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Instagram Hashtags: What You Need To Know

Instagram Hashtags: What You Need To Know

In case you were busy during the holiday season, we’d like to bring you up to speed with what’s been going on with Instagram. On December 12th, Instagram announced that users can now follow hashtags the same way they follow user accounts. Following a hashtag doesn’t mean you see every post with that hashtag; instead, Instagram uses an algorithm to decide which of the posts that have that hashtag show up in your feed.

Thus far, reactions to the change have been mixed. While users have reported appreciating the convenience of following favorite hashtags, especially compared to the laborious search process they previously needed to use, there have been complaints about feeds becoming cluttered; Instagram’s algorithms aren’t flawless when it comes to finding content users truly want to see.

[Tweet “Using hashtags can help brands boost their visibility”]

For brands, the appeal of followable hashtags was immediate and obvious. Using hashtags can help brands boost their visibility by making them part of trending conversations and exposing their content to audiences who would have otherwise never encounter them. Additionally, users can see what hashtags other users follow: this will boost the impact on influencer accounts.

It’s unclear how Instagram’s algorithm is deciding which posts to surface, leaving brands to experiment; this situation is exacerbating, rather than relieving, the clutter problem. Add to that the issue of shadowbans – where Instagram limits an account’s reach based on its use of seemingly innocent hashtags such as #books or #meme – and it becomes clear that monitoring one’s Instagram’s account closely in the coming days is a very good idea.

Why has Instagram made this change? The dynamic nature of the platform is part of the typical social media struggle to stay relevant and provide a better user experience, of course, but there is also another reason. Instagram is a business, and has its own revenue requirements. The changes to hashtags will make it much harder for brands to stand out in an increasingly crowded field, forcing those companies depending on the platform to adopt or increase a paid strategy.

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Creative Director/Senior Designer

Tom DiGrazia

With over a decade and a half of professional design experience, Tom brings his knowledge of design principles and focus on user experience to every aspect of his contribution to TTG. Paying special attention to each client’s brand, personalized needs and individual interests, he strives to create compelling concepts utilizing intuitive and highly-refined design solutions. In addition to traditional and digital design work and oversight at TTG, Tom also boasts a wide portfolio of web development projects with the company, allowing him to stretch his CSS and HTML skills across multiple platforms and disciplines. He feels that being a designer in the digital landscape of websites, eCommerce solutions, email marketing platforms and social media, it is important to understand the code that goes into these areas as it assists his ability to tailor designs specifically targeted to achieve the best end result and further builds understanding and communication with backend development teams.

In his off hours, Tom is an avid pop culture enthusiast, staying up to date on the latest shows, films, comics and games. He can also typically be found taking part in a whole host of artistic activities that help him further stretch his creative legs. Regardless of the activity, Tom is always accompanied by his dog, Eli, and his cat, Tib.

Design, Photography, Illustration, Digital Imagery Manipulation, Wesbite Development

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, HTML/CSS, Wordpress


Courtney Dumont

As Senior Marketing Strategist & Analyst at Technology Therapy Group, Courtney is energized by the ability to flex both her left and right brain daily. Courtney discovered her passion for Marketing at Bryant University, where she spearheaded research on students’ perceptions of Social Media Marketing for her Honors Capstone Project. After graduating Bryant in 2012, she joined the Technology Therapy team, where she’s honed her skills in social media, search and social advertising, email marketing, SEO, and more.

Since joining the team, Courtney has created digital marketing strategies and managed campaigns for clients across the country, ranging from plastic surgery centers, to jewelry stores, to construction companies. With a cohesive, cross-channel approach and a focus on data-driven decision making, she has increased their leads by up to 217%. But Courtney doesn’t leave her zeal for social media at the office; she also runs a local foodie Instagram account with her husband to document their meals across Rhode Island and beyond. Check them out: @hoppilyfed.

Marketing Strategy, Data Analysis, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Social Media

Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Facebook Creator Studio, Instagram, Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Emma Mail, Google Data Studio, WordPress, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Microsoft Office