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How Important Is Hashtag Research For Instagram?

by | Apr 14, 2020

Hashtags have been around since the very beginning of the behemoth known as Instagram, but are they still effective in 2020? They seem almost dated; now that the Boomers have caught up with them, there’s all sorts of hashtagged nonsense floating around the platform, including stuff that hasn’t a hope of getting visibility, like #fun and #good #time. Well, fear not hashtag fanatics. They are still a reliable way to get eyes on your posts, with upwards of 10% more engagement on posts that feature a tag of some sort. But exactly how important is hashtag research for Instagram?


Why Are Hashtags So Important?

Believe it or not, Instagram is a decade old this year. I know. It seems unbelievable for a platform that is still so cutting-edge and current. It’s gone through many changes in the last ten years, but one element that has remained consistent is the use of hashtags. Using targeted, relevant hashtags is still the optimum way to broaden your audience on the gram, outside of your usual list of followers. By using specific hashtags, Instagram will categorise your post under that specific word or phrase. So when people search hashtags that they’re interested in, there’s a chance they will come across your content. If it’s good (and relevant!) content, they might be tempted to click into your profile to see what it’s all about. And if you use social media for your business and don’t outsource it to experts then this can be difference between signing up a client and, well, not.


How Can I Make My Hashtags Stand Out?

Okay, I hear you say, “That’s all well and good but Instagram has millions of users posting everyday. How am I supposed to get seen among the hordes of similar accounts?” Well first of all, you need to make sure your posts and content are top class. People won’t give second-rate content a second look. Once your content is up to scratch, you need to consider your hashtags. You can add up to 30 hashtags to your post, and since the Gram Lords don’t penalise for over-tagging, you should make use of all 30. Next, there’s such a thing as high-density hashtags and low-density hashtags. The higher the density, the higher the competition. However, the high-density hashtags are also the broadest (#food, #travel, #cats etc.). So make sure you research your specific area then look to utilise a spread of high and low-density tags. Oh and if you’re wondering how often you should post on social media, check out our article on the subject!


PepperStorm Media - Cat

So, how important is hashtag research for Instagram? Well, some people post pics like this with a lone #cat hashtag and wonder why the likes don’t flood in. At least add #happycat to get ahead of those guys.


What Hashtags Should I Use?

Next, you need to settle on the type of hashtag you’re adding to your content. Hashtags can largely be separated into different groups based on what they’re describing. For example; certain hashtags describe locations, others describe products, some describe mindsets and some describe the intended audience. This is the tricky part of the whole circus, not to mention the part where you’ll need to do the most research. You need to figure out which ones will optimise your content. This is where the research comes in. Using a variety of tools such as Google, an Excel spreadsheet and Instagram itself, you should gather up the intel on hashtags relevant to you. See what’s popular, see what works and what doesn’t. Make a list. And don’t be afraid to steal if you see something good! No one has copyright on hashtags (unless it’s a specific company name).


How Important Is Hashtag Research For Instagram?

Hashtags are such an important part of the Insta game that it really pays to do the research here. In fact, not only are they the best way to expand your audience on Instagram, they are also pretty much the only way. They work as well in 2020 as they did in 2010, and I suspect we’ll be saying much the same thing in 2030. See you back here in a decade, y’all!


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