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2021 Instagram Hashtag Guide: Do Hashtags Work?

In 2021, with 1.16 billion Instagram accounts fighting for attention, it’s becoming more challenging to grab user’s attention. 

However, there are plenty of ways to boost your Instagram presence, and Instagram hashtags are one of them. But much of what people have come to believe about hashtags and how the Instagram algorithm works is wrong. So don’t let myths hold you back from success. 

Let’s take a look at some of them:

– All hashtags should be used in captions. The use of hashtags in the comment section doesn’t become effective. 

The truth: hashtags will work the same in both captions and comments.

– Instagram will boost reach if you use all available 30 hashtag limits.

The truth: we advise you to balance quality and quantity. Use 5 to 15 effective hashtags in a post. But you can experiment with what works better for you.

– Repetition in hashtags will cause shadowban on Instagram.

The Truth: using the same hashtags can keep you from using other potentially effective hashtags, but they don’t cause shadowban.

– Hashtags with higher post counts work better.

The Truth: hashtags with higher post counts are more competitive and harder to rank. In such a case,  your content is likely to get buried in Feeds.

So be careful about misconceptions. First, let’s talk about using Hashtags in your marketing strategy. Understanding the different types of hashtags and their corresponding audiences is key to taking benefits from this tool:

1. Product or service hashtags: these keywords should describe your product or service. Also, these hashtags indicate your niche in your industry.

2. Location hashtags: hashtag that refers to your location, like #usa or #california

3. Special content hashtags: such hashtags will help your followers navigate your content easily. You can come up with a hashtag for each product or category on your page. For example #uxdigest #socialnews

4. Acronym hashtags: for example, #TBT for Throwback Thursday or #OOTD for outfit of the day.

We recommend using a variety of hashtags on your posts and stories. Also, such navigation will help your client find what they are looking for on your Instagram.

Let’s take a look at the statistics of one of our recent posts. Here we can see the real result from using different hashtags:

IG hashtags can help you grow your reach, get more engagement, and attract more followers and clients when used correctly. 

But to be successful with hashtags, you need to be strategic about what hashtags you use and when you use them. Instead of using the most popular Instagram hashtags, finding and using smaller niches and having an engaged audience relevant to your industry is better.

So, how can you find these effective and community-oriented hashtags? We are ready to answer and share the main steps:

– Analysis 

Analyze your niche, find out what hashtags your competitors are using, and highlight the hashtags that could apply to your future posts. Also, your hashtags should be relevant and contain keywords that your audience is actually searching for.

– Don’t forget about leaders 

Every industry has its respective key influencers. Find out who these people are in your niche and use their posts as inspiration. 

– Location hashtags

Choose your location hashtags. So your audience can find you, it’s especially relevant for local businesses.

For you to get the best results, we have prepared some tips on which hashtags you should avoid and emphasize in 2021:

1. Don’t use hashtags that are too popular 

Most popular Instagram hashtags such #love (1.835B) #instagood (1.150B) #fashion (812.7M) are not necessarily the most effective.

When you add such tags to your post, your image may appear in the tag for a second and is immediately buried by many other posts added to the tag simultaneously. And it’s doubtful anyone will see your image within this tag.

2. Don’t choose hashtags based on a single post or use new hashtags for every next. This is a haphazard strategy that could bring you engagements one day but not the next day. Consistency is key, and choosing hashtags on a whim may hinder your success.

3. Avoid using banned hashtags on Instagram

Banned hashtags have been flagged and “disabled” by Instagram for infringing community guidelines — making them completely useless for your exposure.

How to use hashtags on Instagram:

1. Do use hashtags that are descriptive of the content you share regularly. When you use hashtags that describe your content, you avoid misleading your visitors.

2. Use a combination of popular and niche hashtags.

Instagram suggests using a combination of popular and niche hashtags to reach different audiences, from broad to specific.

3. Do change your tags every few weeks to a month.

If you find your set of hashtags is no longer giving you good engagement, consider switching up your set. Start by changing 10 to see if that makes better results. An excellent way to tell which hashtags work for you is to check which ones you’re making “top posts” for. These will give you long exposure, so keep those. Then, swap out the others until you’re making top posts for all 30!

Using Instagram hashtags strategically is a really great way to connect with your client and audience. 

And we, in turn, are ready to help you with your social media presence within our SMM SEO services! So whether you’re looking to increase the quality of leads, raise brand awareness or drive revenue to the next level, we’re here to help you with that and beyond. So don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions – [email protected].