Having a perfect hashtag is one of the best ways of growing on Instagram. With a perfect hashtag, the photo you want to share can earn more views, and it is also essential in increasing the number of followers.
For every hashtag added on the caption of any of the posts you make on Instagram, it will appear in the feed of the hashtag. Once it appears in the feed of the hashtag, it will easily be seen at the latest post by any person who views the hashtag feeds. If the post gets some engagement within a shorter period, it may be promoted to the “top post.”
If your post is promoted, every user who will visit the hashtag will see it first at the top. The use of the hashtag is the simplest and most efficient way of reaching out to users who do not follow you but can be interested in your content at no cost.
From research done by Track Maven, users who make posts with hashtags get more comments and likes on their photos or posts compared to those who make photos/posts without hashtags. In fact, posts with hashtags get better engagement in terms of likes and comments performs 2.5x better than those with one hashtag.
The research leads us to the question if the use of hashtags is effective, why do a quarter of the marketers use 3 or fewer hashtags in a single post?
And the answer is that the marketers use less than three hashtags on their Instagram posts because hashtags research is not only a hard task to do but also time-consuming. The marketers do prefer posting continuously on Instagram than to take more time doing research on the hashtags which may in most cases mean their enjoyable flow of posting to Instagram is broken.
This guide is based on pure research and it deeply explores everything you need to do as a marketer to make the use of your research hashtag research effective, quick and above all, enjoyable.
Therefore, you may need to read on if you are looking forward to having the best of hashtags for your posts, which in turn makes your posts stretch out to a bigger audience on Instagram as a marketing platform.
But before we lay down these strategies that can help to find great hashtags, we will need to know what makes a perfect hashtag for your post and below are the 4 characteristics of a great hashtag post. A great hashtag will:
i) Help your post get much more engagement – By engagement, we mean that a great hashtag helps you earn more likes and comments on your post.
ii) Is popular but are not so obvious that could be considered spammy.
iii) Generate feeds of consistently relevant and above all high-quality content.
iv) Function together to elevate your post into the section that has increasingly popular and competitive hashtags usually called “top posts” on Instagram.
Now that we know what a great hashtag looks, it is time to explore ways of finding a perfect hashtag.
How to research on a perfect Instagram hashtag
At the beginning of this research, we will need to know the number of hashtags you need to use on your post to make it perfect to enable it to stretch to your audience quite well. So:
1. How Many Hashtags Should You use?
The ‘right’ number of hashtags has been continually changing and it will keep changing as the Instagram algorithm evolves but at the moment, the ideal number you can use is from 1 to around 5. Maybe you are asking yourself why because you have been using more than the ideal number. The reason is, Instagram is working from dusk to dawn to try and cut down the rate of ‘hashtag spamming’.
It, therefore, means that they try to evaluate if your posts will be surfaced on a hashtag feeds based on the accuracy of the hashtags you have used with the content your posts contains. This, in turn, means that in case you have any posts that have less relevant hashtags on any of the feeds you have tagged along with your post, they are less likely to show up on the feeds.
For example, if you want to post about fashion or the latest double-breasted suit you have designed, and you tag #Fashion #Suits #Doublebreasted #InstaSuits #smartSuits, your post will most likely appear in the feeds of these hashtags.
If you add more hashtags that are semi-related to your post, for example, #smallbusiness, #smart among others, your post is less likely to appear in the feeds as the Instagram algorithm will most likely tell that you have hashtags that are not relevant to your post or the content in your post.
This leads us to the conclusion that the relevance of your hashtags that you use for your content will speak for your post and not the total number of hashtags used. That said, if you can find around 6 – 10 or more hashtags that are exactly relevant to your post, you can use them without any worry.
The reason Instagram recommends 1-5 hashtags is that you are more likely to find 5 hashtags that are relevant to your post than 20 or 30 hashtags that are all relevant to one post.
