HOW MANY HASHTAGS SHOULD I USE ON INSTAGRAM?

Hashtags: do you love them, hate them or breeze over them while you're scrolling through Instagram? An undoubtedly helpful tool when it comes to search, content categorization and growing your audience, hashtags (#) are something you should definitely be using. Just remember, going "hashtag happy" and listing irrelevant keywords can derail your entire post and annoy your audience. The compromise - cut it at five.

Here's some other useful tips for using Instagram hashtags:

  • Depending on your industry, look at competitors and accounts in your field. How many hashtags are they using on average? Keep that number in mind when posting.
  • If you're crazy for hashtags, there is a hack. Pick your top hashtags and use in the description of your post. After posting, comment on your own post with hashtags. This makes it so you won't see the hashtags in the description, but they are still searchable and populated even if they are in a comment.

Instagram's search is much different than other social networks. Users rely on hashtags to find content because without a hashtag, there's no search. In order to find photos that individuals want to see, a hashtag is mandatory. This means that searching #marketing yields relevant posts, while "marketing" without a hashtag won't yield results.

When someone searches with a hashtag, Instagram search its current content for the latest posts containing that keyword. Therefore, it is important to choose your hashtags wisely. When you post with a hashtag, the most relevant photos will be populated and appear when searched. Our rule of thumb is to select two to three popular, well-known hashtags that have a strong ranking. This puts you in the competition with trending events and popular topics of interest.

So what do you do with your leftover hashtag quota? Pick something lesser known, but descriptive of the photo you are posting. Like keywords for SEO, quality hashtags instead of quantity-based hashtags on your post are the way to go. Be descriptive and direct, tell users what your post is really about. Using this method will build your credibility and get your photo seen by your target audience. The result? Increased post likes, engagement and a loyal fan base.

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