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Hashtags when used properly are great. You can follow discussions and photos around a topic without having to follow everyone participating.
Using relevant hashtags consistently can also establish you as an expert or “authority” in a topical area. Many of those people putting together Top Influencer lists review the use and participation in relevant hashtags.
Here’s how hashtag use looks on Instagram Stories by way of a #gymlife selfie by yours truly.
Once the hashtag has been added to my Story, people viewing my story can click on the hashtag to explore more Instagram Posts (but not Stories) that used the hashtag. Yup, it goes to a search page that only shows people who used the hashtag in their Instagram feed posts.
So in other words: Your Instagram Stories can’t be found by you using the hashtag feature and people searching for it. Instagram Stories hashtags – as far as I can tell don’t show in search at all. ??
Of course, you can simply use the same hashtag in your regular posts and be found that way. And maybe people will watch your Stories once they followed you.
I enjoy posting Instagram Stories and viewing others but they get about one-tenth of the viewership of my regular posts. I wouldn’t call them homeruns yet in the overall picture.
Interestingly, when I push the Stories post to my regular feed, the on-picture hashtag doesn’t carry over as clickable. Of course, I can still add it in the caption – which then becomes clickable and findable.
Is there a reason then to use hashtags in Instagram Stories?
Yes. Totally. I even wear hashtags on t-shirts and they don’t help me be found there either. But hashtag t-shirts are rare and draw attention. And they send a message depending on the hashtag. One of mine says #relevance for example.
So I’d still use it, but hope that at some point those Stories show in search – even just for the 24 hours they exist.
Here’s how you add a hashtag to your Story:
Take photo or pick one from camera roll that was taken in the last 24 hours.
Click that smiley face – top right.
Click on the hashtag emoji:
Type in your hashtag. Click DONE.
Instagram does suggest hashtags as you type. So that’s nice.
Using the right and relevant hashtags can help our strategies. Now we can on Instagram Stories. I’ll likely continue using them – even without the search functionality for now.