Instagram #hashtags are a way of categorizing posts for your prospects to discover new content and increase reach. Research has shown that Instagram accounts with hashtags have 12.6% more engagement than those without.
The best way to utilize hashtags specifically on your Instagram account is to use hashtags that are relevant and specific to your photos and videos. By doing so, Instagram will display your hashtag on the users' explore feed whose interest/hobby matches your niche. When a user sees your post via the explore feed, they may click on it, and if they like what you post, they will 'like' it and visit your account. Ultimately, if your account's content looks aesthetic, consistent, and interests the user, they will follow you or click on your website link.
For the past few months, I have been working with over 90+ clients through my Fiverr gig by implementing Instagram hashtag strategies for them to grow their accounts. Based on my researches, trial and error, and growing other client Instagram accounts, I've discovered 8 little-known tactics to effectively utilizing and implementing your hashtags:
1) To ensure that the majority of your hashtags will show your posts on the explore feed and not get buried under much bigger accounts, always try to post hashtags between 10k-500k posts. Don't use generic hashtags like #travel with millions of posts as not only are these hashtags highly competitive, but it is almost impossible to get any visibility unless you already have a huge presence on Instagram. In order to find specific hashtags, simply type a keyword related to your account on Instagram's search bar (under Tags section), and Instagram will show the number of posts for that searched hashtag. As a rule of thumb, try not to use any hashtags with less than 8k posts because not many people are using nor viewing these hashtags.
2) Look for Instagram suggestions: When you search for a hashtag, Instagram will show you "Related" Hashtags as well. You can click on them to see ones that are relevant to your account/niche specifically so that you can use accordingly.
3) Competitor's hashtags: Research your competitor's account (especially ones with many followers) and see which hashtags they use. If it works for them, then it would most likely to work for you too. You can start by looking at the hashtags of their best-performing posts and mirror not only their hashtags but also how they engage with their audiences.
4) Influencer/successful accounts: similar to searching for competitor hashtags, you can find influencer accounts in your specific niche/industry and see which hashtags they have used to get them their large engagement and following. A good tip is to search for a niche hashtag using the Search Engine, and simply visit all the Instagram accounts in the "Top" posts section. You can then inspect their other posts and find similar hashtags that they are using.
5) Remember to use no more than 30 hashtags on each post as this is the limit that Instagram sets for every post you upload to your feed. Posting more than 30 will mean that your hashtags will not be visible; thus, you will be unable to get any exposure.
6) Try and use a different set of hashtags for each post - posting the same set of hashtags may be flagged as spam by Instagram's algorithm. If you already have a set number of hashtags you use frequently, I would suggest using 20-25 of them, whilst using another 5-10 hashtags that is highly specific to your post.
7) Use #hashtags on Instagram Stories. You can add hashtags Instagram Stories via a sticker or by text. Similar to normal posts, using hashtags will allow your IG stories to be discovered by more people.
8) Instagram is trying really hard to promote their IGTV (videos over 1 minute) in 2019; as a result, you will undoubtedly receive more views and exposure if you post more IGTVs. You can now even you post 'previews' of IGTV videos on your Instagram feed; Simply upload a video over 1 minute, and as you are creating the post, select "Post a Preview". I recommend not only to take advantage of this feature, but also add hashtags in the "description" area as this will maximize your exposure and reach.
FINAL TIP: I can't stress how important it is to try and post hashtags that are as relevant as possible to your image/video. It was even revealed recently that Facebook/Instagram uses machine learning to “read” images on their platforms which may mean that they are using these AI algorithms to rank your posts based on the hashtags you use as well. At the end of the day, you want to engage with audiences that would be most attracted to your business, product, or service offering, and that's why having relevant and specific hashtags will help increase your chances of reaching quality prospects.
So what do you think? Do you already know some of these hashtag tactics, or are there any other hashtag secrets that you think that I may have left out?
I will begin to publish a set of articles focusing on Instagram growth and Facebook ad strategies in the coming weeks, so if you have any suggestions on what to cover please send me a message!
I am also now offering a free 30-minute consultation on how you can take advantage of Instagram/Facebook to gain traffic, customers and sales to your business - if you are interested, feel free to reach out to me via https://www.naivedigital.com/contact
Thanks again for reading!