2. Use Influential Accounts Within your Niche
If you are new to using hashtags or new to Instagram entirely, finding the best hashtags for your posts will not always be easy. Do not worry though, there is a simple and fast way of discovering the best hashtags for your audience.
You will find the influential accounts on your Instagram and look at the hashtags they are already using. It might not be a perfect way, but it is the shortcut if you are finding trouble identifying the largest reaching and relevant tags for your audience.
Let’s use our double-breasted suit as our example. Assuming you are new to Instagram and you have no clue the hashtags you want to use for your double-breasted suit, it will be easy to log into your account and simply search for the word #doublebreasted.
You will find a number of hashtags related to your search. After that, you will find the top accounts that are using the hashtag. You will search through the post and select an account with grouping hashtags that appear to have the most density of relevant tags for your content.
After that is done, you can now choose the hashtags that are most relevant to your post and discard the ones that are not relevant. For example, out of the 28 hashtags that this account used, you can discard the ones you think are not so much relevant and keep the relevant ones for example: #design #menstyle #doublebressedjacket #fashionista and #menswear because they are very relevant to the ‘double-breasted’ keyword.
3. Offhand Research For Hashtags
The offhand research strategy makes every activity reactive. When you post on Instagram, you are always thinking of the hashtags that you can use just before clicking on the share button. When posting with the hashtag, you are seeking attention without researching the effective hashtags.
With offhand hashtag research, you share just a couple of hashtags without having a perfect knowledge of its influence. This will only reach a few people after you have shared the post.
The only good thing about this offhand hashtag strategy is that it is very fast and it will get along with your workflow without having to break from posting. However, we all know that in real life speed will always get you wherever you want to go on time but puts you at risk.
The same happens to this offhand hashtagging strategy. You are going to post on time using this strategy and PROBABLY with great hashtags, but if the hashtags you are going to backfire, then you are putting your post at risk. It might not stretch out to the Instagram audience quite well.
Additionally, something to take away from this strategy is that before posting on Instagram, look at the post then find the different hashtags that could get along with the post you want to make. In-depth studies illustrate that you should brainstorm hashtags in different groups or categories and it should range from broad to targeted according to research done by Tailwind. They used ‘Men’s Skater Jeans’ keyword to do the research. Here is what it looks like:
The illustration will show you how you can get close to the 8 or even more ideal hashtags that will be effective when making a post; it will also help you improvise the perfect hashtag. The illustration will help you come up with a competitive hashtag that can generate feeds. It will also help you dig into what is going on the mind of the consumer and find the hashtag that they are likely to visit when they are looking for a product.
The information will help you to come up with a good post that will generate engagement.
4. Quick Hashtag Research
Most of the marketers do quick and dirty research on the hashtag. They often use Instagram to autocomplete function when researching. They normally use the search bar to find a relevant hashtag that can fit their post.
The marketers use the easy way of finding the hashtags because it can easily be found on the Instagram app and it pops up just after typing the first letter of the hashtag. This style is easy, and it is often done by those who are new on Instagram.
Instagram autocomplete often shows the most common hashtags first. Majority of the marketers do assume that the suggested hashtag will create some engagement on their post and most of the times, this is not the case.
The hashtag that has been used by millions of Instagram users does not imply that most people will visit to find the content. Let’s use an example, suppose every user post with their dog with the hashtag #love which has more than 1 billion posts, then it is more likely than not that the hashtag will not create some engagement since only a few people will spend their serious time there. The post using this kind of hashtag will also be pushed out of the “latest post” since many users are posing using the hashtag.
The Instagram hashtag used by millions of the users does not imply that people will visit the hashtag.
It is estimated that a post with a hashtag used by over 10 million users will be pushed out of the top feeds within 3 minutes from the time posted. Three minutes is not enough time to create engagement.
The effective way of finding a couple of the hashtag is to visit a hashtag and thereafter that look at other hashtags that are related. (Unfortunately), this can only be done on a mobile phone app.
