In the ever-changing, fast-paced world of social media, it can be hard to keep up with what hashtags are trending and which aren’t. Instagram is a particular challenge because there are so many possibilities. So how do you choose which hashtags belong on your posts? When should you use them? Which ones will get you the best engagement?
Here are five tips from SimplyGram Reviews for choosing the right hashtags on Instagram – ones that will help your posts climb to the top of a very crowded feed.
1. Choose a Core Group of Hashtags
One mistake that many people make when they first start is to choose too many. They think they have to include as many as possible, even if it’s unrelated to their photos. In the end, this just makes their posts look spammy and unappealing because hashtags are meant to help with discovery.
If your hashtag is related to the photo, it will help with discovery. Still, you don’t want to choose unrelated or too generic hashtags because Instagrammers won’t be interested in seeing your posts – they’ll move on. You want users who are highly engaged and follow lots of people similar to their interests.
Using a core group of hashtags that are highly specific to your niche will help you achieve this. For example, if you’re a blogger reviewing beauty products, using the generic “#beauty” isn’t going to be as effective as something like “#makeupaddict,” which is more specific and targeted towards real users who are interested in makeup. Similarly, choosing too many tags can damage your credibility – people won’t take you seriously if there’s no rhyme or reason behind your choices.
2. Use Related Hashtags From Your Profile
If you’re posting content from other platforms where the number of characters for a description is limited (such as Twitter), include relevant tags from those platforms into your Instagram description because it will keep the hashtags all in one place. You can do this for sites like Facebook or Pinterest as well, although you won’t be able to use unlimited characters like you can on Instagram.
3. Use Your Own Hashtags
Using your own hashtags is a great way to build engagement with your existing audience and drive your content up the search rankings because it can help you discover new users who are already interested in what you have to say. Plus, they’ll serve as an easy reminder for people who’ve followed you but may not know of any of your other posts. Hashtagging your unique tag will also increase its visibility on Instagram – it’s like another form of #advertisement!
4. Always Follow Others Similar to You
A great way to discover relevant hashtags that you might not have known about is to follow others with similar interests. If they’re using hashtags, then there’s a good chance their followers are also interested in them (and, therefore, your content). Following other users can be especially useful if you’ve recently started on Instagram and don’t know anyone yet – people like to reciprocate the gesture, so you’ll start getting followed back.
5. Don’t Rely on Hashtags for Discovery
One of the biggest problems with hashtag discovery (besides having too many to choose from) is that even if you find some popular ones that your target audience uses, it doesn’t mean that they’re using them. Hashtags are meant to help with discovery, but more often than not, they get ignored. Even if you get a few likes or comments on your post related to hashtags, it doesn’t mean that the people who liked it also used the hashtags – this is purely coincidence.
If you’re planning on doing any marketing with Instagram, don’t rely on hashtags for discovery – there are better strategies. One of them is joining an Instagram group where users have conversations about what interests them; another option is using one of the many tools available for easy engagement (be careful, though, because many will use bots that aren’t good for your account).