Using hashtags on Instagram is a must if you want to help your account grow fast and steadily. So, using them properly is a knowledge an ambitious Instagrammer must seek.
There are thousands of articles on the internet explaining how to properly use hashtags on Instagram, and most of them are really helpful. But there are few comprehensive and valuable blogs posted on what kills or breathes life to your posts when using hashtags.
However, here in this article, I want to explain what happens to your posts if you do the same as what is listed below.
Here is what happens to your post if you …
1- Use all 30 hashtags allowed by Instagram
In 2018, Instagram allowed a maximum of 30 hashtags to be used on each post. To some Instagrammers there popped the question up: “is it okay to use all 30 hashtags in a post?” Here is the answer: It’s more than just OKAY!
You might have heard that using too many hashtags under a post makes it look spammy. People mostly get distracted from the main caption if they face lots of hashtags. But the fact is, using the full capacity of all 30 hashtags for each post brings more likes and profile visits about. According to an experiment carried out by Social Media Lab, taking advantage of all 30 hashtags in a post makes your post more visible to the search engine of Instagram. It’s because the more hangtags you use, the more probable it becomes for your post to be included in what users search in Explore option of Instagram.
2- Hide hashtags in the first comment
Well, there is a big controversy on whether it harms the ratings of a post or not. Most Instagrammers, when using hashtags on Instagram, prefer their caption to be hashtag-free because as stated above, too many of them distract readers. Some advice hiding hashtags in the first comment, so that when other comments are added, the first “hashtagged” one will be buried down and not seen by the visitors.
It is stated in many sources that either hiding the hashtags in a comment or putting them right in the caption doesn’t influence your ratings. However, according to another Social Media Lab experiment, this is a wrong assumption. The result of the mentioned experiment showed that hiding “very popular” hashtags in a comment would slightly down the number of likes a post receives.
It’s most probably because, during the interval between the moment you publish your post and posting the hashtags in comments, the post gets indexed with whatever hashtags used (or not used) in the caption. So using hashtags on Instagram comments becomes valueless to the Instagram search engine.
If you are a fan of clean captions, instead, you can hide the hashtags under the post using a text editor. Here is how to hide hashtags in a caption:
- First, open a note or text application on your phone or PC;
- Then, type a dot (.) and then touch “enter” key (a.k.a. return) to go to the next line. Do it five times;
- Next, write the list of hashtags you want to include in your post under the five lines of dots;
- After that, copy the whole text to your phone’s clipboard;
- Finally, paste it right under your caption and hit the “post” bottom.
This way, your hashtags will be hidden under the caption and only when a visitor touches the “more” option can see them.
3- Use too popular hashtags
When you want to use too popular hashtags, there are few things to consider:
- See if you can compete with other stronger rivals on that particular hashtag; if not, your effort would be worthless, and your post will be buried under thousands of other stronger results. Type the hashtag you desire in the Explore section of Instagram to see how popular it is:
- Beware of banned Hashtags! Some too popular hashtags have got banned by Instagram, and if you use them in your posts, most probably your content will be spotted as spam and not shown in Instagram search results. A list of forbidden! Hashtags are provided below:
|A||#adulting #alone #always #americangirl #armparty #asia #attractive||B||#babe #bbc #beautyblogger #beautydirectory #besties #beyonce #bikinibody #boho #books #brain||C||#costumes #cpr #curvy #curvygirls|
|D||#date #dating #desk #direct #dm #dogsofinstagram||E||#easter #edm #eggplant #elevator||F||#fishnets #fitnessgirls #followforfollow|
|G||#girlsonly #gloves #goddess||H||#happythanksgiving #hardworkpaysoff #hawks #hotweather #humpday #hustler||I||#ig #ilovemyinstagram #instababy #instamood #instasport #iphonegraphy #italiano|
|K||#kansas #kickoff #killingit #kissing||L||#l4l #lean #leaves #like #likeback #likeforlike #livinforalivin #loseweight #lulu||M||#master #mileycyrus #milf #mirrorphoto #models #mustfollow|
|N||#newyears #newyearsday||O||#overnight||P||#parties #popular #prettygirl #publicrelations #puppydogmondays #pushups|
|R||#rate #ravens||S||#samelove #selfharm #single #singlelife #skateboarding #snap #snapchat #snowstorm #sopretty #stranger #stud #sunbathing #swole||T||#tag4like #tagsforlikes #tanlines #tgif #todayimwearing #treasurethesemoments|
|U||#undies||V||#valentinesday||W||#woman #womancrushwednesday #women #workflow #wtf|
4- Use the same set of hashtags every post
You’d better not, else Instagram will identify your posts as spam and won’t let them show up in search results. A better idea could be having a list of your desired (and of course researched – see tip number 11) hashtags and choosing from them the most appropriate one to each of your posts.
