On social media, hashtags are labels used to group content of the same theme. By tapping on a specific hashtag, one can discover all the posts that contain it. You probably know that each hashtag is unique and can include both letters and numbers (but not special characters, e.g. “?”, “@” etc), but it’s probably new to you that this type of tag was first introduced by the user Chris Messina on Twitter in 2007, and only then adopted by the platform. Only with the success of Instagram have they achieved global visibility: today 1 billion people use them every month.
Choosing the proper hashtags is an important part of the social strategy, as they can increase the visibility of a post and make it reach even people who do not follow your account. The more post reach and interactions increase, the higher the chances that Instagram will show it in the Explore section.
And with Instagram limiting users to 30 hashtags per post, how to choose the best ones? Here are our suggestions.
- Combine popular and niche hashtags
Before choosing a hashtag, analyse how many times it has been used. You can do it with the Instagram search engine or with services that recover similar and popular hashtags starting from a keyword. Take a look at SeekMetrics, AllHashtag, Keyword Tool, to name a few. Once you’ve found them, use them wisely: avoid uncritical copy and paste, or the useless ones like #tagsforlike #likeforlike #followforfollow.
Use a mix of the most popular and niche hashtags instead. The first could give you more visibility, but also more competition. On the contrary, the less used ones can make your content remain in the search results for longer.
- Use hashtags of places or events
If you visit a place or go to an event, use both the place tag and the official event hashtags: your post will show up in the search of people interested to them. Hashtags work extremely well also in Instagram Stories, where users search for them to check the scene of a particular place.
- Create personal hashtags
An alternative way to use hashtags is to create one that represents your personality and your work: your content will get a distinctive and recognisable style! For example, did you know that emojis can be used as tags? #🌸
- Don’t always use the same hashtags
Once you’ve selected what seem to be the right hashtags for a specific type of photo, you’ll be tempted to use the same for all the others. Our advice is to vary, as different groups of hashtags may reach different groups of people. You can understand their impact by going to your post insights and checking the impression data. If the impressions coming from Hashtags exceed those from Home, it means that the hashtags you used had an impact also outside your own community.
- Find inspiration from the “Explore” section
The Instagram algorithm suggests you the best posts based on your preferences. In the “Explore” section, you can find the top content for engagement and creativity. Most posts show up here also thanks to a wise choice of hashtags: take a look at this area to discover and try new hashtags!
Try to put all these tips into practice and if you find new ones, feel free to share them in the comments. And if you don’t want to miss out on these and other useful insights on Influencer Marketing, our newsletter is the perfect solution!
This post is also available in: Italian