Instagram is one of the hottest marketing channel today. Regardless whether you want to use a business Instagram Profile to drive traffic to your funnel, website, e-com store or a personal Instagram profile to get an audience, and to become an influencer, Instagram is one of the channels you will have to use in order to keep up with the competition. One of the core Instagram concepts are the “hashtag”. Hashtags however, are two-edged blade, they can be your best friend or a downfall if they are not utilized correctly. Read on to learn how to skyrocket your engagement, without suffering the repercussions of optimal utilization of hashtags.
What is Instagram Hashtag?
An Instagram Hashtag is a word, phrase or a string of words that is “tagged” with the hash symbol – # – You can use them in your post, comment sections and even your story. Instagram pros utilize hashtags for several reasons:
- Gaining Likes
- Gaining new Followers
- Greater Reach
- Reaching out of others’ follower list
Hashtags can be unique and general. General hashtags are mostly the popular ones like: #love, #summer and so on, and unique hashtags are the one that are basically branding your content. Creating a hashtag that stands out, and is associated with your profile will help you gain new followers and become more influential user on the network.
Where to find hashtags to use?
Coming up with a hashtags can be difficult, especially if you need to come up with new hashtags on a daily basis. In addition, it is always a nice idea to split test your combinations, and see which hashtags yield greatest engagement on your end. Online you can find a variety of different hashtag tools that will give you popular combinations of hashtags that are guaranteed to yield engagement. However, it is important to optimize your hashtags with your content. Here are some of the most popular tools that generate hashtags:
- TagBlender – http://www.tagblender.net/ – It is a free tool that will give you a hashtag combination for a given niche – People, Urban, Fashion, Art and so on. It will generate a set of hashtags that are going to boost your engagement and reach.
- HashtagsForLikes – http://www.hashtagsforlikes.co/ – Is another free tool that will generate a set of hashtags for you. Utilize these hashtags in your post and in the comment section to further boost your engagement.
- InstagramTags – http://www.instagramtags.com/ – Is a tool with pre-populated sets of popular hashtags. Most of these hashtags are widely used and will help you reach users outside of your followers.
Instagram Hashtag Limit and ShadowBan
Instagram enforced a limit of 30 hashtags per post, but a popular idea is to use the first comment of your post to add more hashtags, and thus reach more users. This limitation was set in place to prevent spam and to keep the content relevant.
When utilizing tools to automatically generate hashtags, most likely you will get a set of 30 generic, and popular hashtags. However, here the problems arise. The best practice is to use a combination of general, popular hashtags, with your own, original. The idea is that the popular hashtags will drive the traffic for your, and your own original hashtags will brand your content. When building your hashtag list it is important to standout, because there are easily millions of posts with the same general hashtags.
Another issue of using the same popular, generic Instagram hashtags generated by automatic tools is the Shadowban. When utilizing the same hashtags all the time, Instagram will “shadowban” your account, and will reduce your reach. The shadowban is basically preventing your posts to be discoverable to users that are not following you. This will limit your reach significantly. That is why cycling hashtag sets is a good idea.
Instagram hashtags are a very powerful tool in your arsenal. They will help you reach more people and gain new followers. However, if you use the same set of hashtags every day, you will be receive a “shadowban” which will limit your reach. Mix of unique and general hashtags will yield the best results for you.