Why Instagram Hashtags Matter
Updated: Mar 19
The following is an article “Why Instagram Hashtags Matter” by Marc Primo.
To some, the mere sight of a caption followed by a slew of hashtags in an Instagram (IG) post spells spam. To the social media savvy marketer, knowing the right number of hashtags to use and what those hashtags should be is a science that can make your post reach hundreds of millions of people.
The following are are tried and tested examples of how the right hashtag in the right place can work wonders for your IG post and increase your brand’s reach by leaps and bounds:
More is more — Depending on your objectives for having a presence on IG, how you use hashtags is something you need to deliberate with caution. If you are a casual user who just wants to share holiday pics with your friends, then you’ll be fine without hashtags. But if you are a business owner who relies heavily on the power of social media to grow your brand, then a recent study conducted by Louise Myers Visual Social Media revealed that posts with 11 or more hashtags received the highest engagement, with 1 hashtag generating 29 percent interaction per 1K followers and 11 hashtags a whopping 79.5 percent per 1K followers. So remember, in the world of IG and hashtags, less is certainly not more.
Know your limit — As per latest testing, IG now allows only 30 hashtags per post. Prior to 2019, there was a trick that allowed users to post 60 hashtags: 30 in the original caption and then another 30 in a caption edit. IG has since caught on, and now users are restricted to 30 hashtags, full stop. That said, think of each hashtag as valuable credit to boost your post’s reach. Make the most of each one, because it may not be long before IG further reduces the number of permissible hashtags per post, or starts charging for additional hashtags considering the impact they have.
Captions or comments — Where is the best place to insert your all important hashtags: in the actual caption or in the comments section? This is another scientific aspect to the art of proper hashtag usage, which more often than not boils down to personal preference. Many marketers tend to incorporate the hashtags in the caption, which to them might seem efficient, but to some users a distraction that diverts attention from the caption’s key message. Since hashtags function the same way whether used in the caption or comments section, I personally prefer writing out a strong caption with clear call to action, and then going all out with the hashtags in the comments section.
Word them wisely — Last but not least, make sure your hashtag is relevant to your brand. Assuming you’ve got your keywords down pat, IG analytics tool websta.me revealed that some of the hashtags that generated the most likes in 2018 were #instagood, #photooftheday, and #followme—so it wouldn’t hurt throwing those into the mix this 2019.