Tips To Dominate Hashtags: Yesterday in my stories I was debunking a famous Instagram myth (about the number of hashtags to use)
I noticed that a lot of my audience was struggling with hashtags and decided to make this post featuring 8 tips that should help you out
I know that hashtags can be frustrating, but stick through it as the rewards can be worth it!
1. It doesn’t matter where you place your hashtags on Instagram
An old controversy that’s been going on for as long as Instagram has existed: where should hashtags go on Instagram?
Should they go in the caption? Or in a follow-up comment?
Does it make a difference? Is one option better than the other? Do people care about it? These are all questions I hear all the time!
So, let’s break it down!
The short answer is this: it absolutely DOES NOT matter where you put hashtags on Instagram.
Technically speaking, there is no proven research that shows that posts work better in a caption or comment. The only caveat is if you use super-popular hashtags (which I don’t recommend anyway because they attract bots and spammers). But if you insist on using super-popular hashtags like #love or #happy, you should put them in your signature, not in your comment.
Because Instagram posts appear chronologically in hashtag search galleries based on the chronological time the post was published (not when the hashtag was added). So if you use super-popular hashtags, every second counts toward your engagement. If you spend 30 seconds to even add a comment after posting, add hashtags, and post a comment, you’re wasting precious time getting your post to show up in a hashtag search, and you won’t get as many likes.
Like I said, this only applies to the super-popular hashtags. I’m talking about those that have 10 million posts or more. If you’re using something with less than a million posts, the few seconds you spend putting a hashtag in a comment won’t cost you anything good.
So whether you put hashtags in your signature or in a comment, your post will look the same. From that point of view, there is no difference.
That leaves aesthetics and personal preference.
Personally, I’m lazy. I want to write a caption, add hashtags, share the post and call it a day. That’s why all my hashtags go in the original signature.
Some people like to use spacing and dots at the bottom of the caption to separate the hashtags. Some people don’t like hashtags in the signature at all because they’re distracting. Whatever you prefer is entirely your choice.
A lot of people used to put hashtags in comments because you could see the whole caption when you scrolled through Instagram. The extra space and long list of hashtags looked unattractive to users, so we hid the hashtags in the comments. But today, all captions are cropped after a few lines with “. [more]” at the end, so no one sees the hashtags in the caption when they scroll. Unless they open the caption to read it. At that point, does it matter if they see your hashtags? Doubtful.
But then again, it really is your choice.
And to complicate things, some people put their signature hashtags or the hashtags of a particular campaign in the signature and then everyone else in the comments. Absolutely fine! Do whatever works for you.
Honestly, most people don’t care if they see hashtags. I mean, this is Instagram! People expect it. It’s not spammy or vulgar or annoying. That’s the way Instagram works. Everyone knows that, so you’re not annoying anyone by using them.
2. Use as many hashtag as possible (up to 30)
Here’s simple: many = better.
Instagram posts allow you to share up to 30 hashtags, and in order to maximize reach and engagement, it’s actually recommended to use up as many of those 30 as you can.
3. Choose hashtags based on engagement not on size
Here’s the truth. You can upload your photo to one of Instagram’s many hashtag generators and get a bunch of free hashtag suggestions. But those suggestions won’t be as strategic or effective as doing the research on your own.
Here are some tips on how to come up with hashtags for Instagram that will actually increase your reach and engagement.
Check out your competitors
You don’t necessarily want to copy your competitors’ strategies too closely, but by looking at the hashtags they use, you can get some good clues about what works for others in your industry.
You might discover new hashtags to add to your repertoire. Or you may decide that you don’t want to compete for the same visual apples, in which case you can look for alternative hashtags.
See what hashtags your audience is already using
After all, if your audience is already using a certain hashtag, other people just like them are probably using it, too. Finding these communities on Instagram is a great way to expand your audience and attract people who are likely to be interested in your business.
Keep an eye on your followers and see what hashtags they use. The Instagram search tool can give you more information about what hashtags interest the people you follow. When you search for an Instagram hashtag, the search tool will show you if any of your followers are following that hashtag. (Note that this only works on mobile, not desktop).
4. Validate the hashtag content is relevant to yours
Content hashtags are essentially hashtags of keywords that you tag at the end or within your post. For example, #socialmedia is considered a content hashtag. Your company’s industry-specific hashtags are also considered content hashtags.
You’ll want to track them so you know which hashtags are the most popular to use when sharing content, such as a blog article or other industry-related news.