Hashtag Research: The Complete Guide
TechsPlace | Hashtags are extremely important. When used effectively, hashtags give your posts on Instagram a massive amount of exposure, leading to your profile’s growth. Did you know that up to 70% of Instagram posts go unseen? Adding at least one hashtag to your post increases its engagement by 12.6%. They are what makes a small account grow into a huge one. Hashtags are the difference between one post being invisible and one having thousands of likes. Therefore it’s important to know what type of hashtags to use in order to expose your posts to your desired target audience; so follow this guide on Hashtag Research.
It isn’t as simple as slapping on a few random hashtags to your post. You need to research, compile, and test hashtags for each post. This article will teach you how to research and choose appropriate hashtags for your Instagram posts effectively.
Four things to know about hashtags before starting your research
- There’s a limit to how many hashtags to use
Instagram allows you to use up to thirty hashtags per post. You can use all of them or just a few. However, Goso.io ran a test to see what the perfect amount is, and that would be 27.
- Your profile cannot be private
For obvious reasons, hashtags will not work and have no use for private profiles. Posts won’t appear on any hashtags searches, or anyone’s explores page.
- Emojis and special characters don’t work
You can use numbers, especially for dates; however, spaces and special characters won’t work.
- You cannot use the same hashtags on every post
Instagram will detect this and will block you from the explore page or any hashtag search. In addition, you cannot include irrelevant hashtags. Instagram uses a picture detecting software that can detect what the picture you’re posting is. This will also remove any possibility of going viral.
For your posts to get a wider reach, you need to use a range of types of hashtags. Here is a list of the different variations of hashtags you should incorporate in your posts.
Four types of hashtags
- Niche Hashtags
Hashtags that target a specific niche. These can be broader than community and brand hashtags. For example, a photographer posting a photo of a city would use #cityphotograher, #streetphotography, etc.
- Location Hashtags
Mentioning your location when you tag your photo is very effective due to the low competition. Everyone puts #love, but not everyone can put #BoraBora. People searching or following a particular location hashtag are more likely to engage with your post.
- Event Hashtags
Event hashtags can range anywhere from worldwide to small events originating from Facebook groups. They are also great to increase your events’ awareness and visibility.
- Community Hashtags
These are hashtags that connect like-minded users around a specific subject. For example, a new mom posting photos of her baby bump or newborn would use hashtags such as #babyontheway, #motherhoodunplugged, #letthembelittle, and #dailyparenting.
It has been found through various tests that the best amount of hashtags to use per post is 27. This has been tested along with a range of high and low profiles. Using popular hashtags such as #Love and #beautiful will not work. This is because your chance of ranking on these is very low, due to the competition of people trying to use these hashtags. This is why we recommend using a mixture of high, medium, and low ranking hashtags. Here’s the difference.
- High-ranking: Hashtags above 1 Million posts
- Medium-ranking: Hashtags between 250,000 to 1 million posts
- Low-ranking: Between 0 and 250,000 posts
How to: Hashtag research
Now that you know the importance of hashtags, what types there are, and how many you should use, you can start researching your hashtags. Here’s how:
- Create a spreadsheet
Create a spreadsheet with three columns titled High, Medium, and Low. You must find 9 of each by paying attention to the number of posts each tag has.
- Gather your research
There are two different methods of choosing your hashtags. Research them by using the information mentioned above about the different types.
- Search for tags via explore page
Go to the explore page by clicking the search icon at the bottom of the app. Select the ‘tags‘ tab at the top to be sure you’re only looking through hashtags. When you’ve found the one you like, select it. Instagram will then give you other related hashtags. Repeat this method until you’ve found the 9 of each (high, medium, low) and in the four different kinds as well.
- Copy hashtags
Have a look at viral posts that have similar picture elements as yours and see what kind of hashtags they’ve used. If they are good ones that relatively follow the advice we give, copy them! Or if you’re running out of ideas in your search, simply inspire yourself from what others are posting.
By following the advice for Hashtag Research listed in this post, you should see a gradual increase in engagement and popularity on your Instagram. We hope it helps!!