Instagram hashtag rules have changed.
On March 27th 2015, Instagram announced on its Facebook account that
“Beginning today, the photos and videos you see on a hashtag page are sorted by the order they were posted. This means that if you add a hashtag to an older photo or video, it will appear further down the page between other photos or videos that were posted around the same time. Previously, photos and videos were sorted by when the hashtag was added [not when the photo was posted].”
Prior to this rule change, you could repurpose your Instagram content and give the content a new life by using different hashtags, bringing it to the top of a list for that hashtag. However, under the new rules, this simple trick on repurposing content using hashtags is no longer available.
Precisely, this new way to showcase content places a bigger emphasis on having a thought out and well defined hashtag strategy. Previously, a brand could update its hashtags on a piece or several pieces of content, several times to make it relevant to different audiences. Now it’s even more important to choose a hashtag strategy that is relevant to your niche by using hashtags that are not too crowded for a bigger chance for your content to be seen in searches.
1. Create a hashtag strategy for your posts. Find out how to do it in this post, Hashtag Madness and its Cure: A Hashtag Strategy
2. Place it as soon as you publish your photo or video
This new rule also highlights the importance of the interaction part of Instagram and its community.
For a brand or any account to be SUCCESSFUL it needs to engage with other people’s content, by giving likes and comments. Instagram is still a fairly new app that’s growing very fast, and changing too. But no matter the changes what remains is the power of its community. The level of engagement in two similar accounts with similar content is entirely related to the level of interaction the account displays within their followers and within their niche. Meaningful interaction is the key ingredient. After all, using your content to find your niche is the other use of a good hashtag strategy.
For example an interior design brand that wants to target mothers will not place #yummymummy on their pictures because it wouldn’t make sense but it should definitely engage with Instagramers using it, along with #mumpreneur, #newmum and the likes. For more on this see my post 5 lessons from brands that have mastered Instagram for Business #WhyUShould
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