Instagram hashtags are a free to use tool that helps your content and ideas get exposed to your ideal audience. They are the SEO of social media.
The free extra shot of espresso in your latte.
The turbo to your engine.
The power to your yoga.
You get the point.
The Basics. What are Instagram Hashtags and how to use them
What is a Hashtag? It’s a word or a phrase that has a # in the front, with no spaces or special characters.
The purpose of a hashtag is to put your content in front of your ideal audience. Meaning people who are already interested in that topic and are searching for it right now.
If your profile is set to public, whenever you use a hashtag for a post, your post will appear on the respective hashtag page. So, you got it, your content will get seen by the people who are checking out the hashtag feed.
The Instagram hashtag limit is 30 hashtags in one post, and if you have more, the comment won’t get posted.
Now, how many tags should you use on Instagram? If Instagram says you can use 30 #, then I’ll read between the lines that they actually WANT us to use all 30 of them.
Hashtags will work equally well if you add them in your photo caption or in a comment just under the caption.
For more information, download My Instagram guide.
Simple as that!
Why you should use Instagram Hashtags
I saw too many people shying away from using hashtags, out of fear of seeming “desperate” to grow their account.
And this baffles me!!
Why would you A. NOT want to grow your account if you are sharing something that makes a difference and B. NOT use something free that can help you?
Every person should grow their personal brand! And if you already are committed to yourself and know social can amplify your message x 1.000, then we should partner.
Read also about Instagram Geotags.
Hashtags make content go viral and can account for an extra 30% to 400% more engagement when used right. Don’t pass on that. They’re like the free lunch with no strings attached.
How to choose the right Instagram hashtags for you
It starts with the type of content that you are sharing. What is your niche? Is it #fashion, #photography, #food, #fitness, #business, #beauty etc ?
I don’t recommend you use these hashtags though, or any other one-word hashtag for the matter like #fun #love #friends etc. They are generic and too used to be effective for you.
They’re just the starting point.
Type these hashtags in the Instagram search bar and watch how Instagram will bring out other, related hashtags, as well as how many posts already exist under it.
Then, check out the feed for each and every hashtag that catches your attention. Are the top posts and latest posts good quality? Are they on the same topic? Would you like to be associated with the feed? Or, is the feed flooded with spammy content?
Make a note of all hashtags that caught your attention.
Once you find a hashtag you like, check the Related hashtags that are shown at the top of the hashtag feed. Do the same thing with each of them.
Continue doing this until you have 30 (or more) hashtags written down.
If you post different categories of content, then repeat the process for each category of content.
I recommend you store a few different batches of up to 30 hashtags in your phone, for each type of content you share, and mix them up.
Expert tips on Instagram Hashtags
Pro Tip 1. Instagram frequently calibrates its spam filters and negatively rates accounts that use the exact same hashtag group for extensive periods of time.
What does this mean? It means that the same hashtags that initially worked may no longer work for you after some time so you need to refresh them periodically.
Pro Tip 2. I prefer hashtags under 100,000. This means they are popular, but not overused. And our posts will have a chance to stay up long enough to be discovered before they are buried under hundreds and thousands of other posts. These hashtags allow your content to stay recent for a few hours.
Pro Tip 3. Make sure your collection of hashtags has a good mix of hashtags with small, medium and high volume of content. Why? Your goal is to land in the top posts of as many hashtags as possible, as frequently as possible. Pay attention to how many likes, on average, top posts in a given hashtag feed have. Depending on the size of your following and your engagement rates, you might be able to land in top posts for these hashtags.
Read more tips and tricks about Instagram.
This process is time-consuming, I agree. It’s like going down a rabbit hole and then wandering around a maze. But you only have to do it once every few months and then see the benefits coming in.
For specialized guidance, let’s, partner.