follow hashtagsThe follow hashtags feature on Insta is basically the best ever.

I’m going to tell you why you need to follow hashtags, are you ready for this?  And, maybe even more importantly, why you need to get your clients following your hashtags NOW.  Before thing becomes a thing.  Before everyone is doing it.  Let’s be an early-adopter and leverage these subtle, but powerful “pods.”

So, my dear Sparkles, do you remember when Instagram Pods made their debut? If you missed out on that one, let me catch you up. Instagram pods are essentially IG’s take on “groups.” Up to 15 players can get in a group used to share information and posts. When one user sent their newest post to the pod, everyone would get pinged and know they needed to hustle over to the new post – comment, like, and converse to help boost engagement.

This special kind of lovin’ was meant to boost engagement and win at everyone’s favorite game, “beat the algorithm.” If we’re honest, also a little cumbersome. You see, users send a message; then all of the users go into their DM box; back out of the DM box to the post to interact. Kind of a time-suck, right?

Despite the process, it worked {for a little while}.  I actually tracked my growth, engagement and reach from January 2017 to December 2017 and noticed some pretty interesting things.  While I saw an impressive increase in engagement and reach for the first half of the year, there was a notable decline in all of my stats throughout the latter part of the year.  Why is this?

We have to always remember that Facebook and Instagram are like big brother.  They “watch” our every move and pay attention when businesses are trying to beat the system!  As they do, Instagram caught on and made the engagement tactics flowing out of pods less and less effective.  Some people using pods actually got affected by the shadowban as well… to changing up our strategies wasn’t just something we could do, it was something we needed to do!

Are you ready to open up a can of sparkle on those algorithms?

I gotchu. So, something awesome happened in the Insta world not long ago. Users now have the ability to follow hashtags. I know that sounds like a fun little trick for keeping track of your favorite topics, but how does it boost engagement and get you in front of more people?

I want you to think of this as the “new” Instagram pods!

 

follow a hashtag sparkle society
try out the “new” instagram pods with help from sparkle society

 

When you choose to follow hashtags, you get to see streamlined content right in front of your face. This means if you want to go send some love to all of the #sparklesocietyworkshops posts you search that tag in the Insta search bar, and then click the pretty blue button that says “follow.” From that point on, all of the posts tagged #sparklesocietyworkshops will show up in your feed. How rockin’ is that?? Now, I know what you’re thinking… what’s in it for me?

You can get a swift kick of engagement by asking others to search, follow, and interact with posts that fall under your hashtag.  Want your clients to see your post consistently?  Ask them to follow your unique hashtag.  Want to support your fellow creative entrepreneur buddies {without having to follow their account}?  Follow their unique hashtag.  Want to get in front of new people?  Partner with other vendors with a similar audience, and work together to promote the same hashtag!  The possibilities are endless!

So how can you use this new and improved Instagram pod?

One of the most important things you can do is to get your clients following YOUR branded hashtag.  I don’t want you to jump through a million hoops and try to get them to follow all of your custom hashtags, just ONE.  The one that you’ll put on your most important posts – get them to follow that one.  And do it now!  The conversation is actually way easier than you may think:

Me: Hey friend!  I want to be sure you don’t miss a thing and the easiest way to do that is by using one of Instagram’s newest features: hashtag following!  In fact, I suggest that you follow 2-3 of your very favorite hashtags so get the most out of your Insta account!

Friend: Ok, sweet! How do I do that?

Me: Search for #sparklesocietyworkshops at the top of your app and click the blue follow button. That’s it!  After you’ve followed the tag, double tap or leave a comment when you love what I share!  Easy peasy!

OR, they can follow your hashtag this way:

Me: Wanna follow me on Instagram?!  Following my hashtag is a super simple way!  Grab your phone, click right here, then hit that “follow” button, sweet sparkle!  I’d love to have you join us!

Friend: Awesome!  I’m freaking obsessed with you and don’t want to miss anything!

Simple enough, right? There’s no jumping in or out of DM boxes; responding to pings, or getting trapped in a Bermuda triangle situation with group messages.  There’s only one word of caution:

if someone is following lots of hashtags, the ones with the most posts will pop-up most frequently in their newsfeed!

That’s why I encourage people to only follow a handful of their favorites and don’t follow hashtags with hundreds of posts every day!  Other than that, choosing to follow hashtags is a simple one-time instruction that can yield big results. We all know that Instagram {and cousin Facebook} reward us with visibility for good interaction and engagement!  So let’s do all we can to get seen in that newsfeed!

Sound good?

I’d love to answer any questions you’ve got, so throw them in the comments below!  Or, if you’ve got a cool way to leverage this new follow feature, I’m all ears!  Spill the details and let’s start the conversation!

If you love helpful tips like these, designed to boost your engagement and confidence on social media be sure to join Sparkle Society and choose a free mini-workshop!  Sparkle Society is a free online community designed to educate and empower creative entrepreneurs just like you to make informed decisions about your business!

cyrissa sparkle society

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7 Comments

  1. Super sad, I still don’t have the option to follow hashtags with my business account. I’m wondering if I should send out messages like this if it doesn’t work for me. Will they be frustrated if it doesn’t work? I know I feel frustrated.

    1. ugh! wouldn’t that be amazing?!?!? while you CAN trademark a name, slogan, saying… i think it would be VERY hard to “police” a hashtag and virtually impossible to prevent people from using it. i don’t think it would be worth the amount of time it would take to manage that. but yes, it can be done.

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