In 2024, it seems difficult to miss the use of the famous social network Instagram. Whether your account is personal or dedicated to your business, it is likely that your main goal is to increase your audience. Indeed, the power of Instagram is that it allows you to quickly make yourself known… You still need to know how to optimize your account! This is where hashtags, these little clickable keywords, come in.
But how to choose the best hashtags on Instagram? We will explain everything to you.
What is a hashtag?
A hashtag, “hashword”, or even “clickword” is a clickable keyword or expression. Its concept consists of following the “#” symbol with a word or expression to mark the content of this word or expression and so that it is referenced under this word. Furthermore, clicking on a hashtag allows you to access all the content marked with it.
The hashtag was first used in the 2000s on a chat site and appeared on social networks in 2007. The success of the hashtag was such that the term appeared in the Petit Larousse dictionary in 2013.
Why use hashtags?
Using hashtags will allow you to achieve your goal: expand your audience and increase your engagement. In fact, using the right hashtags will allow you to appear under certain keywords that are already searched for by users! It’s sort of the equivalent of a Google search. Furthermore, a Quintly study carried out in 2019 on no less than 5.4 million posts and with more than 34,000 profiles reveals that the use of hashtags depends on the number of followers a profile has.
Indeed, a profile with between 0 and 1000 followers would benefit from using 10 or more hashtags to engage its audience. On the other hand, accounts with more than 100,000 followers would rather not use any.
Where to put your hashtags on Instagram?
You have several options as to where you want to leave your hashtag.
The first option is to leave one or more hashtags in your bio. As a reminder, the hashtags you post are only effective if your account is public. So, leaving the right hashtag(s) in your biography can help you increase your visibility on the social network.
In legend: option 1
For example, you can opt for the simplest method: put them directly in the caption. However, some will want a “cleaner” caption and a message that will not be drowned out in the middle of the famous hashtags.
In legend: option 2
You can therefore, if you wish, skip lines below your caption and thus make your hashtags disappear. In fact, Instagram does not allow more than 240 characters to appear. For example, skipping lines by marking each of them with a dot will cause “…more” to appear, in other words, click to read more. Your caption will then not be drowned in the middle of numerous hashtags.
Finally, you can absolutely comment on your hashtags. Please note that in comments, they are counted by Instagram and that these hashtags will mark your post just as much as if they were included in the caption.
You can also add one or more hashtags to your story! Use the sticker offered by Instagram and add the hashtag of your choice. Placing your hashtag in a story will allow you to appear in stories linked to a hashtag and thus have more visibility!
We saw above that it could be advantageous to leave 10 or more hashtags on a post. However, there is no point in including a hundred. Instagram will not let you use more than 30 hashtags in your post. Beyond that, you will receive a message from the platform telling you to delete certain hashtags!
How to find your hashtags?
The first source that you can use to select your hashtags is obviously Instagram. In fact, go to the social network’s search engine, in the “#” section. Type in a keyword, no matter how basic it may be. In our case: digital marketing.
First, the application offers you a list of hashtags related to the one you have just proposed. And you can even see directly from the search engine the number of posts marked with this word! Enough to give you a first source of inspiration and evaluate the competition.
You can also click on one of the hashtags that seem relevant to you. Here, the platform will itself offer you “Related” elements: a list of often associated hashtags. Take inspiration from this to select your best hashtags.
Also, take a quick look at the posts tagged with this hashtag. Are they similar to the one you plan to publish? If so, you are probably in the right place.
The other trick that Instagram allows you to do is that the application offers a sorting of publications linked to this hashtag. You can indeed choose to see the most recent, or the most popular. The most recent ones will allow you to follow an event while the most popular ones will allow you to get inspired to improve yours!
Spy on your competitors
There’s nothing like spying on your competitors to find new hashtag ideas! Indeed, your competitors probably use hashtags. The advantage of going to see which ones they use is that you will also be able to see the engagement that the publication has generated!
You can also couple this technique with the previously cited source, and simply click on one of the hashtags used by a competitor to not only define its relevance but also find related ones. Enough to provide you with a nice list of potential hashtags!
HashtagsForLikes allows, in its free version, to have access to hashtags relating to the one you propose in its search engine.
That’s not all. The tool also gives you access to a Top 10 of the most used hashtags with the one you have just searched for.
Finally, if you want to invest in the premium version, you will be able to obtain information relating to hashtags not by typing a word but an account name in the HashtagsForLikes search engine. You will also have access to many other metrics regarding the hashtags you are searching for.
The Seekmetrics hashtag research tool is hands down the simplest. Enter your keyword, click on the “generate” button and that’s it.
The tool instantly offers you a large list of hashtags that may interest you. The advantage of Seekmetrics is that you can filter the search result, by limiting the number of linked results on Instagram for example, or by inserting “negative keywords”, i.e. words that you do not do not want to appear in your hashtags.
Probably the most famous tool for finding hashtags is Hashtagify . The only slight problem with the latter is that it only analyzes hashtags used by Twitter, and not Instagram.
