[Instagram] Hashtags Are Definitely Not the Answer (Anymore) – Podcast Episode 295

by | May 9, 2024 | Instagram, Latest, Marketing Strategies, Podcast, Small Business Help, Social Media Conversations | 1 comment

Hey there, my amazing listener, welcome and thank you for tuning into episode 295 of the Small Business Made Simple Podcast.

Have you had a chance to listen into last week’s episode? My guest was Tamara Simon and she helped us understand some of the business basics that we may have to go back to, or if you’re just starting out, you need to consider when in business.  She had some amazing piece of gold in that episode, so make sure you go and check it out after listening to today’s episode. The link: www.socialmediaandmarketing.com.au/294

But before we get into today’s episode, I just wanted to talk about how I can help you in business, especially if this episode brings up some things for you. Maybe you’ve been on social media for a while as a business owner and it’s just not bringing in the bacon, or maybe social media is the only marketing you do (yikes!) or maybe you’ve got this thing called small business, but would seriously love someone to bounce some “next steps” ideas with. Well, get in touch. Book a discovery call and let’s chat about the best way I can help you. Whether it’s a strategy session, hour of power with me, maybe it’s my self-paced transformation program or maybe it’s coaching and mentoring you need – whatever – it all starts here with a chat with me.  Book a discovery call here: https://bit.ly/Discoverwithjenn

Oh, and I just wanted to tell you briefly about my upcoming retreat that’s based around LinkedIn – my favourite social media platform – although it’s more of a business tool rather a social media platform! It’s in August for 2 nights, I’m hosting with Jules Brooke, and we have spaces available. Want to learn more? Go here: https://bit.ly/linkedinretreat

Okay, let’s get into today’s episode – Hashtags are definitely not the answer anymore!

Caveat to this episode, I am going to talk about Instagram – but watch for the lessons for any Meta platform and potentially all your marketing!

So, over the last few weeks Instagram has dropped some pretty big bombs on us as small business owners and content creators. I am going to try and summarise it the best I can, so that you can adjust your strategy to keep being found on Instagram and keep creating your community online.

First up, the title of this podcast – Hashtags are definitely not the answer anymore – Why? Well because Meta dropped a bomb on them! Hashtags haven’t been much of a thing on Facebook – but this new feature – which I will explain shortly, definitely relates to Facebook too.

So, Meta gave us AI Search the other week – Ask Meta AI Anything is the title of our search bar now – and they are actually encouraging us to ask anything.

And this, my friend, is why hashtags will die a quick death once people get the hang of the new way to search on these platforms.

Meta is essentially turning into a google. Ask it to find something and it will – it will find what you need out of all the content on the platform.

I can just say right here that I think the AI search function is weird and confusing and blah. But, of course, we know that Meta doesn’t care, it’s not shy about muscling new features on us, the users, even if we complain – a lot! Just like Reels were odd, weird and confusing, the masses will eventually jump on board, and we will too (sigh).

So, why are hashtags going to die? Because they won’t be necessary. In 2023 and earlier this year, you could be found on Instagram search two ways – one your headline in your bio and two the hashtags you use on your posts.

BUT not we have the Ai “ask me anything” feature, everything we write in captions is going to be searchable – everything – which is going to be a huge change for some people who use Instagram.

So, what does this mean for you today as a business owner who uses Instagram for business?

  • Your captions need to be keyworded – not stacked with keywords like we did way back in the olden days of Google keywording our content – but keywords. That post that you are creating – why? For what purpose? Who’s the reader? If they aren’t already following you, what would be searched to find that content?
  • Update your bio to ensure what you want to be famous for is clear to the AI bot and your amazing followers and potential customers.
  • Don’t stop using hashtags just yet – but get better at them. Maybe use less, maybe use more – depending on where you started. But make them work better for you, do an audit on them (by clicking and seeing what content is under those hashtags and if that’s relevant to you). Also look at their size – a billion posts – not likely the hashtag for your small business.
  • Get your storytelling boots on NOW. If you are the type of Instagrammer that write 5 words in a post, then you have got to get your creative socks on and start your storytelling era on the ‘gram.
  • Be consistent. Be Human. Be recognisable as a brand, as a message and have a unique voice to stand out from the crowd.

I am going to predict that your photo, your visual element on Instagram has just slipped down the virtual “what’s important ladder” of Instagram. Your words, like on Google, just got a makeover in importance.

This really is a watch this space time – I am sure I will have more to say soon or later or both! I promise to keep you up to date with what I find out as time moves on when it comes to Meta AI.

BIG NEWS FLASH – can I just put in here something that’s really got me curious – and if you know me, you know how much I love a good curiosity theme in life.

