Almost everyone uses Instagram hashtags for better reach, but not everyone uses them correctly to maximise their organic traffic. We’ve gathered below the latest updates on how to use hashtags by Instagram.
Let’s take a deep dive into this and find out more!
What Are Instagram Hashtags?
Instagram is an ocean of content, and hashtags help the user find your content. Hashtags are simply words or combinations of words, numbers, and emojis used to categorise the content posted on Instagram, making it more accessible to the user.
Why Is Everyone Using Hashtags?
When you use a hashtag, your post will appear on the page for that hashtag; hence any user looking for content with the same hashtag will find you and probably engage with your post.
For example, I have created a post, “Four ways you can achieve better social media marketing results,” I’ve posted it with the hashtag #socialmediamarketing. Suppose the user is looking to read about social media marketing, and they search for #socialmediamarketing. In that case, they may come across my post, like the post, and save it for future reference and hopefully follow my profile.
Hashtags work like this, helping you in getting organic traffic and new prospects!
The Latest Update
On 28 September 2021, Instagram posted tips for using hashtags from its creators’ account. It was outlined that most people were misusing hashtags.
The Do’s while using hashtags according to Instagram:
1. Do use relevant hashtags. You can’t use #icecream #sweetdish #chocolate in a post containing a picture of a coffee. Instagram does not want to rank irrelevant content on any hashtag.
2. Use hashtags that your audience is interested in and are engaged with. Before choosing your hashtags, do your research on which hashtags will be most effective for your audience.
3. Mix a range of hashtags that have a high reach, medium reach and low reach so that you can get discovered to a broader audience.
4. Create your own hashtags so that your fans and audiences can easily access your content. You can mix your name with your brand name or your niche name with your name. For example, #yournameyourbrandname #nichenameyourname
5. Instagram has advised using only 3-5 hashtags instead of 30. There are content creators who criticise this because they believe that five hashtags are not enough to describe their content. Some content creators are also complaining that they are not getting any results by using just five hashtags. In this instance, you need to test. Experiment with several hashtags and find out what works for you.
The Dont’s while using hashtags according to Instagram:
1. Hashtags like #explorepage #like4like #follow4follow will not work anymore because they are irrelevant to any niche or content theme. You’ll need to understand that this type of hashtag can ruin your brand image and end up counted as spam.
2. Overly generic hashtags like #digitalmarketing #socialmediamarketing etc., have millions in reach/searches. However, if you decide to use them, you’re essentially making it harder for your prospects to discover you! Use medium reach hashtags where your chances will be better.
3. If you believe that adding more hashtags will get you extra exposure, you’re mistaken because Instagram states that adding 10-20 hashtags will not help you get additional distribution.
How To Create A Hashtag Strategy
After going through all the do’s and dont’s, you need to research hashtags your audience is interested in and what your competitors are using. They should be relevant and have a medium reach: mix niche hashtags, well-known hashtags, and your own branded hashtags.
Experiment with several hashtags and check your analytics to find out what is working. If you consistently do this for 1-2 months, you can get a clear idea of using them for your organic growth.
Hashtags are not the only factor in your Instagram growth. The content you are posting and how people interact can affect your rankings more than hashtags. Let hashtags be a part of your marketing strategy but not the whole strategy!