4 Instagram Hashtag Tricks That Will Get You More Followers
If you’re trying to grow your following on Instagram, one of the most important tools for this is making use of Instagram hashtags. Hashtags are used to categorize your content, and make it easier for people to find it. To make the most of your experience, you should use these four hashtag tricks to grow your Instagram followers.
Use a Healthy Mix of Hashtags
You can use up to 30 hashtags for each post, but you don’t have to use that many. You can use as many or as few as you want to up to that point, as long as they are related to the subject of the photo.
It’s best to use a mix of niche hashtags, branded hashtags, and general or generic hashtags. This way, you’re reaching the maximum potential audience that you want to attract. Use hashtags you know the people you want to follow you are searching for in their feeds so your content gets in front of the right people.
It’s up you to create your own branded hashtags. You want to create one to represent your whole brand, but create a few others when you have contests and other campaigns you want to launch and track. Keep in mind that you cannot stop people from using your hashtags, but if it’s too similar to something else that’s out there, it could mess up your analytics data when you’re tracking hashtag use. Keep it simple and easy to remember for best results.
Do Some Research Ahead of Time
It’s important to research your hashtags ahead of time for a number of reasons. First, you want to make sure the hashtag is used for what you think it is used for, and not something else that you don’t want associated with your brand. (See the #WhyIStayed hashtag and the fallout from DiGiorno pizza using it because it was trending. It was a domestic violence related hashtag that had nothing to do with the brand.)
You also want to make sure there’s a decent amount of activity within the hashtag. If people aren’t using it, it won’t get a lot of eyes in front of it. At the same time, if it is a wildly popular hashtag, then millions of people will be using it and your photo won’t stay in the active feed very long before it is pushed down in favor of all the other content that is using the hashtag.
Beware Banned Hashtags
Also, you’ll want to check to make sure you’re not using any of Instagram’s banned hashtags. Even seemingly innocent hashtags such as #dogsofinstagram and #hardworkpaysoff have been banned, mostly due to them being a target for spammers. The thing about banned hashtags is if you use them, Instagram won’t tell you they’re banned – so you’re just wasting space.
You’ll also need to be sure that these hashtags are the best ones for your niche and account. Your research will help you see which ones will work better than others, and may lead you to options you hadn’t previously considered. It’s a good idea to keep a running list of options for the various things you’ll post, so you’re not constantly using the same ones over and over again.
If you’re not sure where to start, there are a number of hashtag research tools out there, and you can always spy on the competition to see what they are doing. Obviously, you don’t want to use their branded hashtags, but you could pay close attention to the posts that have lots of engagement and then look at the general and niche specific hashtags they used to see what kind of activity those have.
Don’t Clutter Your Caption with Hashtags
You can include hashtags as part of your caption, or as a comment on the post, and you’ll get the same result. If you don’t want the hashtags to clutter your caption, you can include them as part of your caption narrative, or you can enter line breaks with periods to move them further down so that people have to click and scroll to see them. The point isn’t necessarily that people see your hashtags – just that they are there for categorization and discovery purposes.
It’s important to know that if you decide to include them in a comment, you need to do it immediately after you post the photo. The hashtag feed will show your image at the time it was posted, not at the time when the hashtag was added to the photo. That’s why people usually opt for including the hashtags as part of the caption.
Monitor Your Results Over Time
To see which hashtags are giving you the best results in terms of increasing your following, you should monitor your results. Instagram Insights gives you access to various post data and audience data, so you can tell which posts are the most popular. Vary your hashtag usage and avoid making some of the most common hashtag mistakes marketers make to maximize your efforts.
Hashtags are a wonderful way to grow your following on Instagram. You can use them to track marketing campaign success, too. Learning how to make hashtags work for you and your brand will help you skyrocket your Instagram efforts.