As bloggers and small business owners, it’s important that we understand the benefits of hashtags and all about effectively using hashtags to continue to grow our Instagram following and engagement.
What is a hashtag?
According to Dictionary.com, a hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a hash mark (#), used within a message to identify a keyword or topic of interest and faciliate a search for it.
Where to Use Them
Hashtags should only be used on Twitter and Instagram. They do not really serve a purpose on Facebook, Pinterest, or any other social media outlet because no one searches using hashtags on those two platforms.
How many hashtags should I use per platform?
On Twitter, you should only be using 1-3 hashtags per post. Since you’re only allowed 160 characters on Twitter you do not want your hashtags to take up all of your real estate so use them sparingly and effectively.
On Instagram, you can use up to 30 hashtags per post. Using all 30 hashtags maximizes your chances of getting your Instagram posts seen especially with the algorithm change.
Do’s and Dont’s of Effectively Using Hashtags
Don’t use hashtags that are super popular
Using extremely popular hashtags doesn’t help you because there are hundreds of people using these hashtags every minute so the chances of your content getting seen in those hashtags are slim to none.
Do use 30 hashtags
Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags, so do it. Use all of that real estate that they’re giving you to maximize your chances of getting your content seen by others.
Don’t use irrelevant hashtags
When you use irrelevant hashtags, your content does not get seen by the right audience and that may hurt your engagement in the future. The generic hashtags like #weekend #happy are not only overused, but they also won’t bring in the audience that you are looking to reach.
Do create multiple different hashtag sets
Creating multiple hashtag sets helps you mix things up a little. Posting the same hashtags with each post seems to hinder your engagement from my experience so do not be afraid to mix it up.
Don’t use banned hashtags
Recently, Instagram began to ban hashtags that had a lot of people misusing them. Some of these hashtags are #dogsofinstagram, #todayimwearing, and more. Check out the full list of the 2017 banned hashtags.
Do conduct hashtag research
Conducting hashtag research can help you find more relevant hashtags to use on your Instagram posts. The way that I do this is by going and seeing what my competitors are doing in addition to doing my own research by looking at what hashtags I am already using and selecting ones that are similar.
Don’t put all of your hashtags in your caption
This is more of a personal preference thing but I think it looks much cleaner when you put all of your hashtags in a comment instead of directly in the caption.
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I hope that this post was helpful in teaching you more about effectively using hashtags. Anything I missed? Please feel free to let me know down in the comments.
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