After searching on the hashtag, you can look at the post that is similar to yours and find out the other hashtags that are used. From looking at the different posts you can find important hashtags that you can use in your caption before sharing your post. Some marketers love to make their Instagram posts attractive and they do this by putting the hashtags as their first comment on every post they make. It makes their posts quite clean while the hashtags still work magic for their posts.
For instance, the post at the bottom right of the grid above, it even leads you to more useful hashtags related to what you want to post for any ‘health’ post you want to post. If you find the hashtags too many to post them at the caption of your pic, you can still have them as the first comment on your post to leave your post clean.
Copying other people’s hashtag research could be a quick shortcut. However, it is directly making an assumption that person whom you are taking their hashtags are aware of the research they have done. Some users with multiple hashtags have no idea of what they are doing though. Sometimes people use irrelevant, hateful, discriminatory and spammy hashtags. Do not copy the hashtag without researching on them.
5. Discerning Hashtag Research
Despite the crucial information that we have given, we are yet to discuss the most important part. Amazingly, most marketers miss this vital step.
The number of post that a hashtag has tells a lot about not only how many Instagram users go to find the content but also the quality in the content that can be found there. Despite this, most marketers rarely visit the hashtags, and they use them since others use it.
Hashtags, just like websites have a wide variety of qualities. Audiences around the hashtags are also different. If you are a marketer, it is important to have information about the hashtag that you are using for you to find the perfect shot to generate engagement.
You are also supposed to know the implication of the hashtag and the kind of people who visit there. The method will ensure that you will find the hashtag that the customers frequently visit.
Have a look at the top post of this hashtag #DoubleBreastedSuit. It is a hashtag of a particular type of suit with a double-breasted coat. People with information about this kind of suit often visit the hashtag to see the people who have made the post; other people visit there to see the content posted. #DoubleBreastedSuit hashtag has been posted to only 16.4k times, and it contains quality and relevant post.
If you were a designer of suits, this hashtag would be something you want to know about, it would be the perfect place to pick up new ideas and customers.
We can compare with the general #Suits hashtag which has been posted over 4.7 million times.
We will agree from even just the first three posts that it looks messy and you might even see posts that are not related to suits or even close. The “top post” in the hashtag are different brands marketing jeans, jokes, and selfies. This is not the hashtag that a person marketing denim would like to use. Plenty of people might pass and check, but there is no stable community around the hashtag.
We recommend that you find a hashtag that fits perfectly with your content. It takes research to find a good hashtag and when you find one make sure you visit and confirm what you know about them, do not look at them and assume it is good.
6. Use of Various Hashtag Generator Tools
Tailwind is an amazing hashtag generator tool. It is one of the best that you can find for Instagram.
As you click on the hashtags, while adding them into your captions, Hashtag Finder on Tailwind will suggest more hashtag that is relevant to the context. This will, in turn, make it quite easier to find and then, later on, add hashtags to your posts that will help your post generate some engagement.
Additionally, the feature will help you the best contextually relevant hashtags suggestion while you are typing your caption. The feature seeks to help marketers find the easy and quick way of finding the relevant hashtags for their post.
In the Hashtag Finder, the recommendations are colored and they are categorized as “niche”, “good”, “best”, and “competitive” and this will guide you to pick the hashtag that will likely to yield fruits by generating feeds.
You can find the Hashtag finder feature both on the mobile and the desktop version on the tailwind app for Instagram. The other good thing with this feature is that, it also has a scheduling feature that will enable you to plan your Instagram post and after that Tailwind will auto-post it when most of your audience is active and are likely to engage with the post.
Hashtag Finder has a Hashtag List feature which will allow you to save a list of hashtags that you can use them when posting your future post.
Building a portfolio of Hashtags
Great hashtags research does not entail finding the perfect hashtag to use, in most cases, it can be more strategic than you can think. Consider different hashtags that you can add to your posts as a portfolio where you can keep your hashtags.
