Instagram hashtags are simple, right? Well they can be; but only if you’re using them correctly. Want to know how to do that? Read on…
Let’s start with a surprise. How many Instagram hashtags do you use when you post? 5? 10? As many as you feel like?
I recommend you use 30 hashtags in each post. That’s the maximum amount allowed by Instagram. Surprised? You won’t be alone if you are. A quick scan through Instagram reveals few users – businesses, bloggers and personal users – are using enough hashtags. But if you want to grow your influence and get seen, you need to start flexing those hashtags.
30 Hashtags Sounds Like a Lot, Doesn’t It?
Don’t panic. You don’t need 30 variations of the same thing. Say you post about the weather. Your beautiful shot of a cloudy sky above the Yorkshire Dales… you wouldn’t need 30 ways of describing cloudy skies above the Yorkshire Dales. Below is how you’d add your hashtags.
The Instagram Hashtag Formula
- 5 Hashtags focused on your products and services
- 10 Hashtags focused on your ideal audience
- 10 Hashtags focused on your niche or community
- 5 Hashtags focused on your photo content
Want More Advice on Choosing Instagram Hashtags?
You’ll get better results if you balance the reach of your hashtags. They shouldn’t be so niche that no-one sees them, but neither should they be so commonplace that your posts get lost. Here’s an easy way for you to check the reach of your hashtags.
Check the number of “uses” against each hashtag before adding them. Simply put, “uses” are the number of posts using a particular hashtag. Type your chosen hashtag into the search box to see the number of “uses” it has. For instance, the hashtag “#powerofpositivity” has 227,193 uses. The search bar will also provide you with related hashtags which you may prefer to use in your post.
A helpful analogy is to think of hashtags as a craft fair. Every photo you post against a hashtag is one of your stalls selling your products at that fair. If you’re selling at a craft fair with 5 million other stalls setting up at the same time, you’ll find it hard to get noticed, even though there are a lot of potential customers. It’s just too busy and cluttered.
Instead, sell at a fair with a smaller number of stalls and you’ll get a better chance to show your wares before others push you out of the limelight. Translate this to the world of Instagram and you should aim to use hashtags with between 30,000 and 300,000 uses.
What About Big Hitting Hashtags?
It’s fine to use hashtags with more uses, just limit them! I’d recommend you use a maximum of 5 hashtags with more than 1 million uses. This will boost your post’s reach and exposure, but still allow you 25 further hashtags to focus on your engagement – for your likes, comments and follow-ups.
Writing 30 Hashtags May Take You Some Time
Which is why I’m pleased to share my little secret for super-speedy hashtag writing:
- Set up a keyboard shortcut on your iPhone.
- Go to the notes on your phone and write up your favorite hashtags. I’d recommend making the most of it and choosing 30 which is Instagram’s current limit. Select the hashtags you’ve chosen and click ‘Copy’.
- Head to Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement.
- Click the + in the top right of the screen and paste your hashtags into the ‘Phrase’ field.
- Type your chosen shortcut into the ‘Shortcut’ field. I went with ‘#hashtags’ but you could choose anything!
If you want a bit more flexibility, you could create a shortcut for your hashtag favorites (your niche, audience and products/services would stay the same for each post), and then tailor hashtags for photo content on each post.
Now that you’ve learned how to optimize your Instagram Hashtags, you’ll start seeing the benefits! Remember to evolve hashtags on your shortcut so you remain relevant and continue achieving a good level of reach.
Do you have any Instagram hashtag hacks that you know others would benefit from? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you.
Jennifer Corcoran, founder of My Super Connector is a social media consultancy which helps you to shine online.In a nutshell, My Super Connector helps introverted professionals and small business owners to polish up their online profiles and connect with finesse. www.mysuperconnector.co.uk
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