I hear this question among businesses, brands and influencers - are hashtags dead? Are hashtags so overused that they should vanish off the face of the universe?
Short answer: absolutely not! Hashtags are an amazing tool for increasing your reach to the right audience on Instagram. But be warned, Instagram hashtags are only effective if you’re using them correctly but I’ll explain more about that later.
Long answer: When used correctly, hashtags on Instagram can reach the eyes of your target audience. Hashtags will increase reach to those who like discovering new things. Using targeted hashtags is one of the best ways to get discovered by new audiences on Instagram. This can translate into more engagement, followers and customers for your business.
Let’s say for example, that you’re an ocean conservation company, whose aim is to raise funds for a fundraising campaign you’ve just launched. You’ve developed a post for it, but you’re wondering how you can reach more people. That’s where hashtags come in.
Using the right hashtags will ensure that it reaches the correct people. You don’t want to place irrelevant, unreachable and impossible to rank hashtags into the mix.
Do Your Instagram Hashtag Research
Hashtags are a whole new strategy, you need to complete careful research and combine the correct hashtags to generate the perfect combination for your posts.
I highly suggest starting your research on Instagram itself. Type your keywords into the Instagram search bar and look at the results based on the keyword you've used. Document all the relevant hashtags that would work for your business into an Excel Spreadsheet as well as the number of times that hashtag has been used.
Developing Your Instagram Hashtag Presets
When you’ve produced a good list of hashtags, I recommend around 100 keyword-rich hashtags and start developing your hashtag presets. Hashtag presets are a list of hashtags that you can develop in which to save you time when it comes to content development. I highly recommend developing 10 hashtags presets that contains a list of quality keyword-rich hashtags.
When developing your hashtag presets, make sure to include large hashtags (100k - 500k) and others that are more niche (10k - 100k) so you have a good mix in your content. By including smaller and larger hashtags, you're likely to gain further reach to non-followers, looking to discover accounts like yours.
It’s important to remember when you’re developing your posts, that you amend your presets accordingly. Keywords are key to increasing your chances of making your post more discoverable to searchers.
The Everlasting Debate: Hashtags in Captions or Comments?
It’s another everlasting debate between social media managers - should I put my hashtags in the comments or caption?
But lucky for us, Instagram has recently announced the answer that we've all been waiting for. Instagram has finally confirmed that hashtags belong in captions. The reason being is to help your account become more discoverable in the Instagram search.
So you may think that storing your hashtags in the comments will make your captions less cluttered, but your hard work in finding the right hashtags is being put to waste.
Now you’ve discovered more about the power of hashtags, I hope you’re ready to tackle the strategy and art of implementing hashtags into your Instagram content. If you’re struggling to find the time, the tools and the methods of how to reach the right people and ensure your business grows on Instagram, I offer growth strategies, innovative content creation and design services. Head to my Services page discover more about what I offer or book a complimentary discovery call through my Contact page.