The Guide to Instagram Hashtags for 2020
Numerous social media platforms have incorporated the use of hashtags on their algorithms over a very short period. We all know how to use hashtags on social media but not everyone knows the origin and the process that gave birth to the famous hashtag sign. Before the internet, the sign was used in programming and assembly languages.
The first instance of using a hashtag in a different context was on an online chatting platform called the IRC, an acronym for Internet Relay Chat, to help categorize and group the topics available on a huge network. It wasn’t until twitter, reluctant to use it at first, started using it that it gained the widespread popularity we see today all across different social media platforms.
The importance of hashtag grew from simple categorization to one of the building blocks of social media. Different social and political movements, from the #MeToo movement about sexual assault awareness to superhero movies marketing campaigns. Both individuals and organizations have used the hashtag as a catalyst to increase its spread across online social networks.
Platforms like Instagram where engagement is important for marketing and individual purposes. This is why we’ve made a guide to help you understand the mechanics behind hashtags on Instagram to use it in your favor.
Importance of Hashtags on Instagram.
One hashtag in an Instagram post can potentially increase the engagement for about 12.5%. It can help you target specific or niche target audience with absolute ease. If you’re in the social media marketing business, ignoring the usage of hashtags is like signing a marketing death warrant.
The thing with hashtags is that they can work like double-edged weapons; you can use them to give your business a significant boost or use them inefficiently and negatively if you don’t know what you’re doing. Instagram on average gets over 95 million pictures posted on it every day. This is a very big number to practically deliver to the right people all the time.
Using hashtags doesn’t only help you reach your target audience, but also have them be able to reach your content efficiently. The hashtag has found its way to Instagram Story which has fueled its value and importance.
Instagram Stories Hashtag
You can easily view a lot of public stories on a certain topic or hashtag if you click on the Instagram Story icon on any hashtag page. Once you click it, you’ll be able to see all the stories that were posted with a specific hashtag in one place; from those who you follow and even others who you don’t as long as they are public profiles. A lot of marketers compete to get their stories available on hashtag stories because it can significantly increase engagement.
To pull off a hashtag Story, you can either use a hashtag sticker or manually type it in the story. While Instagram posts allow up to 30 hashtags, on a Story it’s limited to 10 hashtags, which is plenty.
It’s recommended to avoid using too much as it would only clutter the story and make it inefficient for gaining engagement. A lot of people use a trick to reduce clutter by hiding the hashtags behind a sticker or an emoji. Everyone is basically competing for a spot on the top trending hashtag page, whether it’s a story or a post.
Most Used Hashtags
You’ll notice that most of the time, the most popular hashtags are quite generic and can be used in almost any post or story and not related to social or political ties unless it gains incredible traction. Here are the top 10 most used hashtags on Instagram:
#Love: Easily the most used hashtag on Instagram all over the world with over 1.5 billion posts.
#Instagood: Almost 1 billion posts.
#Photooftheday: Comes in third place with about 490 million uses.
#Fashion: Competing for third place with 475 million posts and stories.
#Beautiful: 456 million publications.
#Happy: Around 420 million posts.
#Like4like: 410 million publications.
#Picoftheday: Alternative to #Photooftheday with 370 million posts.
#TBT: Short for Throwback Thursday with Around half a billion impressions.
#Art: The last on the list with 334 million publications.
Not only you can view the most popular hashtags on Instagram, but you can also follow hashtags to see the latest posts just like you would with a profile. While these hashtags are great, you can’t automatically assume you’ll get a lot of engagement and traction by using them all the time.
Optimizing Hashtags for Your Brand
Before you use any hashtags, you should factor in which would be the most beneficial for the field of business you’re operating in. Broad hashtags for traveling and food can certainly give you extra engagement, but the best ones are more specific with perhaps locations or brand hashtags. Your competitors are most probably using hashtags which is why you’ll need to keep an eye out for what hashtags they’re using and why.
Not only will you be able to decide whether you’d like to compete in the same space or not, but you’ll also get to learn about new hashtags that you can add to your collection for past or potential posts.
The pioneers and giants of the industry are already using hashtags that are relevant to your audience which makes your job easier; by using those hashtags you can get to a bigger audience. Try your best avoiding common mistakes people fall in when they’re formulating or adding their hashtag.
Things to Avoid
There are some common mistakes that every Instagram user should avoid in order to increase engagement efficiently without wasting their efforts on unnecessary endeavors. Here are some tips that can help you:
Some people might think that using as many hashtags as they can benefit their target. However, using irrelevant hashtags is actually considered as spamming behavior and should be avoided.
Instead, use relevant hashtags only that will give users the quality content that will cater to their interests.
The last tip doesn’t mean that you should avoid popular hashtags altogether. Popular hashtags are extremely beneficial when they are relevant to your content.
Avoid using the wrong number of hashtags as recent analysis has proved that 9 hashtags are the perfect number for any Instagram post.
Try not to be too repetitive with the hashtags you use; some like to save certain hashtags for future posts where they’d be used for maximum engagement.
Don’t forget that your past posts can also be used by updating them with hashtags.
A lot of people have hidden gems that can be used to gain more engagement when they’re coupled with hashtags.
Having hashtags in your repertoire of tools for social media whether you’re a user or a social media marketer is of paramount importance. Having some background info on them is great but staying up to date with the latest updates and prominent hashtags is going to give you an edge when it comes to increasing your engagement.
Instagram has been seeing a lot of changes and development recently which makes it important to analyze your usage of hashtags and how efficient they are.