Everything You Need To Know About Instagram's New Hashtag Rules!

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Instagram has once again changed up it’s rules and there are now various new ways you can use hashtags to grow your brand on Instagram!

To effectively grow and promote your business on Instagram, you need to be aware of these new rules and how to use them to ensure you are hashtagging strategically to meet your marketing goals!

Below are all the new hashtag rules you need to be aware of and how you can use them to your advantage! 

Following Hashtags

The biggest change of the year in the world of instagram is the ability to follow hashtags. This means users now don’t have to search hashtags to find content they are interested in, but instead have the option to follow the hashtag and receive the top content immediately onto their feeds.

This is a huge advantage to brands as firstly, it provides the opportunity to research the best hashtags for you to ensure your posts are showing up on more, interested people’s feeds. Secondly, it allows you to create your own company hashtag and encourage people to follow it to ensure they not only see all your content but other people’s content who are using your hashtag - free promotion! (plus promo from other people is a lot more effective than self promotion!)

However, this change does mean brands need to be a lot more cautious of the hashtags they are using. Yes unfortunately this means copying and pasting the same list of hashtags on every post is not the way to go about it!

This is because users now have the option to hide hashtags they don’t want to see anymore by clicking ’don’t show for this hashtag’. So, if you post one post that a follower isn’t interested in, they can hide the hashtag so they see less posts that are using this hashtag - not good for you if you are using the same hashtags every time. Instead, change you hashtags depending on how relevant they are to the photo. Doing this will mean less people will 'hide your hashtags' and therefore your posts and it will also save you from being shadowbanned! 

This is really important as having too many people mark your posts like this can suggest to the Instagram's algorithm that you are a spam account which will affect your post’s visibility.

Adding Hashtags to your stories

There is a long list of reasons why brands should use Instagram stories, they are great for promoting and engaging with their audience. Having the option to add hashtags to your stories only makes things better! Regularly using hashtags on your stories is giving you more of a chance to be discovered by a new audience.

To add a hashtag either use the hashtag tool or simply type out the hashtag in the text tab. Be aware that too many hashtags on your story can be distracting, cover up the contents of your story and appear messy.

Tip: If you are wanting to use more than one hashtag, shrink them in size and consider hiding them behind a sticker, emoji or a large bit of text!

Find the best hashtags for you

The ability to follow hashtags is also providing users with a brand new way of finding new, effective hashtags to use to engage their following. By clicking on your ‘following’ you can select hashtags and here you can see which of your followers follow the same hashtags as you do as well as what popular hashtags are.

These hashtags are chosen by Instagram, and are highly relevant to you and your brand so be sure to incorporate them into your posts to maximise interaction!

See how well your hashtags are doing

If you have a business account on Instagram you will probably be aware that you can view your accounts insights to see your analytics and how your account is doing.

Instagram has now took this to the next level and you can now see how individual posts are doing and why they are doing so well including how many people found your post through hashtags. This will enable you to discover the power of different hashtags to determine the best ones to use to better your hashtag strategy.

If you are still struggling with the new rules of hashtags or need any more help promoting your business online, don’t hesitate to get in touch! We welcome any questions and run social media strategy sessions at Sassy Digital! - @lucyhitchcock_ @sassydigital