The Instagram hashtag guides!

The Instagram hashtag guides!
I am pleased to welcome Isabelle Mathieu, Social Networks & Social Ads consultant and founder of the Blog emarketinglicious.
In this file, Isabelle will tell us how to use hashtags effectively on Instagram.
Indeed, Instagram uses these famous hashtags to identify the theme of an Instagram post to present it to people interested in this theme.

Using Instagram hashtags well helps you gain visibility on Instagram.

1. What is an Instagram hashtag?

An Instagram hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by the “#” symbol that allows you to discover content on a specific topic.
It appears in the caption of news feed posts or reels, and even more unobtrusively in stories.

When a user searches for or taps on a hashtag, they’re taken to a results page that shows all public posts containing that hashtag.
Instagram hashtag can include numbers, but no special characters, such as the € and % symbols.
If there are no restrictions on the number of characters, a publication is limited to a maximum of 30 hashtags, under penalty of non-publication.

2. Why use Instagram hashtags?

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Hashtags are a great way to get your content seen by more people who don’t follow your account.
Indeed, as indicated above, when you use hashtags in your publications, they become searchable and discoverable by users who wish to consult content on a defined theme.
For example, a member can search for the hashtag #recipescrepes to discover pancake-making content from accounts they’re not subscribed to.

Note that subscribing to a hashtag is possible and allows you to receive related posts in your news feed.
Furthermore, Instagram hashtags are also useful for promoting campaigns.
UGC campaigns are a perfect example of this. Therefore, companies use hashtags to invite their customers to post content often related to the use of their products.
This type of operation helps to increase the company’s visibility on the platform and the recommendation of its products.
Not so bad, right?

3. What are the types of hashtags on Instagram?

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There are many types of hashtags on Instagram, here are a few:

  • Popular hashtags : they are the most used on the platform.
    • Examples: #lookdujour, #photodujour
  • Community hashtags : address a theme and may include many publications.
    • Examples: #photography, #cooking
  • Niche hashtags : refer to a topic but are more specific than the topic they are linked to.
    • Examples: #artistic photography, #vegetable cooking
  • Branded hashtags : are created by brands to promote their products, services or business operations.
    • Examples: #cabougechezcarrefour #picard
  • Location hashtags : they are used to indicate a geographical place, or a locality.
    • Examples: #biarritz #basque country #rocherdelavige
  • Event hashtag : are used to mark content related to a particular event or occasion.
    • Examples : #journeedelafemme #frenchdays

4. How to find the best Instagram hashtags?

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To find the best Instagram hashtags, keep a few things in mind:

  • your hashtag must be relevant in relation to your content,
  • your hashtag needs to be used enough on Instagram,
  • your hashtag shouldn’t don’t be too competitive.

When properly defined, an editorial line has several main themes.

The most effective is to create a list of hashtags related to these themes.
Therefore, when you post on one of these topics, you will already have relevant hashtags related to your content.
To identify these hashtags, do a brainstorming exercise, study the hashtags of third-party publications in your industry, use the native search engine or go through a dedicated tool.
Remember, a good hashtag is a hashtag that is relevant, used enough, and not too competitive, at time x.
Why yes, a good hashtag today is not necessarily a good hashtag tomorrow. It all depends on your ability to place yourself on it at any given moment.

Finally, there are many “strategies” for Instagram hashtags, based, for example, either on the use of different types of hashtags (see paragraph above) or on a more or less accessible volume.
I do not subscribe to these strategies, but you are welcome to use them if you wish.

5. How many Instagram hashtags to use?

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This is a recurring question on which there is really no consensus at the moment.
Often the number of hashtags recommended to each other depends on the latest available study on the subject.
I personally consider the hashtag part of Instagram’s DNA. Platform created in 2010, Instagram launched the hashtag in 2011.

Users are used to seeing a large number of hashtags in publications, without this volume holding a negative connotation in their mind.
The causal link between hashtags and the distribution of a publication was well understood by companies, which then acted accordingly.
Mathematically, the more hashtags a post has, the more likely it is to be discovered across each hashtag. (provided that the choice of hashtag is well considered).
Today, many well-known companies have changed their behavior towards hashtags.

The latter use few or no hashtags at all.
In the case of a business starting on Instagram or a small business, I recommend using as many hashtags as possible, 30 if applicable. The idea is to absolutely not add 30 hashtags, even when you have nothing left to say.

6. Where to add Instagram hashtags?

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This topic is no longer controversial these days since Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, answered this question himself.
Until recently, vagueness reigned between adding hashtags in the legend or in the first comment of a publication.
Several studies existed there as well and focused on the consequences of hashtag location for reach and engagement.

However now there are no more doubts: the hashtag is in the caption, if anything 😉

7. The future of Instagram hashtags

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If Adam Mosseri recommends using only a few hashtags in a post, it’s because the algorithm has evolved once again.
In addition to hashtags, the Instagram algorithm takes into account many elements that make up a publication such as the caption or subtitles.
To properly optimize your posts today, so you have to go beyond the hashtag and add your keywords in other places.
However, as long as the “tags” tab persists and members consult it as part of their research, aUsing hashtags is still a relevant approach to improve the performance of a publication, even if you understand it, this approach is no longer sufficient.

Conclusion on the use of Instagram hashtags

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After reading this guide, you should now have a better understanding of what Instagram hashtags are and how to use them effectively.

To date, hashtags still represent an interesting feature, in particular to increase the discoverability of publications.
Today, however, they are one means among others for distributing literature to a greater number of people.
Therefore, in order to obtain the best possible results, businesses need to learn how to optimize their posts for global search, not just hashtags.
Welcome to the age of Instagram SEO!

Want to learn more about Instagram?

Isabella Matthew

Need help growing your Instagram business?
Request a free consultation for your Instagram strategy or take the Instagram course for business or the Instagram performance marketing course.
To ask at this link a free consultation for your Instagram strategy or follow the instagram training for business or the Instagram performance marketing training (OPCO funding eligible).

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