How to Use Hashtags to Boost Instagram Engagement
By Adebayo Egbetade
Clicking on the post link, the first thing that came to your mind was “can hashtags really get me more engagement on Instagram?” well it’s a big YES!
As an Instagram user, be it a business owner, marketer or an individual your main goal is to get lots of social media is engagement. When a page or profile fails to deliver, that page is gradually going into extinction. In this blog post, you will be learning how to effectively use hashtags to increase Instagram engagement.
Understanding how Instagram hashtags works
Instagram hashtags is an effective way to grow your page and increase engagement organically. Hashtags on Instagram primarily serve as a content discovery tool which helps you reach targeted audience outside your reach/followers. Instagram hashtags can be used for both posts and stories.
Here comes a question, what is the maximum hashtag allowed in a post?
Most Instagram users don’t know that the maximum allowed Instagram hashtags is 30. Many marketers recommend between 5 to 11 hashtags because they believe using all the 30 hashtags in a post looks spammy. As a digital agency, we support the school of thought of the 25 to 30 hashtag usage.
Below are things to do in order to increase your Instagram engagements via hashtags;
Research hashtags related to your niche
Before using any hashtag, the first thing is to do a research for hashtags related to your niche. Using specific hashtags is very important because the more specific the hashtag, the higher the quality of your targeted audience. This process will guarantee quality engagement.
As a digital agency, we use exact and related niche keywords like #DigitalMarketing, #Webdevelopmentagency, #Socialmediamarketing, #DigitalAgency and so on. Doing this, we will be able to reach our target audience outside our own reach/followers.
Most marketers believe that after researching related keywords to their niche, the next thing is to use all the hashtags with large number of posts. That is actually wrong! Proper segmentation must be done. Using hashtags with large numbers of post only will only get you relatively low engagements.
For instance, #instagood has approximately 982million posts which show that people engage with this hashtag every now and then. This makes any post shared to go to the bottom of the page in less than a minute. Therefore, hashtags must be shared at reasonable percentage containing all levels of hashtags in respect to their usage/popularity.
Below is a simple formula you can use for your segmentation.
- Classify hashtags with over 10million posts as DENSE
- Classify hashtags between 1 and 10million posts as RELATIVELY DENSE
- Classify hashtags between 500 thousand and 1milion as MODERATE/NEUTRAL
- Classify hashtags between 10 thousand and 500 thousand as LESS DENSE
After classification, you should consider your reach/followers for effective segmentation.
- Instagram pages or profiles with less than 5,000 followers should use 10% of the relatively dense, 30% of Moderate/Neutral and 60% of less dense hashtags.
- Instagram pages or profiles between 5,000 and 20,000 followers should use 5% less dense, 15% of relatively dense and 80% of moderate/neutral.
This trend can go on like that depending on the number of followers. Using a large percentage of each segments according to the number of followers makes it possible for you to compete with other users of a particular hashtag. This will make your post stay in the top post category of the hashtags therefore making the post get engagements even days after it has been posted.
Knowing The Time to Post
Finally, you have to watch closely and take records of how your post engagements are performing. To do this, you need to post at different times of the week for some time, so as to have sound knowledge on when your target audience engage with your post more.
Using segmented Instagram hashtags is a great way to connect with customers and also to build long-term relationships with other professionals in your niche.