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New Report Highlights That Instagram Hashtags Don’t Significantly Increase Post Engagement

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New Report Highlights That Instagram Hashtags Don't Significantly Increase Post Engagement

Do hashtags actually help to improve the reach of your posts on Instagram?

The pervading belief has been that they do, but recently, Instagram Chief Adam Mosseri poured cold water on the hashtag debate by noting that hashtags don’t really help views.

Instagram hashtags aren’t designed to maximize distribution, necessarily, with the real focus being on categorizing content to better connect users with what they’re looking for.

But still, that should also help to improve reach, right? Do hashtags really not influence post views?

To get some answers, the team at Socialinsider recently analyzed over 75 million Instagram posts published between March 2021 and March 2022, to see what the data says about the relationship between Instagram hashtags and post views.

The research shows that the number of hashtags an Instagram post has does not influence post distribution.

As you can see in the graphic below, there are no significant differences in the average engagement rate by impressions values of the Instagram posts analyzed, despite the number of hashtags.

The highest average engagement rate by impressions (3.41%) is generated by posts with 3-4 hashtags. This comes as no surprise – Instagram itself has previously noted that keeping between 3-5 hashtags is the best strategy to adopt when dealing with post distribution.

But, ultimately, the number of hashtags you use doesn’t influence reach, on average, at least not in any significant way.

The Socialinsider team wanted to dig further, so they added an additional parameter in ‘Follower Count’ to ensure that we’re looking at equal comparisons.

The data shows that there aren’t any major differences in the average impression rates of the Instagram posts analyzed when looking at the number of hashtags and followers in conjunction, though there are some nuances, depending on the profiles’ following base.

In the case of big accounts (50K and 1M followers), the impression rates decrease as they use more Instagram hashtags. According to the data, the best practice for big accounts is to use 3-4 hashtags to maximize their chances of reaching the average engagement rate by impressions of (3.42%).

For small accounts, with 5K – 10K followers, more tags also equals declining engagement, but the variance is not as pronounced. That said, it’s still a good practice for small accounts to include fewer hashtags (focusing on 5-6 hashtags) to achieve the best engagement rates.

The same trend applies to mid-sized accounts, with 10K – 50K followers, which should use more 5-6 hashtags to ensure higher impression rates.

Of course, all of this depends on your specific audience, the types of hashtags you use, and the goals you’re trying to achieve. Still, according to this data, and industry experts, Instagram hashtags don’t help with post distribution.

The real trick is to use the right hashtags for your target audience, in order to get your posts seen by the people searching for the right topics in the app. Do your research, determine the right tags for each of your posts (based on the topics of each, not the same hashtags for every update), and you should still see reach benefits from hashtag use.

More insights on Instagram hashtags can be found in the full report.

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Growth Stock Surges On Ad Fraud Discovery, Analyst Upgrade

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Growth Stock Surges On Ad Fraud Discovery, Analyst Upgrade

Ad data and analytics provider DoubleVerify (DV) is building the right side of a cup base with a buy point of 32.53. The growth stock is today’s selection for IBD 50 Stocks to Watch.




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DoubleVerify has a strong Composite Rating of 94 and a Relative Strength Rating of 89. Its stellar EPS Rating of 96 is even better.

Company sales grew 35% to $112.3 million in the third quarter while earnings per share of 6 cents grew 20% from the previous year.

On Jan. 10, analysts at Barclays upgraded the stock to overweight from equal weight with a price target of 29. Shares gapped up over 6% on the news, and the move helped the stock start its recovery from the January low.

Growth Stock Surges After Finding Fraud Scheme

DoubleVerify helps advertising companies that target users on video, mobile, and social media platforms. The company also has an analytics side that provides data on consumer engagement.

The digital media analytics platform ensures that ads reach their target customers in a safe way. This means that ads reach actual people with the right context. The software also has tools to adapt ads to different devices.

Its technology also seeks to address ad fraud. On Thursday, the company discovered “BeatSting,” the first large-scale ad-impression fraud scheme that targeted audio ads.

