So let's talk about hashtags. Specifically Hashtag tips for Instagram.
There are a lot of rumors and confusion about if we should still be using hashtags, how we should use them, when we should use them etc.
The clear answer is: YES WE SHOULD.
But then that leads to the question of HOW.
Let's Talk about Hashtags Just a bit…
Hashtags are the keywords of Instagram. People use hashtags to search for things they are interested in. With all the changes in the algorithm, you have to find ways to reach new audiences. And hashtags are one way to do it. PLUS people can now follow hashtags and STORIES show up in hashtags.
Now, let me be clear!! Using hashtags is not going to magically get you 1000 likes on a post or get you “300 followers in 5 days” like I saw advertised somewhere this week. But it will help you reach new audiences. Think of it as advertising.
I know you always get the advice to use hashtags to expand your reach and engagement. But no one tells you how!
So today I want to give you a place to start.
5 Hashtag Tips for Instagram That You Can Use Now
1. Research Your Hashtags
Just because it's trendy doesn't mean you should use it. Research a hashtag before you use it. So how do you find hashtags? I use two main ways to find hashtags that fit my niche:
- Other Instagrammers hashtags : Find 3 Instagrammers in your niche and look at their posts to see what hashtags they are using.Then research those hashtags to see if they truly fit your account and if that is the audience you want to go after. I've found a lot of new hashtags like that.
- Related Hashtags on Instagram: Related hashtags are Hashtags recommendations that Instagram gives you based on what other people use. To find these: search a hashtag on Instagram, look at the related hashtags on the top of your screen. And research those. You can end up deep in the rabbit hole doing this, so set time aside for it.
Also, make sure you research how active a hashtag is. There is no reason to use i if no one has used the hashtag in months.
2. Use A combo of Popular and Niched Hashtags.
At the time I am writing this post, the hashtag #travel has over 330, 567,020 posts in it. If you hashtag your photo #travel and nothing else, it’s going to get swallowed by the posts in that group within a few seconds. And you will reach no one. They key is to use a good combo of popular and niched down hashtags. There is usually more community in niched hashtags and they are more inclined to actually go through and engage with the hashtag. So big hashtags are great for exposure, but niched down hashtags are great for engagement. So, for example: #familytravel has 1.4 Million posts and #travelingwithkids has 254K posts, and #toddlertravel has 33K posts.
NICHE DOWN and your post is more likely to be seen and reach who you want: your core audience.
3. Change out your Hashtags Frequently
Instagram has acknowledged that they see using the same hashtags over and over again as spammy behavior and it decreases your reach over time. And NO they are not Shadowbanning you. Instagram confirmed through a variety of sources that Shadowbanning was a glitch. *shrugs shoulders*
But even if it was, the smart thing to always do is to change out your hashtags so that you can test which hashtags are doing well. For example, I save my hashtags into groups on my phone in the notes sectio. If you are using any kind of scheduling app, they often have the save hashtags option. I frequently take the time to use new hashtag groups to test if my hashtags are still helping me to reach my core audience. I also do this with stories. Hashtags change. What was your style/audience a few months ago, may not be today.
4. Use Hashtags on Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are incomplete without hashtags. Adding a hashtag can expand your Story's audience. Now, users can search for your hashtags and come across your stories even if they don't follow you. You can add up to 10 hashtags to your Instagram Stories. But the same rules apply: only add hashtags that matter to your content. And just because you CAN use 10, doesn't mean that you always should…
I think I say this over and over and over again. ENGAGEMENT IS KING ON INSTAGRAM.
Let me tell you what I do every time I post: I go through each hashtag that I am going to use and I like and sometimes comment on at least the top 9. And after I post, I go back and engage again. I also follow certain hashtags. When they pop up in my feed, I engage. If you think this is too much time on Instagram, I want you to seriously sit back today and document how many times you go to Instagram. Once? Twice? SIX times? However many times you go on Instagram, you want to go in and ENGAGE. Engage with these hashtags because this is potential follower material. These are your people. Also, when you do this, the algorithm sees you engaging with accounts like yours. It begins to show your account to like-minded people because it knows that they like the same type of content. Remember, it's a cycle friend. If you do this right, Instagram will start to put your account in that niche that you want to be in and you will start to get more engagement from accounts in your niche. And when more accounts in your niche ( or targeted audience) start to engage with your account, that is what gets you on the explore page for people in your niche. And that is what will get you, even more, likes, comments, and new followers.
Hopefully these hashtag tips for Instagram will help you with your hashtag strategy!
And if you want to learn even more about Hashtags and a specific strategy for every time you post, Check out My NEW Mini E-Course Hashtag Better!
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