In June 2018, Instagram passed one billion monthly active users. That’s more than one-eighth of the entire population of the planet.
Instagram has become insanely popular since it first launched in 2010. And it has become the social media platform of choice for some of the biggest influencers in the world.
Many of the top influencers continue to grow their following by taking advantage of hashtags. And there is no reason that you can’t do the same.
So read on as we take a look at what the influencers don’t want you to know about hashtags on Instagram.
Hashtags? That’s Twitter, isn’t it?
Whilst the humble hashtag was an underused part of your keyboard until the rise of Twitter, they’re also a huge part of using Instagram properly. The reason that they’re so important is that they are a vital tool in helping people to discover your content. People will click on the hashtags of the posts they love and that can lead them directly to your own posts.
The more people that can find you, the more followers you can gain, and the more successful your profile will become
Another powerful feature of hashtags is that you are able to track and monitor their success.
To do this, you’ll need to upgrade to an Instagram business profile. But once you do so, you gain access to Instagram Insights. Not only does this allow you to see information about your followers such as age, gender, and location, but it also enables you to see information about the sources of all of your impressions.
This means that you can see how many people viewed your post by following the hashtags. You can then experiment to find the hashtags that are most successful.
In 2018, Instagram was updated to include the ability to follow individual hashtags.
So now, instead of just following the profiles you love, you can actually follow your favorite hashtags and be rewarded with new content that contains those tags. And the same is true of your potential followers; use the right hashtag and your posts will start appearing in other people’s feeds.
If you love making a good Instagram story, then be sure to put some hashtags in it.
You can either add them as text to your story or use a hashtag sticker if you only want to use a single tag. The beauty is if you use a hashtag in your Instagram story, it becomes searchable just as for a standard post. So anyone seeking that hashtag will be led to your story.
Another fairly recent development is the ability to add hashtags to your profile bio.
Obviously, in the past, you could add text hashtags to your bio, but that would require people to manually search for them. These are now clickable links that will instantly bring up the results.
Hashtags in your bio are particularly useful if you’re using them to promote your own brand.
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Have look at the hashtags used by successful Instagram influencers to give you some inspiration.
Take a look at people who are already following you and see what hashtags they are using. And take a look at your competitors too. If they’re using a hashtag that works for you and seems to be successful then start using it.
And you shouldn’t be afraid to use popular hashtags. Your post will appear in a much larger pool, but that pool will also be seen by a much larger group of people. Just be careful not to use extremely popular hashtags exclusively; try to keep a good mix of popular and niche.
You can have up to 30 separate hashtags on every post.
But too many hashtags just looks spammy. This is where you should make use of the power of Instagram Insights. Experiment with a different number of hashtags and see what is most successful for you.
You will probably find the sweet stop is somewhere between 10 and 20 hashtags although there is no problem with using less.
Dropping your Instagram posts at the right time is very important to maximize the chances of them being seen by your target audience. If you always post in the middle of the night, you’re not going to reach many people.
That’s why many people use software that can schedule their posts for the most effective times. And this type of software can also be used to include hashtags in your posts. Try experimenting with different timings for your most successful hashtags and see what time earns the most impressions.
If you’re sitting here now wishing that you’d known all this before you’d made those 800 Instagram posts, then all is not lost.
You are able to edit the caption of old posts. So if you already have a ton of great content that you didn’t use the best hashtags for, you can always go back and fix things. The more content you have with the best performing hashtags, the more likely you are that someone new will find your posts.
If you’re looking to gain more followers, then using hashtags on Instagram is a great way to start. But there is plenty more you can do.
We have a ton of useful articles to help you grow your online brand. We cover everything from building a successful blog to becoming more successful on social media. We even offer a 14-page program to help you double your Instagram following. Check us out today!