I don't think it's dead. I think it's not as useful as it was before. I'm speaking from personal experience here. I don't click on a lot of hashtags in Instagram, but I'm not sure if that is the behavior of a more normal Instagram user. I think when people are in Instagram, they want to go through their feed. If they want to expand their feed, they're probably going to explore. They're not probably clicking on hashtags.
I think hashtags are helpful in event coverage, Veuve Clicquot, obviously. During one of their polo matches, I think people do sometimes go to that hashtag. I think that in certain situations, it can be helpful. I think if you are attending an event, if you are part of some cultural thing that you feel like people would want more information about, hashtags can work. If you have a niche thing that you're covering, hashtag's going to work.
Think about things that people are really passionate about. If they said, "I'm hungry for more influencers talking about natural hairstyles and how to care for and style natural hair," the hashtags surrounding that world would drive a lot of interest because there's so much passion, and there's such a thirst for knowledge in that specific space. Whereas hashtag style, hashtag OOTD, I don't think that is doing anything anymore.
If you're using a hashtag, I would have it around a thing that people are really passionate about and are searching for more information on. Hashtags used to be, again, a place for you to-- They were just like the way the internet organized itself. I think they've been abused to a point now where the more mass ones aren't helpful. I don't think that dot, dot, dot, 35 hashtags is really helpful and is doing anything because chances are, those hashtags don't have a lot to do with what you're posting about.
I think it's a case of overuse that leads to a diminishment in value. I think when they were less used, they were really valuable. Now that they're used a lot, they're just not super valuable. If you're going to use it, try and make it more niche. What's the organizational backbone of the internet now? I think Instagram's explorer page isn't really-- I don't think it's really based on-- I just don't know how they build it. I don't think it's based on hashtags.
I see a lot of influencer content because I follow a lot of influencers, but I see a lot of cycling contents as well because I follow cyclists, but I don't think the cyclists I follow are self-identifying the cyclists. I bet Instagram is looking at tagged brands and things like that to figure out, "You follow cyclists? I'm going to serve you more cycling contents." I think the brands that you tag, the things that you talk about, the way that you talk about them, Instagram is probably using those more for explorer than they are hashtags.
My ending point with hashtags is, I do know Instagram is pushing them that you can follow hashtags now. It is something that they would like to make a bigger thing. Jumping on a well-followed hashtag may not be a bad idea. I don't have a huge amount of experience on this so if you do, jump in the comments and let us know. I think it's not a huge driver of attention anymore.
- Reaching a Larger Audience, Transitioning to Getting Paid, Hashtags