Dun, dun dun.... Here it is, the big, bad and scary HASHTAG conversation! Ok, it's not even scary at all. Hashtags can be funny, fun and super important to social media and overall business growth. Yeah, we all know this. But with all the changes happening on Instagram it can be overwhelming and cause anxiety about not knowing the right thing to do for many out there. To help even the playing field a little, I am giving you my best tips after last month's IG HQ announcements and how this changes things for the better for us all!
How Many To Use
In the past, we all used up to 30 hashtags to gain exposure to as many categories as possible and broaden our reach. The recent changes suggest that the algorithm favors uses of 3-7 hashtags per post. What a relief! Now we can create more streamlined captions without a giant list of annoying tags and pick the most relevant.
Which Ones to Use
Now that there are so many posting on Instagram daily, some of those tags we liked to use may have multiple millions of uses from other accounts rendering our use of it, well... useless. Plus, the algorithm doesn't like repetition of tag usage, since they don't want digital bots posting and repetition could flag you as using bot behavior. Make sure your 3-7 tags aren't being reused over and over for each post! Also, Instagram's digital screening of our photos and their purpose categorize them for us and if your caption or tags aren't correlating properly you could be "dinged" within the algorithm as well. Make sure to pick hashtags that are relevant to your brand, pictures and aren't overused by others. And better yet if you have a following or an event, create a hashtag just for you and your followers to use to find each other!
How to Find the Right Hashtags
To maximize your usage for the most powerful reach, you can do research. In fact, you really should do this research weekly or monthly. This is something I offer in my work for clients, since it is key to being seen by new accounts on Instagram. There are free sites that assist and most importantly you can test them in Instagram before you post. Do the work, it's worth it!
Where to Put Them
There is much debate on where to put hashtags, in the body at the end of a post or in the first comment. The newest answer is: within the body. And since you only use 3-7 tags now, it's not so annoying to see a list of 30 at the end of posts. The first comment thing isn't helpful for any reason, so save the time and include it with your caption.
You should also be using hashtags in your IG Stories and those can actually be hidden if you desire. But my next post will be about Instagram Stories and why you really should use them and how to do so most effectively. See you for that!
Would you like help making your posts for Instagram easier? I have an awesome FREEBIE for you... a 30 day content calendar! And if you didn't read my last post on how to make planning your posts a much easier job, click here to check it out.
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Charlese | Girl at the Yellow Desk