Trying to stand out on an application with more than 800 million monthly users is no easy task.
While the Instagram shadowban may have scared you away from using hashtags on the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network last year, they’re still an effective way to get more Instagram followers and increase your engagement.
From following hashtags to adding them to your Instagram Stories, hashtags are an important tool to help you grow your brand this year.
Instagram’s algorithm favors posts with high engagement, meaning that the more likes and comments your post receives, the more people will see your post. Instagram posts with at least one hashtag have 12.6 percent more engagement than those without.
And although each Instagram post allows up to 30 hashtags, research on the topic suggests that the optimum number of hashtags is fewer than 10 per post.
Most often, the narrower the scope of the hashtag, the more engaged the users are. When Instagram hashtags are overused, they can be confusing and frustrating and take away from your story. However, when used properly, hashtags are a great way for individuals and brands to increase their posts visibility and engagement.
Add hashtags to your Instagram Stories
By using hashtags within your Stories, you’re giving your content yet another way to be discovered by a new audience.
If you didn’t know, most Instagram geo-locations and hashtags have their own Stories attached to them. While this is an underutilized feature, you can expect it to gain popularity as users become more comfortable with creating Instagram Stories.
Instagram users can add hashtags to their Stories by using the hashtag sticker or typing them out with the text tool.
If an Instagram hashtag is popular enough, users will be able to view an active, real-time Instagram Story when searching for the hashtag. Hashtag stories show up across the top bar of the hashtag page along with the new “follow” button.
The different types of Instagram hashtags
It’s important to note that there are two main types of Instagram hashtags: branded and community hashtags. Understanding these differences will help you determine which hashtags you should be incorporating into your posting strategy.
Branded hashtags are specific to your business. They might contain your brand name, your products or a specific campaign. Creating a catchy and memorable branded hashtag will make users excited to share it.
REI created a community with its #optoutside hashtag, reaching more than 6 million posts and encouraging audiences to explore the great outdoors.
Branded hashtags are also a great way to start a conversation around your business or gather user-generated content to repost on your feed.
Community hashtags such as #dogsofinstagram or #livethelittlethings are created around specific topics. Using community hashtags in your posts is a great way to connect with like-minded users, gain followers and increase the search-engine optimization of your posts.