And how they can boost your audience!
Have you been struggling with figuring out the right amount of hashtags to use? (We’ve all been there!) Well, stress no more! because your OMD gals are here to give you the latest hashtag advice and show you how to gain that audience you’ve been searching high and wide for.
In 2021, hashtags are still as relevant and important as ever. But, what makes hashtags such a useful tool for biz owners anyway? Well, hashtags can help more of the right people discover your posts. Without hashtags, it can be hard to get your content in front of people who don’t follow you yet, read: new potential customers!
If you aren’t aware of what hashtags work for your business, you could be missing out on reaching potential loyal customers. So, keep reading! We’ll help you find that hashtag sweet spot.
The Limit on Hashtags
Instagram has a limit of 30 hashtags per post. There is no rule that says you have to use all 30 or even use any hashtags at all! However, if you’re looking to expand your engagement and audience, hashtags are the way to go.
So, how many hashtags should you be using? Initially, it was indicated that you should utilise all 30 hashtags to optimise your engagement and visibility. But, the latest word on the street is that 11-15 hashtags can work just as well. The suitable amount of hashtags comes down to your brand and audience. Large accounts (20k+ followers) tend to benefit from using a smaller number of hashtags (5-10 super-relevant ones), while global brands and celebrities generally don’t use hashtags at all. On the other hand, accounts that are less established may as well test using as many as possible – provided they are all relevant to the post!
Using 30 hashtags does sound like a lot at first, but it’s a great way to gain exposure and visibility for your posts. The more hashtags used, the more people who are going to view your posts – which is what you want! With this being said, you do not need to use 30 hashtags every time you post – the purpose is to make sure you’re using highly relevant hashtags to appeal to your target audience.
Test it for yourself:
Test using different hashtags strategies for yourself! Start by scheduling two weeks of Instagram feed posts following the same content pillars (make sure each week has a similar mix of content themes). Then use 10 specific hashtags on each post in week one, and 30 broader but still relevant hashtags on each post for week two. At the end of the 14 day period, compare the last 7 days to the previous days in your Instagram Insights. Which week had the best results? Pay particular attention to your reach, engagement, new followers and profile visits – these are all metrics that the right hashtag strategy should be boosting for you!
If you’re worried about Hashtags ruining your caption vibe, but you still want to reach more people, there are ways to hide them! The first way is to comment on the hashtags under the caption. This allows the caption to look less cluttered but still includes the hashtags in the post, leaving it only visible to those who view the comments. For a tidier and less cluttered caption, you can add breaks to place the hashtags down the bottom, only visible to those who click on the post caption.
In the past, we tested adding our hashtags to the caption or in the first comment and found the results were more or less the same regardless of hashtag placement. Recently though, we have noticed we’re getting more reach when including hashtags in the caption!
Pro Tip: Some scheduling tools allow you to schedule your first comment, so you don’t need to do this manually! We use one called Later.
Test it for yourself:
In a separate two-week period, schedule two weeks of Instagram feed posts following the same content pillars. In week one, place your hashtags in the caption, and in week two, pop them in the first comment under your posts. After the 14 days, compare your Insights for the last 7 days compared to the previous. Which week was better?
Now that you’re all up to date with the latest advice about hashtags – test it for yourself and read up on our post all about the Instagram Algorithm Update and how it affects your business. You’ll be an Instagram genius in no time!
We hope this has helped you gain a better understanding of hashtags to help step up your business’s Instagram game.