DV Fraud Lab first identified the fraud scheme in 2019, which is largely responsible for advertisers losing $20 million in several scams, according to reports. DoubleVerify was credited for unveiling the fraud. Shares last Thursday surged nearly 4% in strong volume.

Deals With Twitter, LinkedIn, Meta, Facebook

The company has partnered with leading social media and mobile platforms like LinkedIn and TikTok to improve ad impact and experience. DoubleVerify has a long-standing relationship with Facebook parent Meta Platforms (META). The social media platform faced a massive boycott in 2020 when several companies removed their ads due to concerns over their brand safety.

In June of last year, DoubleVerify brought features that will allow marketers to see where their ads appear in a user’s timeline. The feature uses artificial-intelligence tools to understand the context in which ads appear. The feature also enhanced brand safety  and attracted Twitter and other social media platforms to try it out. Nonetheless, marketers did not buy in entirely, according to reports, as Twitter’s ad revenue continued to struggle.

The growth stock ranks second in the specialty enterprise software group. The stock went public in April 2021. The New York-based company has locations in the U.S., U.K., Europe, Asia, Australia and South America.

Mutual funds own 39% of shares outstanding. That may not seem like much, but more funds have been picking up the growth stock over the past eight quarters, according to MarketSmith. The stock has an Accumulation/Distribution Rating of B-.

Exchange traded funds hold shares of DoubleVerify as well. The Invesco S&P Small Cap Information Technology ETF (PSCT) and the SPDR FactSet Innovative Technology ETF (XITK) own DV.

Please follow VRamakrishnan on Twitter @IBD_VRamakrishnan for more news on growth stocks.

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YouTube Will Now Enable Brands to Buy Specific Time Slots Around Major Events for Masthead Ads

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YouTube Will Now Enable Brands to Buy Specific Time Slots Around Major Events for Masthead Ads

YouTube has added a new time targeting element to its Masthead Ads, which will enable brands to display their promotions in key times leading up to key events.

As explained by YouTube:

In a time of multiple screens and countless ways to stay entertained, it can be challenging to get your audience’s attention. But even with so much content available at any time, people are drawn to moments they can experience together: a new movie release, a big game, a product launch, a holiday. And these are key opportunities to connect with a brand. Marketers, you know this well: you center advertising campaigns around the tentpole moments most likely to inspire your audience, shift perceptions or influence a purchase decision.”

YouTube’s Cost-Per-Hour Masthead enables brands to own the most prominent placement in the app during the hour(s) leading up to, during or after priority moments.

For example:

“[During the recent World Cup], McDonald’s Brazil turned to the YouTube Cost-Per-Hour Masthead. Their strategy was savvy: reach anyone in Brazil who was watching YouTube an hour before the Brazil vs. Cameroon match and remind them to pick up McDonald’s before the game started. This perfectly timed execution delivered tens of millions of impressions at the very moment fans were preparing for the match.

It could be a good way to hook into key moments, and build momentum for your campaigns, while also establishing association with key events and subjects.

“Just a few weeks ago, Xiaomi, the leading smartphone manufacturer in India, prepared to launch their highly anticipated Redmi Note 12 series via YouTube livestream. To drive viewership, Xiaomi ran the Cost-Per-Hour Masthead during the event. Not only did this activation drive scaled awareness, it led to over 90,000 concurrent livestream views. The Redmi Note 12 went on to generate a record number of first-week sales, making it one of their most successful launches to date.

It’s an expansive, but potentially significant targeting option, which could hold appeal for big brands looking to make a big splash around major events and releases.

You can learn more about YouTube’s Cost-Per-Hour Masthead process here.

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'Astonishing' New Cognitive Research Shows Gaining Knowledge, Learning New Skills, and Achieving Mastery Comes Down to the Rule of 7

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'Astonishing' New Cognitive Research Shows Gaining Knowledge, Learning New Skills, and Achieving Mastery Comes Down to the Rule of 7

While talent matters, the good news is we all learn at basically the same rate–and can “learn anything we want.” Think you don’t have the talent for entrepreneurship? For leadership? For programming, for design… for whatever pursuit you may want to, um, pursue? According to HubSpot co-founder …

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