Hashtags are any combinations of letters preceded by the symbol ‘#’ such as #BoostNet or #NoFilter. Hashtags were introduced in 2007 and are now an essential part of social media. When you click on a hashtag, you will see every post that is tagged with it. There are many advantages of using hashtags, such as making your content more discoverable and providing it greater reach. A study states that an Instagram post with at least one hashtag gains 12% more engagement than posts with zero hashtags. Besides, hashtags encourage audience interaction.. If you don’t agree with these benefits, you could be using hashtags wrong!
Not all hashtags are the same. Learn more with this infographic.
Now that you know all about hashtags, here are some of the best practices for Instagram hashtags:
1. Number of hashtags
Instagram allows you to add 30 hashtags in a post, but that doesn’t mean you have to add 30 hashtags in every post. Eleven has been the ideal number of hashtags for the longest time; in the past few months, though, posts with five or six hashtags have performed better. Some accounts still prefer to stick to one or two hashtags. Thus, there is no ideal number. That being said, you should remember less is more. Pro tip: Don’t add a lot of hashtags in captions; instead, include them in your first comment.
2. Promote your hashtag
Find a unique and short hashtag for your brand and promote it as much as you can. Add it to your posts, stories and comments. You can also encourage your followers to use your hashtags in contests, quizzes and giveaways. Try different ways of asking your followers to use your brand’s hashtags. Follow the rule of ‘the more, the merrier’.
3. Trending hashtags
Adding trending hashtags to your post gives you instant reach. Trending hashtags are typically related to special days or holidays such as Mother’s Day, New Year and more. So, keep a track of all festive holidays as well as special days related to your industry. There are two ways to add trending hashtags: one is to add the trending hashtags, even if they are not relevant to your content; second is to wait for the relevant hashtag to start trending.
4. Finding hashtags
The million-dollar question is: Where do you find the right hashtags? There are three ways to find the relevant hashtags. The first is surfing various websites for appropriate keywords related to topics of your choice. The second is finding them on posts uploaded by competitors and top influencers. The third is searching for popular and relevant keywords on social media marketing tools available on free or paid basis.
5. Arrangement of hashtags
It may not seem very important, but little things like this could give you an edge. Whenever you add hashtags to your post, don’t do it randomly. It is advisable to add them in a planned manner. The ideal order is to start from the most important to the least important, which can be decided by the type of hashtag. For instance, first comes the brand’s hashtag, then the industry-related hashtag, and lastly, the general ones. There is no fixed way to arrange keywords. Experiment and find the one that works best for your content.
Hashtags should be a part of your content marketing strategy and social media marketing strategy. Watch out for new algorithms of Instagram so that your hashtags remain relevant and popular. If used wisely, a hashtag can be a powerful tool!