5- Use only hashtags exactly about your image
Not all of the 30 hashtags you use need to be exactly explaining your post. Leave some room for other less related but still meaningful hashtags.
For instance, if you have posted a picture of a dish you recently made, in addition to using hashtags #cooking, # food, #DishOfLove, and the kind, try to relate your post to other fields which can possibly be implied by your message; such as fitness, health, Earth, environment, etc. This way your post receives more search and reaches because a group of the food lovers might also be interested in some of the fields mentioned and want to search them, too.
6- Use hashtags you don’t know the meaning of
Some hashtags have particular meaning like jargons, technical terms, abbreviation, coined hashtags, particular community phrases, branded hashtags, etc. You need to know the exact purposes of such hashtags before using them.
For instance, Harley-Davidson uses hashtag #LiveYourFreedom to let its fans and customers share their most intimate moments with the vehicle. If you don’t know the meaning and use of this hashtag, you might end up using it in a content about freedom of women in some particular counties, and this is a shame to your page! So, when using hashtags on Instagram, be very careful about the meaning of hashtags you are tempted to use.
7- Include hashtags in your Bio
Do it! Include a few hashtags related to your niche in your bio. This way your profile will be easier for users to find via the Instagram Explore option (a.k.a. search engine of Instagram). Therefore, your posts will be reached and like to a greater extent.
8- Use local hashtags
Hashtags such as #London, #NewYourkers and such, help attract people from specific locations. If you are posting about an event held in a physical location, or if your business has brick and mortar branches, local hashtags become vital elements of your 30-hashtags list.
Use them to help more people find your post based on a local search.
9- Stick to the same old list of hashtags
This is the worst idea you can apply when using hashtags on Instagram! Do this, and your chances of being introduced to more Instagrammers lower to none! Or you can try newer related hashtags to test the probability of being seen in new (and again related) areas. You can also spend some creativity and come up with your own invented hashtag. If your page is crowded and your invented hashtag is influential enough, your invention will soon boom across Instagram! So why prevent yourself from being known to more people?
Drop your shield, step out of your safe zone and face the unknown!
10- Include hashtags in your story
The more of your stories are watched, the higher your chances of getting likes and followers and using hashtags on Instagram stories does the work!
It is possible for a “story” to be located in the explore option of Instagram, provided that it has hashtags in it. With over 500 million stories watched a day, it becomes more apparent how important this feature is to Instagrammers and businesses. You can hide a hashtag under a sticker or emoji to keep your story clean.
11- Research hashtags
Doing research before using hashtags on Instagram is the last but not least important of our list. By researching hashtags, you want to:
- Know what hashtags are banned, so to avoid using them;
- Know what each hashtag means, so to avoid misusing them;
- Discover new hashtags, so to improve and update your list;
- Check your newly invented hashtag, so to make sure it was not made and used before by others; and
- Explore trendy hashtags, so to carefully handle them (remember use 3 to 5 too popular – not banned – hashtags each post).
So, once in a while do a research about hashtags to keep up with the evolving trend.
These 11 tips for using hashtags on Instagram include the most critical information for those looking for a profession Instagram profile. Remember, using hashtag is an ever-changing trend. To become a hashtag expert, you need to experience and explore each and every idea and don’t fear failure.