Rule number one – use only these hashtags that accurately describe the content you’re publishing.
Rule number two – pick hashtags that go well with the size of your account. They shouldn’t have too low/too high search volume.
Hashtags make your posts discoverable. They help people looking for the things you post find your profile.
When somebody is in the mood for cats memes, they’re browsing the Gram to find memes with cats, not selfies, photos of wedding dresses or foodporn!
Hashtags are some kind of labels – they’re telling users what they can expect under particular tags.
What happens when you use hashtags that have NOTHING to do with what your post is really about?
Users who come across your posts can feel disappointed, frustrated or even irritated.
Will they engage with your content? No way – not in a positive way, that’s more than obvious.
When the irritation grows bigger, the user may report your post as SPAM or use the reporting option “don’t show for this hashtag”.
Yes, they can tap on the three-dots icon at the top right of hashtag-based post and select this option – which results in Instagram algorithms noticing that you use hashtags which don’t go hand in hand with your content.
What’s even worse?
Your efforts won’t be appreciated and your post won’t reach the audience who might be truly interested in what you have to say.
And you do it to yourself!
That’s why we can’t stress this enough – your hashtags HAVE TO describe what your post is REALLY about.
The second crucial factor we should analyze is SEARCH VOLUME.
Size of hashtags you use matters more than you think!
- The broader the hashtag’s search volume is, the more search engine results we will get (the higher number of posts under a particular hashtag). Those results will be baffling random, and by using those most general hashtags, you will attract accidental, arbitrary visitors who aren’t exactly looking for what you have to offer. It’s the tactic we should rather avoid!
- The more specific the hashtag is, the lower number of search engine results we get. Who is scrolling throughout the content described with these more detailed hashtags? Mostly users who are genuinely interested in a particular domain.
- Good hashtags don’t have to be vast and popular; reversely, they rarely are.
Can you see it now why popular hashtags aren’t helpful and won’t bring you meaningful traffic? They’re too generic, and most valuable Instagram users won’t use them, because users you should value the most, KNOW what they want to find.
As the keywords (hashtags) they use are limited by the criteria, and they use more specific hashtags, the posts and photos they see are narrowed down to meet their specific requirements. And the competition there is much lower.
If the hashtags you use are too broad in scope, they’re being used by a considerable number of other content creators, your content can get lost in the ocean of thousands of posts, and it won’t make it to the top.
Don’t use hashtags that are too popular. They won’t bring you the traffic you’re hoping for. Stick to niche and good size hashtags.
What you’ll need? Some time to do the research and some patience as well!
It’s a strategic idea to conduct in-depth research to find some effective, high-performing, relevant hashtags. Those will help you reach your target audience!
When you use extremely popular hashtags, your posts get lost in the sea of random content.
When you use hashtags with too low search volume, almost nobody new sees your posts and you aren’t expanding your reach.
To fully understand why the search volume of hashtags is so important, you need to realize how you gain traffic. Often times to expand your reach, you need:
- people who follow particular hashtags to view your posts
- good position at TOP9 for particular hashtags
We can’t directly control how man users follow hashtags from our niche – but the good news is we can control the visibility of our content. And that’s enough.
When your post shows up in the TOP9 for particular hashtags, it’s your key opportunity to get more eyes on your content. Which means potentially much higher engagement and overall more satisfying insights in your stats.
That’s why getting there should become your priority!
So how do you get to the top 9 on Instagram?
It’s a matter of:
- how quick you get the engagement after your post is published
- your engagement ratio to your likes and overall profile size
- hashtags matching the content you post
- the visual side of your post – the more aesthetically pleasing it is, the better
- the speed of interactions
In our eyes, it is crucial to your Instagram marketing strategy to aim to appear in TOP9 for the hashtags you use, as it will help you grow your follower base and obtain higher engagement.
Our tool will help you find the most relevant hashtags for your post.
Head over to “Search hashtags”, and type in one hashtag that describes best what the photo/caption you want to post is about.
Then, determine the size of hashtags (search volume) that interests you, and set the maximum and the minimum size of hashtags you’d like to obtain.
How to determine the most optimal hashtags size (search volume) matching your profile’s size?
- Head over to “Hashtags performance” feature, and analyze the charts to find out which hashtags gave your posts the position in TOP9 most recently (pay attention to their sizes – this will tell you which one is optimal for your current level of growth)
- Use different sizes of hashtags (10 hashtags with low volume search, 10 medium-size, and 10 most general, with high volume search) to check out different methods of attracting new followers and expanding your reach, and also to test different solutions that may work out for your account
- You can also skip this part, and research new hashtags without choosing any hashtag search volume – but we’d rather recommend doing it more consciously to test different sizes and observe which ones are the most effective for your profile’s growth