I used the AI Search function in Instagram (it gave shit answers – but I digress), and at the very bottom of the answers the tool gave me is a symbol and word that made my eyes open very very wide – that thing that took my breathe away was the word “BING”. Yep, that’s right, META AI assistant is using Microsoft’s Bing search results – I shouldn’t be surprised, Zukerberg is hardly going to use Google, but yikes, Bing!?!? How much energy, as small business owners, in a year do we give Bing? Probably zero, right?

So, again, what does this mean for us small business owners who just got a rather large migraine thinking about it?

Well, honestly, I am not sure at this stage – because it’s SO new. But I can tell you that the difference between a Google Search and a Bing Search is that Bing relies more heavily on conventional methods to understand content such as keywords in the domain, page titles, and metadata, doesn’t rank for mobile first indexing and does rank social media content – I guess hence their seemingly partnership!

I do apologise for what I am about to say, but I think this whole Bing vs Google is an episode all by itself, so I won’t dig into here on this one, except to say, those points above on how to use Instagram now – they will also help you here with the Bing thing.

Okay, now I have your head spinning, I wanted to talk about the second BIG thing Instagram did to us this week.

It announced significant changes on how it will rank content with a real focus on original content and increased distribution for small accounts – that’s us YAY!

Instagram by Adam Mosseri told us they are going to down rank aggregated accounts, or those accounts who primarily repost other people content without significant modifications or attribution, from this US summer – so in the next few months (our winter).

AI has made Instagram cleverer and now it can, apparently, track content to the original creator, rather than everyone who has shared that same content, and it will give more love to the original creator.  This is, seemingly, and I say seemingly because I trust Meta as far as I can kick them, a good thing because it will stop people profiting from other people’s content and made some way to stopping all the copyright breaches that have been occurring for years on social media.

So, again, what does this mean for you? It means you need to start creating your own content, if you aren’t already. For instance, if you are an Accountant and repost a lot of information from the ATO, governing bodies etc, your ranking will go down. Or if you are a mortgage broker and due to lack of time, you are sharing things from the ATO, Bureau of Statistics, Banks, RBA etc – then your rankings will go down.

Or if you are constantly sharing memes or your favourite quotes of the week – then your rankings will go down.

And, with no evidence whatsoever to back this up, I would say if you were going in Canva and using templates from there, without significant changes – like colours, words etc, that these types of posts will become affected under these new changes also.

What if you want to share someone else’s content? Well, that’s fine but you will need to add something to it. Like stickers, new original captions, voice overs etc – something that makes it more you then them.

No more screenshots, no more straight reposts – your content needs to have some “YOU” in it.

Phew, that’s a lot, isn’t it! Some big changes for us Instagrammers and some big changes, potentially in your marketing strategy for social media.

Again, if you need some help, get in touch. Book a discovery call: https://bit.ly/Discoverwithjenn and we can work through this together.

But the biggest takeaway from all these changes is really what I’ve been talking about for years and years.

  • Build community not audience
  • Think human to human marketing
  • Have a marketing strategy
  • Have a unique voice and message
  • Be consistent with your marketing
  • And show the heck up!

Like the title and intro of this podcast says, marketing isn’t easy, but it should be simple or at least simpler. Doing those six points above in your business and in your marketing will set you apart from your competition, help you be found on social media and other places and help build your business.

And if after all this you are “screw meta”, I’ve had enough – come to my LinkedIn Retreat and learn all about using LinkedIn as a business tool rather than a social platform! The link’s in the show notes or you can go to my website www.socialmediaandmarketing.com.au and find it under the “Work With Me” tab.

But that’s it for today. I think I have spun your head enough for one day!

What did you take away from today’s chat? Send me an email, a DM or jump into the Like Minded Business Owners Facebook group and let me know.

But that’s it for episode 295. If you loved this episode and found it valuable, please take 30 seconds out of your day to leave me a rating and review if you want where you are listening.

Do you have a friend who might like to listen in too? Can I ask a favour, and have you share this episode with them? I’d love that and appreciate it SO much.

Again, I’d love you to join in the community in the Like Minded Business Owners Facebook group. You can join the group here https://www.facebook.com/groups/LikeMindedBusinessOwners

See you next week on the podcast for episode 296.

But in the meantime, let’s hang out on social and get social on social – you’ll find me on Instagram, Facebook and my fav LinkedIn.

But whatever you do,

…….. remember small business peep, as my opening song says, there’s no point in dreaming small!

1 Comment

  1. Planet Terra

    Excellent podcast, Jenn, and I had a headache long before I chose to listen to this one! Now I’ve just had to get out the Pandanol 😂! And I shared it to give a dear friend a headache as well! Cheers and have a good day.


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Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!

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