Social Media has become the go-to place for ultimate advertising and if you want your brand to leave the four corners of your locality, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit, are social Media software you need to get familiar with.
But with the world still getting comfortable with cannabis usage and production, Instagram is bent on, in their words, “Protecting their Users,” but from what? Your Cannabis Brand.
Instagram isn’t friendly with the cannabis industry, and it is smart to be careful of the cannabis hashtags you use under your posts.
Are Cannabis Hashtags and CBD Hashtags Allowed on Instagram?
Cannabis hashtags can either cause you to lose your account or leave your account shadowbanned, as Instagram has an algorithm system and privacy controls that find and cancel out any cannabis-related content.
But you need the hashtag effect if you ever want your cannabis brand explored globally. A simple click on a hashtag takes users to feeds of more posts with the same hashtag, which is an easier way to find people who have the same interest as you.
Several updates have been made since Instagram’s creation in 2010 to detect, remove, and ban content on cannabis and CBD Hashtags. Any hashtag related to cannabis is a map to finding your account and shutting it down, except you do it the right way, and I’ll show you how.
Why are Instagram Hashtags Important to Businesses and Brands?
Hashtags, in general, allow your content to be easily found; it takes your content to the right people and becomes easily searchable, leading to new discoveries, which mean new audiences, and in turn, means account growth and ultimately new customers.
So, we understand why taking your cannabis business to social media is important for its growth, but we don’t always recommend it. Hashtags are vital elements of a successful social media strategy and cannot be avoided or ignored.
Hashtags are effective because they take your business to specific people with the same interests as you represent. It is a great strategy to grow not just any audience but audiences that share the same interest and wants, thereby solidifying your brand’s awareness.
How can Recent Changes on Instagram Hashtags Work Against Your Brand?
Unlike the earliest days of using any word as an Instagram hashtag, whether or not it aligned with your post or brand, it would get engagement from people with diverse interests.
But the recent Instagram updates have scraped out this feature by including algorithms that can either promote your profile or work against you if not properly used.
These recent updates include that you thoroughly research a hashtag before using it, and it must have relevance to your brand.
So, why is hashtag the social media strategy you must understand and take advantage of? Well, knowing where to place a hashtag, how to use it, how many must be added, and how to select between the regularly changing ones and the permanent hashtags have all been affected by the recent changes on Instagram.
At the beginning of 2022, adding hashtags in the comment section rather than in the caption was a better option as it made brand posts clean and even more accessible by shortening the string of words.
The shortcoming of commenting hashtags is that one of the recent changes on Instagram allows only hashtags and keywords on posts found in Search; this means only hashtags and keywords in the caption are found in Search.
Another recent update that serves a noble purpose but with its own negative effect is censoring hashtags to reduce the spread of inflammatory content and false information. Instagram took to banning and shadowbanning(hiding) accounts that broke this rule.
Doing so affected more than the primary reason for this update (to reduce the false information spreading during the 2021 US election) and restricted cannabis businesses because it is yet to be approved by governments in certain states and countries.
How to Use Hashtags for Cannabis Accounts?
Instagram limits you from using standard CBD hashtags, but it doesn’t stop you from building your brand with cannabis hashtags that work, so what hashtags can you use?
Manual hashtag research is necessary once or twice a month to monitor the growth level of hashtags that tend to become popular and relevant without getting banned or deleted.
This manual research allows you to keep the tag on CBD hashtags so you’re updated with current hashtags that might have been banned.
Banned hashtags are checked by inserting the hashtag symbol (#) in the search bar and monitoring the results and predictions of the search keeps you updated on the hashtags to avoid and those to use.
If the tag searched brings up zero results, it has been banned. Even if the results come up, you would still have to investigate the hashtag before using it, as they could be hidden hashtags that automatically notify Instagram once used.
Avoid hidden or banned hashtags entirely, and a cannabis social media team with an adequate, well-planned, and detailed strategy will help make your job easier.