Just as the portfolio of anything you want to invest is risky, the hashtags portfolio has varying level of risk. In this kinds of scenarios, you might not get the expected post engagement from the hashtags since it is very much trending and popular and that means that your post will be removed from the “top post”. On the other hand, potential payout means that you have a “top post” using a popular hashtag implying that you will not only get new followers but also quite enough engagement.
Without the Hashtag Finder feature, the most ideal way you can calculate the risk of using certain hashtags is by checking the number of posts people have made through the feeds. When the hashtag has a more than ten million post, it is risky. It is not necessary to fill your hashtag portfolio with a long shot of hashtags. Just have a few long ones since they are safe and you can confidently wait to get some engagement from the post.
When deciding how much reach your post may be given and whether it can feature as a “top post”, the Instagram algorithm looks at the post that earned some engagement within a shorter period. Using a hashtag that creates some engagement pays.
To get some engagement, it is important to post when most of the users in the platform are active. Tailwind for Instagram has a smart schedule feature that will auto-schedule your post in the best appropriate time when it is more like;y than not, get some engagement.
When your post gets to the “top post” with a hashtag that could be dimmed less competitive, you will begin getting some engagement it. The momentum that it would have gained, is sufficient to get your post at the “top post” section on the hashtag feed. This is because the more the competitive hashtags is, the more the post may climb to the “top post” if the hashtag is very popular.
ii) Auto Hash
AutoHash is a tool that generates keywords based on the picture you want to upload. Through integrated smart visual recognition software, that thoroughly analyzes your photo and afterward figures out what it contains.
Once it is done with analysis, it divides into its database of popular hashtags that re trending to match your photo with the best possible list. You might wonder how intelligently it works but if you try it, you will agree that it amazingly work magic in that. If you are uploading pictures of pets, travel or food among other common Instagram pictures, this tool will work to your amazement.
The only thing that you might be worried about when using this tool is that it recognizes your current location and that means that if you have moved away from the place you took your picture, the hashtags for the location of the upload will be wrong. So you are supposed to change that.
iii) Instagram Hashtag Generator
If you are looking for fast hashtags for your Instagram posts, then you might consider using this tool. For this tool, you will start by clicking on the (+) sign on the right-hand side once you open it. The tool will ask you to select a file that you want to upload to your Instagram. Once you have selected the image that you want to upload, you can now click on Upload and Generate Hashtags box.
Once this is done, you will now see how your post would look like after uploading with 10 potential hashtags.
When you scroll down the page, you will find that the tool has suggested up to 20 possible keywords that suit your posts/photo. The tool, additionally, guides you to the popularity of each keyword you that it suggested. You can then choose up to 5 of the keywords suggested to begin a hashtag generation. Once you select a keyword, the tool suggests 5 suitable hashtags that can be used for your post. It means that you are going to have maximum 30 suggested hashtags if you select 6 keywords.
iii) All Hashtags
All Hashtags, as the name goes, so does the work it does for you. The site allows you to create, generate,m search and analyze for the top and popular hashtags. It comprises of the 4 features: hashtag generator, analytics, creator and top hashtags which work together to ensure that you have the perfect hashtag for your post.
a) Hashtag generator – generates top random and live hashtags and will also display the best hashtags you will need.
b) Hashtag creator – Helps you create your own hashtags when you need them.
c) Hashtag Analytics – It gets analytic information about your hashtag through analysis and will help you in your marketing strategy.
d) Top hashtags – This feature on the tool lets you know which hashtags have been the best and most popular and therefore gives you an opportunity to choose from them when you want to make a post on Instagram.
iv) Iconosquare – Iconosquare is Instagram hashtag generating tool that allows you to search for hashtags on Instagram. It can help you find popular hashtags because through it, you can see the number of times each hashtag has been used. This means it can be easy for you to identify hashtags that are popular and can work for you.
