Hashtags: Instagram Update

By now, you’ve probably noticed that Instagram hashtags are currently out of commission, and they have been since mid-to-late October. You’ve also probably noticed Instagram's message to users when you click on a hashtag:

While this is definitely an inconvenience and it’s uncertain when hashtags will be active again (we have a few predictions amongst our team: the end of November, the end of the year, after inauguration day), we’re sharing some top tips to help keep up your engagement until this period is over.

1. Instagram Reels

While we’re still figuring out the specifics of the algorithm for Instagram Reels, we do know Reels show up on the Explore Page which is HUGE. It used to take very high engagement to show up there, but no matter the amount of engagement you have on a Reel, you’ll be seen.

That’s why high-quality content is important for Reels, as well as creating videos that will immediately caption the attention of your audience. Normally, we’d recommend using some hashtags in your Reels, but with our hashtag lockdown it’s not necessary right now.

2. Quality Content

This brings us to the type of content you’re posting. Take your time - you want to ensure that each piece of content is intentional from the tone, to the subject, to the caption. Yes, you want ALL content you post to be high-quality, professional-looking content; but each post should enhance the story of your brand - whatever that may be!

No matter what the tone of your brand is, play around with graphic creation as well. Try some animated graphics and interactive graphics. Get fun with it!

3. Instagram Stories

Don’t sleep here. When you post on Instagram Stories, you move to the front of your followers’ Stories list. This allows you to put your brand in their mind. Now imagine if you post on your Stories throughout the day… you’re constantly there! Unless there’s something special going on with your brand (in which you’d need to post more), you could post several stories (we recommend that are relevant to each other) at 3 different times throughout the day - maybe morning, afternoon, then evening?

Another tip for Instagram Stories is using their interactive Stickers. This will boost your overall engagement and allow for your audience to feel and be involved in your brand. Yay for inclusivity!

4. Community Management

In the social media biz, engaging with your followers is what we call “community management.” Respond to your comments and DMs! Not only will this boost your engagement, but your audience will know they can get quick answers from you (even if that’s you just saying “thanks for messaging! For more info reach out to example@businessemail.com”). It’ll also show that you care enough to speak to them - that there’s a voice behind the brand and you’re available and would be happy to help.

For growing brands, this can be quite the undertaking. This may be something that you put last on the list of importance for your brand, but as you develop loyal fans, it’s extremely helpful and important that you are loyal to them as well. Keep in mind that if this just isn’t something you want to take on, that’s what social media managers are here for. Social Light is a full-service agency, which means we’ve thought of it all!

5. Find Your Best Time to Post

We might be beating a dead horse with this one, but it’s still extremely important. While your best days and times to post may have changed recently (most likely due to the temporary hashtag lockdown), it can still be helpful to take a look at your insights and do that research to understand when your audience is online and would be engaging with you.

Social Light Tip: When it comes to eCommerce brands, your social media may not reflect your sales (and vice versa). You could be low-engaging on one or more platforms but have very high sales. While you may think that gets you out of expanding your brand on social media, you may want to analyze the future of sales again 🥴


The landscape of selling, especially due to quarantine, is changing and changing fast. Customers can now shop DIRECTLY on Facebook and Instagram without ever going to your website to check out. Social media is becoming more and more of a necessity for brands, so we recommend jumping on the bandwagon and establishing your brand online just in case you find yourself in a pickle.

When in doubt, Social Light is here to help you out! Since we are a full-service social media marketing agency, we have the tools and brainpower to help you establish your brand from scratch, rebranding your business, or come in and do the dirty work that you may not want to!

Whatever your reason or request, we’re here for you!

Send us an email for your free consultation and proposal.