Hashtags. Something so simple, so useful, so powerful, and yet so confusing.
Are you supposed to put your hashtags in your caption or in the comments? How many should I use? How can I grow my following? These are all questions I get asked at least once a week, if not once a day.
First of all, it doesn’t matter if your hashtags are in your caption or your comments, as long as you are using hashtags. I also recommend testing both ways out to see which gets you a bigger reach. How many should you be using? ALL OF THEM. How can you grow your following? By using hashtags and engaging with hashtags every day.
Here are 5 must know hashtag rules.
Choose hashtags that relate to your post (and niche)
My mind is still blown every time I see an Instagram post with hashtags that have NOTHING to do with the picture itself. FOR INSTANCE, if you post a picture of your pumpkin spice latte this fall season DO NOT post #fitfam or any fitness hashtag for that matter unless you are showing me a healthy pumpkin spice latte alternative.
So how does one “research” hashtags. Well let’s take #foodie for instance. At the time of this post #foodie has been used 159,418,042 times. Chances are your post will not be seen if you were to use just this hashtag. However, if you click on #foodies, you will see that Instagram gives you other hashtag suggestions such as #foodies #foodphotography #foodiegram and so forth. All of these hashtags have been used millions of times. I recommend finding hashtags that have been used around 500K times.
Don’t post the same hashtags on every post
I REPEAT, DO NOT copy + paste the same hashtags in every single one of your posts. If you do this, Instagram will put you in their “Burn Book” (I don’t believe Instagram has a Burn Book like in Mean Girls…I just wanted to make you people understand not to do this).
Use all 30 hashtags
Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags on every post. Use all 30 of them! Hashtags are meant to help your content’s visibility.
Use hashtags in your stories
In case you are unaware, you can use up to 11 hashtags in your Instagram stories to increase your engagement. Read this blog post for more information on how to do this.
Follow and engage with hashtags
Just like you should be engaging with new followers every day, you should be engaging with hashtags every day. When you start to follow and engage with hashtags, you will start to see your daily engagement increase. It will also make your feed more interesting. BONUS TIP: look to see what hashtags your competition is following!