5 ways to optimize your use of Instagram hashtags
Instagram hashtags can be a real lever to gain subscribers and boost engagement on your posts, but best practices are constantly evolving.
A good strategy for using hashtags is not to reach more people, but rather the right people for your brand.
Throughout this article, I’ll walk you through different methods to optimize your use of hashtags when writing your post captions.
Using hashtags is one of the easiest ways to reach new users, but how many should you add to each post?
This is an open question, to which there is no wrong answer.
The maximum number of #s allowed by Instagram is 30, and while the number may seem high, it can be useful to include as many as possible to increase the chances of being discovered.
However, this may come across as not looking very good, a bit spammy, and promotes the risk of shadowban , i.e. some of your overused keywords could prevent your posts from being displayed in search results.
The other option is to add a limited number of hashtags, between 5 & 10 per post, which seems reasonable and accessible to everyone.
In any case, be sure to identify relevant hashtags via different methods that I present to you below.
The “related hashtags” show which different hashtags are most used with the term you are looking for, which is a great source of inspiration.
Here is an example below for the hashtag #bijoucreateur:
How many hashtags do your competitors include in their posts? Are these more popular or more specific hashtags?
A lot of lessons can be learned from analyzing their Instagram post captions.
Use hashtag generators
Some complementary and external tools to Instagram allow you to generate longer lists of related hashtags than those offered on the app.
These are hashtag generators , some accessible via a website or via a smartphone application.
For example, the All-hashtag.com site allows you to create a list of keywords ready to be copied and pasted into your post captions.
2) Observe the volume of publications for each hashtag
Once you’ve determined which hashtags you think are the most relevant, it’s important to take into account the number of posts using them on the app.
If a hashtag is too popular, your post will undoubtedly be buried in the mass, and if it is used little, you won’t get engagement from that keyword.
A good benchmark: hashtags used 10,000 to 200,000 times can be interesting. This indicates that there is some activity around them without actually seeing your drowned content.
You could then choose a few hashtags close to 10,000 uses and then others close to 200,000 uses.
This mix of hashtags can significantly increase your performance.
When you list your Instagram hashtags, it can be interesting to divide them into different sections.
For branded hashtags , this means listing for example the hashtag #yourremark or something more original like #Withyourmark.
For hashtags related to your industry , consider the keywords that are most relevant to your products & services. For example, if you are marketing sustainable clothing, you could use hashtags like #cotonbio, #durable, #moderesponsable, etc…
For hashtags that are related to your target audience , observe the hashtags that are important to them on a daily basis. In the field of interior architecture, this could be, for example, #architecturelovers, #addictdeco or #mangersainement.
Finally, don’t forget the location hashtags , specifying the city, district or business in which the post was produced.
Hashtags can be particularly useful in boosting the development of your community, but they can quickly make the captions of your posts loaded and unpleasant to read.
To avoid this, a common option is to add either a line break or black bullets to create a clear distinction between descriptive text and your hashtags.
Did you know you can add multiple hashtags to your Stories slides?
Like regular posts, you can significantly increase the coverage of your posts by adding these keywords.
When users search for a hashtag on Instagram, if it is popular enough, they will be able to see a collection of Stories at the top left of the screen, including yours.
You can add up to 10 hashtags to each Story using the “Aa” text feature or 1 hashtag via the corresponding sticker.
And if you’re worried that it won’t look pretty on your visual, you still have the option to hide these keywords below a sticker or gif!
To go further:
Trainer & social-media consultant, I am the author of the “Community Manager Toolbox” at Editions Dunod. I have trained several thousand employees in the professional use of social networks since 2011.
Join me on Twitter and Instagram .