How to use Instagram hashtags and get results
If ever in doubt about whether you should use Instagram hashtags or not, the answer is always yes. Having a good hashtag strategy is one of the best ways to get your posts discovered by a new audience.
Here are some key findings you should know when it comes to using Instagram hashtags:
- 88% of brand posts include at least one hashtag.
- 91% of posts by top brands have seven or fewer hashtags.
- Posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement.
Hashtags on your Instagram posts will allow you to get exposure and reach a specific audience from a targeted niche. Even though Instagram hashtags won’t help you with the engagement, they are the first organic step to sharing your content with new audience. If you’re interested in how to engage your audience take a look at our previous article that talks about the best things to post on Instagram.
So what should you do and how should you use Instagram hashtags?
A limited number of Instagram hashtags
Instagram has a limit of 30 tags per post. And even though popular brands are not using way less than all 30 hashtags, our recommendation for new pages and emerging brands on Instagram is to use up to 20 hashtags per post.
How to find ideal hashtags to use on your posts
Like everything else, your Instagram hashtag strategy needs to be built on a base of research and testing.
One way to start collecting your ideal hashtags is looking at Instagram pages of your competition. Remember if you are a small business, your competition is not top brands but rather other small/medium businesses on Instagram that have already established their hashtag strategy.
Collect hashtags that will most likely resonate with your audience and save it for later.
Another way of searching for hashtags is directly on Instagram. Simply search for words that can describe your products and your brand in the best way and check the number of competing posts that that specific hashtag has.
The amount of time that your post will be featured in the search will depend on the hashtag you chose. If you have a new page, with not a lot of engagement, when you use big hashtags like #fashion that currently 534,832,848 posts that are competing, your post won’t remain for a very long time in the Recent Post section.
Our recommendation is to mix bigger and smaller, more specific niche hashtags that are not so competitive. Use a combination of 70% less popular hashtags and 30% popular hashtags.
This stage of the process is very important, so try to collect as many as you can so you can test them.
Alter hashtags on each Instagram post
One of the reasons why you should constantly change your Instagram hashtags on each post you add is because you could get blocked on Instagram by using the same set of hashtags each time.
But that is not the only reason. As you are making you hashtag strategy you need to tweak it and test it all the time. By using different hashtags on the post or making better hashtag combination you will get to understand what kind of hashtags work best for your specific content and your target audience and it will show you in which direction to continue.
Remember, testing is the most important part of doing marketing, and even though it will look like a big process that doesn’t give instant visible results, it is something that will help you succeed in the long term.
Let us know what you think and place your questions in the comments.