience. Following all the relevant hashtags can help you cross the finish line first.
Lastly, you’ll be able to explore how the current Instagram algorithm works and what it is that your followers will see. It wouldn’t make much sense to flood a user’s feed with all the posts that contain the hashtags that they’ve followed. Instead, machine-learning technology will weed out irrelevant posts and only show users the content that they’re interested in.
By following hashtags yourself, you might be able to identify the factors that the algorithm takes into account so that you can push your own content towards your audience’s feeds in a more effective way.
How to Follow Hashtags?
There are two ways to follow hashtags, both of which include accessing the hashtag gallery. The first way is to simply tap on the hashtag you wish to follow when you see it. Once you do, you’ll see a hashtag gallery, so just tap the Follow button to start following it.
You can also search for hashtags from the Explore page. Tap the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of the screen and then tap the Search bar. Navigate to Tags, then type in the name of the hashtag you’re looking to follow. Open its gallery from the search results and hit Follow.
The process is fairly straightforward, so following hashtags isn’t a hard thing to do. However, choosing the right hashtags to follow might be. Out of millions of hashtags on Instagram, how do you know which ones are the most relevant to your business? To help you answer this question, here are the five main hashtag categories that you’ll want to follow:
1. Industry-Related Hashtags
It goes without saying that you should use Instagram’s new feature to see what’s going on in your industry. Doing this will allow you to have a look at your competitors, show you what kind of posts users react to the best, and offer all kinds of actionable information.
You can find inspiration for your content and dig a bit deeper into what your audience is interested in. This brings us to the second category.
2. Hashtags Relevant to Your Audience
To get closer to understanding what your audience needs, you need to dig deeper into their interests. The ability to follow hashtags that your audience finds relevant will let you see exactly what it is about their favorite posts that gains traction.
When you pair this with the industry-related hashtags, you might be able to identify some patterns of what works. You’ll see posts that are relevant to both your business and your target audience. This will help you create content that’s in alignment with your audience’s preferences.
3. Event Hashtags
Following event hashtags can open many doors. First of all, you can find all the important conferences and seminars that can help you grow your business in one place. This will also allow you to connect with other businesses and influencers, which is always a good thing.
Another great reason for following events is taking advantage of new business opportunities. If you see that a big event that your audience cares about is coming up, you can adjust your products and services to take advantage of the hype.
4. Inspiring Topics
When using Instagram as a way of growing your business, it’s easy to get caught up in analytics, stats, coming up with fresh ideas, and other stressful aspects of running a business. At one point, there’s a high chance that you’ll experience a drop in motivation.
A good thing to remember is that you’re still a part of the Instagram community. Instead of focusing on your audience 24/7, allow yourself to be a part of someone else’s every once in a while. You can take a breath, unwind, and draw the necessary inspiration for your future content.
5. Your Own Brand Hashtags
Aside from following the above hashtags, you should also use them in your posts. This will ensure that you’re a part of the community you’re reaching out to. An even more important thing is to create your own hashtags that your audience will recognize you for.
Once you do, make sure to follow those hashtags to see how they’re doing. Maybe you’ve drawn people’s attention so they started sharing their own content with your brand hashtags. This will not only help you measure the success of your hashtags but also allow you to gather user-generated content.
The Final Word
The ability to follow hashtags is one of the most useful tools that businesses have gotten from Instagram recently. If you use it correctly, you might be surprised by the amount of valuable information that you can collect.
By following hashtags, you’re both a leader and a follower. You collect information from the sources you follow so that you can offer more value to the people that follow you.
Along with the new algorithm, hashtag following is likely to change the rules of the Instagram marketing game. Adapting to these changes is essential to your success on social media, so make sure to squeeze as much value as you can out of this feature.