Want to stand out on Instagram? You’ve probably heard that you’re supposed to hashtag, but you’re probably doing it WRONG! Follow our proven hashtag strategy dos and don’ts to get found on Instagram and watch your growth, reach and engagement skyrocket!
15 Hashtag Strategies and 3 Useful Tools
In this article:
Hashtag Strategy DOs:
- Hashtags should be specific to your niche and audience
- Hashtags should be diverse. Abide by the first rule and stay within your niche, but seek different types of tags for diversity within your brand and audience
- For example, a post about a sunset would use hashtags about sunsets, but also about the color of the sky, the scenery, the location of the sunset, the time of year, and other sunset-photography related hashtags to broaden your reach.
- Utilize 30 tags per post. Instagram allows 30 hashtags per post. If you add more you won’t be able to post your caption or comment. Always try to use all 30 to maximize your opportunity.
- Hide your tags in the comments. Leave them in a comment beneath 5 periods separated by enters (or emojis, you can be creative). The goal is to keep them hidden. I advise to do this on a notepad and then copy/paste them over to Instagram. It will look like this:
#add #your #hashtags #here #after #the #fifth #period
Kinda annoying right? Don’t worry, your caption will show up like this on the feed: […]. See here:
- Only use 3 tags over 1,000,000 uses. The closer you can get to under 1M the better.
- Use emojis! Emojis are a fun way to show creativity and expand your search options in a very saturated hashtag world. You’ll notice the hashtags in the example above had quite a few palm trees, this is because those tags were some of the few left with under 1M in use.
- Your sweet spot is using tags between 100,000 and 1,000,000 uses. It’s ok if you have to go under or over to get all 30 hashtags, this will just depend on what type of post you’re doing.
- Look at what other successful accounts within your same niche are tagging and copy them. It’s perfectly fine to use related-accounts as inspiration. You’re not stealing, tags are fair game for all to use. It’s even encouraged…
- Use your own Hashtag and encourage others to use it too. Then regram their posts (with permission).
- For example. the brand Ban.do encourages users to share their planners with #bandoplanner
- Post engaging content. This tip may not be hashtag-specific, but it’s important to remember your purpose on Instagram. Your goal is to engage and produce quality images, slideshows, and videos for your followers to engage with! The more interesting, relatable, or moving the post is, the more likely others will want to like and share it, and follow you for more! Give the people what they want and curate your posts to match your brand and audience ideals.
Hashtag Strategy DO NOTs:
- Don’t get shadow banned
- Shadow-ban refers to tags that are overused or marked as inappropriate. Using them will hide your post in the SHADOWS never to be found – very bad!
- Don’t be too general (#love #instagram #cat #fitness). These may not be shadowbanned, but they are also overused and not worth one of your 30 opportunities.
- Don’t use tags with over 5,000,000. Over 5 M is considered oversaturated and your chances of getting seen are very low.
- Don’t #tag as you #type …it’s annoying, and not that helpful. Say what you need to say. Then tag after (see Tip 4).
- Don’t hold back! Have fun with your tags, experiment, you can always delete your work if you’re not happy with it. Sometimes it takes awhile to find the perfect tags, but once you do those likes (and followers) will come flooding in.
Remember that Instagram, like Google, uses an algorithm that favors good content and giving people the best relevant information that they’re looking for. So give the people what they want and they will come naturally. Use your hashtags to help your target audience find you! Just like with SEO, your ultimate goal is to provide good value, but you also need to balance it with search-intent, to show them that you exist.
Useful Instagram Tools:
- Smarthash – An app that tracks how your tags perform, shows suggestions.
- Hashtagify – A tool that analyses and tracks hashtags to help you find the best ones.
- Planoly – An Instagram tool and app that stores hashtag groupings for easy access, among other very useful Instagram tools like planning your grid and engaging with your followers.
Couple these Instagram hashtag guidelines with super engaging posts and watch your Instagram explode! Let us know how it goes in the comments.
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