Through this app, you can also click on ‘Top Tags’ and get to find out hashtags that are trending and you would want to hop onto as long as they are relevant to your post.
This is a tool part of RiteKit’s social media kit that many people use to make their living on Instagram. Ritetag will generate instant hashtag suggestions for your photos both on a mobile app and even on desktop. The tool is quite effective that it gives real-time hashtag engagement. As an Instagram marketer, this is a tool to go for if you want your posts to stretch to a bigger audience.
This tool allows you to install a Google Chrome extension that lets you right-click on any images or pictures and then choose the Get Hashtag Suggestions options.
This tool is a monthly paid one though, and you will need around $49 per month to use but the good this is that there is a free trial to test and see if it can work for you. However, you pay, you will enjoy very nice features including Instant hashtag generations, detailed hashtag statistics and Save search options.
Ritetag color-codes the suggested hashtags and this means you that you will easily identify which are hot, overused, only for Instagram and the longevity of the hashtags. You will also know if the hashtag is banned or underused on Instagram.
vi) Instavast Hashtag /Generator Tool
Instavast is a complete Instagram marketing tool but it is also able to generate hashtags for you. The hashtag generator feature will generate for you the most popular hashtags for your posts. Aside from the popular hashtags, Instavast will also let you know the hashtags that have been banned and those that have been underused and the ones awaiting moderator decisions.
The complete package will, however, automate features like follow, unfollow, comment and direct messages among others for you Instagram.
Instavast works by automatically generating related hashtags based on your selected photo, keyword and URL.
Disadvantages of Instagram hashtag discovery tools
There are some drawbacks of using Instagram autocomplete and related hashtags. The feature was primarily made to suggest the hashtags that you may be searching for and what you should know is that it was not created to suggest hashtags that will help you get some engagement. The difference is, they were built to help a normal Instagram user looking to get their posts stretch to a huger audience, rather than an online marketer who is into marketing their business.
The Instagram autocomplete feature looks at the word that you are typing to suggest the words that start with the same root word. The feature does not use the word you are typing to suggest all similar words; this implies that when doing your research you have to find all the different root words that may be hashtags that you may not want to use.
The Instagram hashtag tools are essential in giving out the contextually related hashtags. However, the feature is not available when you are typing your caption. Therefore, using the feature breaks the flow of posting.
7. Safe Hashtag Research
After finding the hashtag they wish to use on a caption, researchers often check to ensure that the hashtag has not been banned by Instagram.
Instagram, ever it’s launch, has grown and gained more users, and spammers have targeted specific hashtags and posted plenty of evil content. You can easily know the hashtag that has been banned when you visit it in the feeds. Suppose you visit a certain hashtag and you do not see “top post” but you can view some posts then there are high chances that the hashtag has been banned. Some of the hashtags that had previously been banned might have just been brought back.
Suppose you use a banned hashtag, your post will not be viewed for the hashtag, and you will have wasted the space on your caption that would have been used with a good hashtag. When using a banned hashtag, only the banned hashtag will be affected; the other hashtags will function well.
Incorporating Your Hashtags Into Your Insta Campaigns
Once you have a list of hashtags that you want to regularly post them on your caption list. It is important to write to them and save in the note on your phone. Hashtag List in Tailwind app can be of help if you need to save all your hashtags.
The good thing about doing research is that you will not have to do it again since you can keep using the hashtag. The research will also pay you back as it will create some engagement from the post.
Wrapping It Up
When you want to achieve fast hashtags research, you have a number of options you can choose to go about it. It does not matter whether you are new or you have been in the game for a long time. The strategies above will work for you big time.
All you need to do is know the number of hashtags you need for your post, find influential accounts in your niche, do offhand hashtag research and use a number of tools to help you. This is the perfect strategies you can use to find fast and perfect hashtags for your posts even though you will unlikely generate as much engagement as you would expect.
Take your time using the Instagram auto-suggest and use the hashtag recommendation based on the popularity of the hashtag.