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Looking for ways to master Instagram captions and win the attention and engagement of your audience? Your key is Instagram hashtags. Keep reading to learn the experts’ effective and powerful tactics to using Instagram hashtags for increasing Instagram reach and engagement rates.
But first, a background story!
Although we all have a notion about using hashtags on social media, not everyone knows the origin and the process that gave birth to the famous hashtag sign. Did you know that before the internet, the sign was used in programming and assembly languages?
The Story of a Hashtag
The first instance of using a hashtag in a different context was on an online chatting platform called the IRC, an acronym for Internet Relay Chat, to help categorize and group the topics available on a huge network.
It wasn’t until Twitter, reluctant to use it at first, started using it that it gained the widespread popularity we see today all across different social media platforms.
Why Are Instagram Hashtags Important? #️⃣
The importance of hashtags grew from simple post categorization to highly impactful political movements. From the #MeToo movement raising awareness to sexual assault to superhero movies marketing campaigns.
Hashtags were there all along to make a statement and uplift the trend. But it wasn’t for long that individuals and organizations have discovered the potential of using hashtags as a method to increase their spread across online social networks.
One hashtag in an Instagram post can potentially increase engagement by about 29 percent. Although it’s only one of the elements that increase post rankings in the Instagram algorithm, it can help you increase your reach and target your audience with absolute ease.
💡🔎 According to the below statistics, the one hashtag can increase your post engagement rate by 29%, while the 11 hashtags in a post get a +79% engagement rate!
Therefore, ignoring the usage of hashtags for anyone in the social media business is like signing a death warrant to your Instagram marketing.
The thing with hashtags is that they can be double-edged weapons; you can use them to give your business a significant boost or use them inefficiently and negatively if you don’t know what you’re doing. Instagram has an average of over 95 million pictures posted on it every day.
This is a very big number to practically deliver to the right people all the time!
Instagram Hashtags in Stories #️⃣
You can easily view a lot of public stories on a certain topic or hashtag if you click on the Instagram Story icon on any hashtag page.
Once you click it, you’ll be able to see all the stories that were posted with a specific hashtag in one place; from those who you follow and even others who you don’t as long as they are public profiles.
A lot of marketers compete to get their stories available on hashtag stories because it can significantly increase engagement.
To pull off a hashtag Story, you can either use a hashtag sticker or manually type it in the story. While Instagram posts allow up to 30 hashtags, on a Story it’s limited to 10 hashtags, which is plenty.
It’s recommended to avoid using too much as it would only clutter the story and make it inefficient for gaining engagement.
A lot of people use a trick to reduce clutter by hiding the hashtags behind a sticker or an emoji. Everyone is basically competing for a spot on the top trending hashtag page, whether it’s a story or a post.
Most Used Hashtags in 2021 ⚡
#Love: Easily the most used hashtag on Instagram all over the world with over 1.835 billion posts.
#Instagood: used in 1.150 billion posts.
#Fashion: Competing for third place with 812.7 million posts and stories.
#Photooftheday: Comes in third place with about 797.3 million uses.
#Beautiful: 661 million publications.
#Art: Was the last on the list last year but made its way up with 649.9 million posts.
You’ll notice that most of the time the most popular hashtags are quite generic and can be used in almost any post or story and not related to social or political ties unless it gains incredible traction.
Not only you can view the most popular hashtags on Instagram, but you can also follow hashtags to see the latest posts just like you would with a profile. While these hashtags are great, you can’t automatically assume you’ll get a lot of engagement and traction by using them all the time.
How to Use Instagram Hashtags?
- Use proper etiquette on each social platform
- Use hashtags that fit your brand
- Create hashtags for your promotions
- Keep them short and catchy
- Capitalize the first letter of each word
- Use hashtags in chats
Broad hashtags for traveling and food can certainly give you extra engagement, but the best ones are more specific with perhaps locations or brand hashtags.
Your competitors are most probably using hashtags which is why you’ll need to keep an eye out for what hashtags they’re using and why.
Not only will you be able to decide whether you’d like to compete in the same space or not, but you’ll also get to learn about new hashtags that you can add to your collection for past or potential posts.
Hot Tip 🔥
The pioneers and giants of the industry are already using hashtags that are relevant to your audience which makes your job easier; by using those hashtags you can get to a bigger audience. Try your best to avoid common mistakes people… Click To Tweet
Things to Avoid While Writing Hashtags
There are some common mistakes that every Instagram user should avoid in order to increase engagement efficiently without wasting their efforts on unnecessary endeavors. Here are some of them:
- Don’t use irrelevant hashtags just to increase the number of hashtags you’re using, it would only do you harm
- No need to overdo the number of hashtags, 9 was proven to be the optimal number for higher efficiency
- Avoid using the wrong number of hashtags as recent analysis has proved that 9 hashtags are the perfect number for any Instagram post.
- Try not to be too repetitive with the hashtags you us
Some people might think that overdoing hashtags no matter what they represent would benefit their marketing goal. However, using irrelevant hashtags is actually considered spamming and would ban your account or lower its rank on Instagram feed.
Instead, use relevant hashtags only that will give users the quality content that will cater to their interests. The last tip doesn’t mean that you should avoid popular hashtags altogether. Popular hashtags are extremely beneficial when they are relevant to your content.
Hint 💡🔎Some people like to save certain hashtags for future posts where they’d be used for maximum engagement. Don’t forget that your past posts can also be used by updating them with hashtags. Click To Tweet
A lot of people have hidden gems that can be used to gain more engagement when they’re coupled with hashtags.
Including hashtags in your social media techniques (whether you’re a user or a social media marketer) is of supreme importance.
Having some background info on them is great but staying up to date with the latest updates and prominent hashtags is going to give you an edge when it comes to increasing your engagement.
Instagram has been seeing a lot of changes and development recently which makes it important to analyze your usage of hashtags and how efficient they are.
Back to You
So today we laid out some of the most important factors of using Instagram hashtags for your business marketing and also pointed out some important statistics when it comes to engagement increase rate after using Instagram hashtags.
And at the very least, we discussed some red lines to avoid while practicing Instagram hashtags in your captions.
Now back to you… What do you think are other factors that increase Instagram reach and engagement other than hashtags?
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