By: Jessica Austin, eLocal Social Media Manager
Not long after the roll-out of their new Stories feature, comes Instagram’s hashtag update. Instagram announced that users can now follow hashtags. To put it (very) simply, hashtags are a way to label and/or categorize your posts. In the past, users would search hashtags in order to see content that had been tagged with that hashtag.
Now users can follow hashtags just like they would follow other people. This new feature could potentially be the most impactful Instagram update for businesses yet.
What This Means for Businesses
Instagram’s new hashtag update allows users to follow hashtags opens up a world of possibilities for businesses and content marketers. Instagram is a platform that works the best for image and video-heavy content. With this new feature, companies have the ability to have their content seen organically by users who are already deeper into the marketing funnel.
Content is Seen by Non-Followers
Businesses now have access to potential customers that don’t follow them. Traditionally, they had to rely on Influencer Marketing campaigns or advertising to get their content in front of non-followers. Users had to be following a specific Influencer or see an ad at exactly the right time in order to get an impression. It’s now possible to have content seen by users who don’t follow anyone at all. It’s also powerful because it changes the dynamics of the purchase funnel since the content is now considered inbound marketing as opposed to outbound.
Hyper-Targeted Audience Segments
Hashtags automatically create niche spaces and audiences. Users who follow a specific hashtag are showing their interest in that topic and are, therefore, more engaged and receptive to related content. Businesses won’t need to perform audience segmentation because it’s been done for them. With thousands of hashtags out there, businesses can pinpoint exactly who they want to see their content, from followers of trends and events to location and competitor brands.
Organic, Branded Content in Non-Advertising Channels
One of the biggest trends in 2018 is the continued decline of consumer trust in mega-influencers, businesses and mainstream media. Supplying content in channels users have subscribed to means they are seeing content in a space where they have already let their guard down. To drill down even further, Instagram announced that users can dislike pieces of content you see under that hashtag and their algorithm will start to determine what parts of the hashtag users are interested in. This caters more to the user and increases their trust in what they’re seeing. It’s like the Pandora of social media features.
A Welcome Addition to Your Strategy
Instagram has handed marketers a medium that allows them to provide organic content to pre-segmented audiences that have already been through the first part of the purchase funnel. Don’t let this opportunity go to waste; integrate this Hashtag Update into your content marketing and social media strategies.
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E-Local Solutions specializes in marketing your business via the digital marketplace. We use search engine optimization, social and review promotion, and Email marketing for all types of businesses from local to global. We utilize various digital marketing techniques to increase your Internet presence, optimize your traffic and generate new business.