At the end of last year, Instagram announced a new feature that allows users to follow hashtags on their Instagram page, the same idea as following a friend. Find out how you can now follow specific hashtags and get the top posts for that hashtag to appear in your main feed.
How Do You Follow a Hashtag?
When you find the specific hashtag you want to follow, simply click the hashtag to navigate the dedicated page for it. You can also type in a hashtag you'd like to follow in the search tab, then select "Tags" underneath it.
Once you're in the hashtag's gallery page, tap the "Follow" button underneath its name to begin following that hashtag. You'll now see content in your Instagram feed and Stories (if any).
Instagram will then curate your feed with the incoming content depending on how you interact with them and by what Instagram thinks you're interested in (that algorithm!). One downside of this feature is that hashtags can have multiple meanings. This means that you may see posts that you don't want to see. Fortunately, you can easily tap the ellipsis (3 dots next to the post) and choose the "Don't Show for This Hashtag" option or simply unfollow the hashtag.
Why Should Your Business Follow Instagram Hashtags?
The ability to follow hashtags gives marketers another way to reach new audiences, expand your brand messaging, and keep a close eye on competitors in your industry.
1. Follow competitors - If your competitor tends to use a certain hashtag, or even better, has created their own personal hashtag for their business, you can follow their hashtag without them receiving a notification that you’re following.
2. Keep up with trends and industry topics - In addition to following industry-specific blogs, thought leaders, and news magazines, you can now follow what’s hot in your industry by following various industry hashtags. A few popular ones are #digitalmarketing, #webdesign, #emailmarketing, and #SEO.
3. Follow the events - Attending a tradeshow, conference or event and want to keep up with what’s happening? Follow the event hashtag!
While advertising won’t be connected to the hashtags you follow, marketers will undoubtedly want to target consumers based on the interests they are passionate enough to bring into their main feed.