Instagram is more than a simple photo-sharing platform. With over 700 million active monthly users, it is a social media platform that no marketer can ignore anymore. The best part about Instagram is that the platform keeps coming up with new features, which prove to be highly beneficial for strengthening an Instagram campaign.
The latest feature launched by the popular social media platform is that along with following people, the users can now also follow hashtags that match their interests, passions, hobbies, and communities they care about. This feature will revolutionize the way people discover photos and videos on Instagram, certainly provoking the influencer marketing agencies to find new ways to bank on it.
How does Instagram’s new ‘hashtag follow’ feature work?
Before we go ahead to explore how can you make use of this feature to boost your brand on Instagram, let’s understand how it works. The procedure to search for a hashtag is same as that of looking for a person or brand. Type the hashtag in the explore option and once the user interface opens, click on follow. Once done, the feature brings together all images and videos posted under the hashtag. After you follow a hashtag, you will begin seeing regular top posts from the hashtags in your feed, along with some of the latest stories in the story bar.
One can check out the hashtags other people are following by tapping on their profile’s ‘following’ section. This gives everyone more ways to find the hashtags they might like. An important aspect of this feature is that it still respects the user’s privacy setting. If the user’s account is set to private, then the hashtags followed will be visible to only the user’s followers. Their posts under the chosen hashtags will also stay hidden to others apart from those permitted to see their profile.
How can social media marketers benefit from Instagram’s new hashtag follow feature?
An important aspect of what makes an Instagram social media strategy successful is to plan their updates according to their niche market. With over 400 million active users every day on Instagram, this is no easy task. This is where the new features makes things more interesting.
The bigger picture here with even bigger repercussions is that as a brand, the new feature gives you the opportunity to analyse the hashtags used related to your industry. The hashtags most popular with your kind of audience will help you appear in their feed, without spending money on paid marketing.
Scanning relevant hashtag topics not only makes it easier to find and connect with potential customers, but also gives a better understanding about what people like about a product/service. Furthermore, apart from using it as a research tool, you can go one step ahead and encourage your audience to use your company-branded hashtags. Adopting an influencer marketing campaign, your brand can ask its followers to post images/videos using your provided hashtags. This can also be utilized to develop customized grassroots level content campaigns.
Not to forget that measuring a campaign’s success becomes more substantial by analysing brand-specific hashtags.
It is quite known that posts with at least one hashtag yield 12.6 percent more engagement on an average. When brands are already reaping the benefits of being on Instagram, the new hashtag-follow feature is here to make it an even more profitable platform.