Marketers Shook with a Statement from The Head of Instagram
Recently, Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, pulled the rug out from under the feet of social media marketers when he commented on the use of hashtags and how they affect an account’s reach and impressions.
An Instagram user asked Mosseri in his weekly “Ask Me Anything” Sticker if hashtags actually help Instagram post views. Mosseri responded with, “They do help us to understand what a post is about, which means it might be more likely to show up in a place like a hashtag page, for instance, but in general, no, I wouldn’t try to think of hashtags as a way to get more distribution.”
In response, Allie Mason, an Instagram Expert and Coach, explained this further on her Twitter account. Mason goes into detail that hashtags are great for categorization on Instagram, but they won’t result in a profound reach unless the hashtag is favored by Instagram’s algorithm.
How is a Hashtag Favored by the Instagram Algorithm?
If the audience is spending time, saving, liking, and commenting on a post, followed by visiting the profile – Instagram’s algorithm picks up on the audience’s behavior and promotes this post throughout the platform.
Why? Because Instagram picks up on the user’s interests and pushes related content to the user, with the goal of keeping the user engaged, spending more time on the platform. The more this behavior is replicated by other users, the more prevalent the piece of content will become across the platform with users that share similar interests.
For example, if you’re an online retailer selling product(s) through an e-commerce store, it is common practice that you may publish a social post with a hashtag relevant to your brand. When a user clicks on the hashtag(s) you are using, they might see your business’ post – adding to the views, interaction, and maybe even save or share the content piece. This then helps boost the post in IG’s algorithm, increasing visibility and reach.
What Does This Mean for Your Instagram Strategy Moving Forward?
The performance of your content correlates to the interest your content sparks. So if your audience can relate and appreciate the visuals and copy posted, their physical reactions (and yes, plural, actions) will reflect in the results.
Splendor’s hot take? Continue to use Instagram hashtags! Despite the news that using hashtags on their own does not directly boost reach, when used effectively, over time, it can increase visibility as users interact with the post. A healthy combination of branded, content-related, and trending hashtags are all just an ingredient to the recipe of a successful social campaign and can help fuel your brand’s growth.
And What Does This Mean for Other Platforms?
It is important to note that every platform attracts a different demographic and is used with different intentions and strategies. Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Twitter are all used in different ways, whether for entertainment purposes, networking, or a little bit of both. Despite Instagram and Facebook being owned by the same company, Meta Inc, the way in which hashtags are used differs greatly between the platforms.