Could You Follow a #Hashtag on Instagram?
When I was in media class in college, one of the experts of the documentary we watched said that one of the ways the internet learned to organize itself was through tagging. Back in the early days of the internet, we used to blog and use message boards all the time. This was the first form of social media, besides email. From there we used to tag ourselves and posts, so whenever we wanted to search for a specific topic on a blog or message board we could find it. This technique is still used in many blogs and some message boards today. Today, we follow people all the time on social media, whether it's our favorite artist or a friend and we use hashtags to describe the content we post so we could see who else is using that particular hashtag.
What is a Hashtag?
According to dictionary.com, a hashtag is "a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) and used to identify messages on a specific topic." Hashtags were made popular by Twitter, as the former 140 character limit, was used to make users messages short and sweet. Today, hashtags are used to not only describe the content of the message posted, but it is also used to convey a feeling for example #boring or #imsodone. In a business sense, hashtags are mostly used to find audiences in social media. Whether it's an audience on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, hashtags are used to gain a following on these channels.
Right now, Instagram is testing a hashtag feature that will allow the user to follow a hashtag, like it does with people. This will make it easier for food fans, make up fanatics and art lovers to follow their favorite hashtags like #foodlife, #makeupfreak and #art. Instagram is a very popular channel for all of these verticals and many small businesses can get a great ROI handling a channel like Instagram.
Why Does This Matter?
It matters because Instagram will likely push out a page where the top users of each hashtag will be at the top of the list. Similar to being at the top of Google, more and more businesses will want to be at the top of these social media pages. Facebook recently launched Explore using the same sort of tactic. Social media pages will become the new Google as far as search engine optimization goes since Facebook is becoming a top search engine that most people search on. The use of hashtags will be important for these purposes.
Where Do I Begin?
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