Updated: Jul 17, 2019
Instagram has decided to up the ante on how users like you and I are tagging our posts. A few months back, they changed their hashtag rules. To be honest, some of the new rules are awesome, like allowing people to follow hashtags that match their interest. If you are sharing awesome content on your Instagram feed and you’re using relevant hashtags, then allowing other users to follow those hashtags will lead them to you. So, if you’re using the right hashtags on each of your Instagram posts, you’ll likely receive higher engagement.
Of course, that’s not the only change they made. Since people can now follow hashtags, irrelevant hashtags, or ones that seem to be used over and over, might just become a thing of the past. If a user is following a hashtag and comes across content that they don’t like, they have the option of selecting “Don’t Show for This Hashtag” from a dropdown menu. Well, isn’t that special?
Does that mean the hashtag has been banned? No!
This new feature is to help the new Instagram algorithm’s that have been introduced learn what that user wants to see and likes. It’s designed to bring you content that is relevant to your interests. Keep in mind that if you use too many hashtags on your content that gets flagged, you might see a drop in how much your content is shown.
By the way, that also goes for those lists of hashtags you use on every post. You know, the same list over and over again. According to Instagram’s community guidelines, “posting repetitive comments or content” is a big no-no. While the list may make sense to you and the content you are sharing, it isn’t providing other users the quality content they are looking for. Instead, use hashtags that make sense to the content you are sharing. You can use up to 30 on your post. More than 30 will keep your content from posting.
These new rules aren’t designed to thwart you and limit the exposure your content gets. They are doing the opposite: it’s bringing the right people to your content, getting you better engagement and more followers.
What are some of the other new rules Instagram has put into effect?
If you have an Instagram business profile, you can view analytic data showing you the impressions you are getting from each hashtag you use.
Instagram stories now have the option to add hashtags to them. If you get your content in a hashtag story, you just exposed it to a wider audience. You can add up to 10 hashtags to a story, but keep in mind the rules mentioned above and make sure they are relevant.
You can add hashtag links to your bio, giving other users the ability to see what you are following. It’s also a great way to make a collection of user-generated content and engage more people.
Tagging someone else’s post in the comment section will not make you more discoverable. Keep your hashtags to your own content.
When you post content on Instagram, try to keep these rules in mind. They will help boast your engagement and get you more followers. It might take some time to get used to the new routine, but it will be worth it.