The good news is that they are pretty much the same, especially when it comes to trends.
The tool therefore offers a search engine in which you can simply write your main keyword. Again, we used “digital marketing”.
The strength of hashtagify lies in all the insights that the tool offers you.
You will first have access to hashtags related to the one you have just proposed. But the tool will also show you influencers linked to this hashtag.
You will also have access to a hashtag popularity indicator over the last two months, presented in the form of a curve.
You will also be able to, among other things, know the language in which the hashtag is used, the different ways of spelling it, as well as the countries in which it is most used.
Search for articles online
To choose the hashtags you will use, you can also search directly in Google. Thus, you will have access to numerous blog and online press articles concerning the best hashtags by year or by theme.
This option can obviously make your work a lot easier. However, be careful with the lists you find.
We advise you to carry out your research afterwards so that you can judge for yourself the relevance of the hashtags in relation to your field of activity.
In addition, the hashtags offered are often extremely popular. The popularity of a hashtag inevitably includes a lot of competition!
Invent your hashtag
Finally, you can use your creativity to create a tailor-made hashtag. This will allow you to track your notoriety on Instagram, and even create buzz if you create the right hashtag!
You can simply base it on your brand name, or create a hashtag linked to a specific marketing campaign.
You can also create a hashtag corresponding to a slogan.
Here for example, three distinct examples:
- La Redoute offers the hashtag #MyRedoute to generate UGC (User Generated Content). This allows him to track his notoriety on Instagram and find posts to share on his account.
- Red Bull had already proposed the hashtag #PutACanOnIt a few years ago, inviting Internet users to post photos featuring the famous can.
- Finally, the Nike slogan “Just Do It” serves as a hashtag for many posts related to sport or the brand’s products.
What tools to analyze your Instagram hashtags?
You have chosen your hashtags and published your post. Much of the work has been done, but there is one key step left: analyzing the performance of your hashtags.
Among the many factors that will contribute to the success of your photo, the hashtags that you have associated with it are not insignificant.
Several tools will allow you to analyze the impact of your post.
- Instagram : Instagram offers an analysis tool if you have switched your account to a Business account (a free change to make from your settings).
In this case, the social network offers you the option to “See the statistics” of a photo or video. You will then be able to access the number of impressions of your post from the hashtags.
- SproutSocial : In addition to allowing you to manage your different social networks from a single platform, SproutSocial also offers you analysis features.
You will, therefore, not only be able to manage the publication of your posts and interactions with your community but also obtain in-depth reports about the hashtags you have used.
- Iconosquare : This is the most advanced tool for analyzing Instagram data. Iconosquare obviously allows you to manage your account to perfection: from scheduling post publications to monitoring comments or your likes.
The tool also allows you to find the influencers who best suit your brand and of course, to monitor the performance of your hashtags!
There are many other tools to measure the effectiveness and engagement of your hashtags. Be careful, however, not to get lost in the middle of all these platforms at the risk of becoming disgusted with your analysis. The best thing is to choose one and try to make the most of it before being sure you want to change!
Our 8 Tips for choosing the Best Hashtags
To summarize, here are some of our tips for choosing the best hashtags on Instagram:
- Vary the popularity of hashtags
We believe that the ideal is to vary the popularity of hashtags, with a third of very popular hashtags, a third of moderately well-known hashtags and the last third of less famous hashtags.
- Personalize your hashtags based on the photo
One thing is certain, if you want the hashtags you use to perform well, you need to personalize them based on your post! Regularly change the list of your hashtags so that they are related to your post and so that you can appear on a wider range of hashtags.
- Create your hashtag to track your popularity
Don’t hesitate to create a hashtag in your name, using your slogan or for a particular event or campaign. This will allow you to track your popularity on the social network.
- Subscribe to hashtags in your theme
Instagram allows you to subscribe to hashtags, take advantage of it! You will be able to monitor the latest posts concerning the subject and see the evolution of the word’s popularity. A hashtag that was popular 6 months ago may not be popular at all today!
- Copy the hashtags used in your field
We can’t say it enough: spy on the competition and copy what works! This will allow you to position yourself and gain visibility to then be the one who sets the trends.
- Monitor your hashtags
Monitoring is simply monitoring and analysis. You will never be sure you have chosen the best possible hashtags if you do not analyze their impact and adjust your strategy accordingly.
- Follow community hashtags
Community hashtags will give you insights into your target’s interests. If you work in B2B, for example, and are looking to target business leaders, why not follow the hashtag #entrepreneur and get some ideas?
- Watch for trends
Hashtags will be valuable indicators of the latest trends not to be missed or causes to support based on the personality of your brand and the values you want to advocate. Use hashtags to stay informed and follow alternative news on social media.
Contrary to popular belief, managing an Instagram account and increasing its visibility is very time-consuming and requires a lot of patience and a long-term investment. It’s now up to you to start looking for the best hashtags for your Instagram account and carry out different tests to increase your notoriety on the social network!