Hashtags for Instagram in 2022: Do They Still Work + How to Use Them
If you’re not using hashtags in 2022 on Instagram, you’re missing out on a ton of organic reach.
While Instagram may be a lot more crowded than it used to be, there is a proven hashtag strategy that I use that works like a charm in increasing the organic reach of my client's Instagram posts.
…And I’m about to share them with you! Read on to learn how to use hashtags and make them work for you.
How many hashtags should you use?
There are a lot of opinions being given out by social media marketers about how many hashtags per post brands should use. From my experience, I see results from using hashtags at all times. Whether you use five hashtags or twenty of them, they always help my clients’ content reach new people.
However, I do have a data-backed opinion on how many hashtags you should use. In my experience, using all thirty hashtags on Instagram is ideal. The reason why is that hashtags are your biggest asset when it comes to reaching new people organically. Every single hashtag is an opportunity to reach your target audience. So if you use the thirty hashtags Instagram allows you to take, you have thirty shots at reaching people who may be interested in your business.
Okay, so this brings us to the next question I get asked a lot: how do you choose which hashtags to use?
How to choose your hashtags
The first thing you should do here is some hashtag research. What you want to do is look for hashtags that fit the following criteria:
The hashtag must be related to your niche. For example, if you are a Real Estate agent, you should be using hashtags that are related to the Real Estate Industry.
The hashtag must be related to the piece of content you are posting. If you are posting a picture that shows the latest puppy that was groomed at your spa, it makes sense to source hashtags that are related to grooming versus using hashtags that are related to adopting a puppy.
The hashtag should be local if your business is local. This means that if you have a brick-and-mortar business in the city of Ohio, then using geo-local hashtags would be your best bet at reaching people in your area.
The hashtags must contain keywords. These days, more and more people are searching on Instagram for content as if it’s a search engine. Make sure to use hashtags that contain keywords that you know your target audience may be searching for.
The hashtags you select should be a healthy mix of big, medium, and small sizes. What I mean by size here is that certain hashtags are more popular than others. Big hashtags tend to have 1M+ posts, medium hashtags tend to have between 100K+ and 999K posts, and small hashtags have less than 100K posts.
This last point brings us to our next topic, which is how to create the perfect hashtag mix.
How to create the perfect hashtag mix
A rule of thumb for creating the perfect hashtag mix is to use big hashtags as little as possible, make the bulk of your hashtags medium-size, and add a tad bit more small hashtags.
The big hashtags are used to give you that initial burst in reach. This happens since there are so many users that follow that hashtag. However, given that content gets added to that hashtag feed every millisecond, your content gets buried fast. This causes your content to lose any sort of traction from these hashtags quickly. This is why I don’t want you to heavily focus on this size hashtags.
As for the medium-size hashtag, this is where the money is. There are just enough people in here who are following the hashtag to make the reach opportunities immense, but not overly big enough so that your content gets no hits. Make sure that around 75% of your hashtags are of this size.
Lastly, the remaining hashtags should be of a small size. In this size of hashtags, you will find an audience that may be small but are often more committed to the niche you are targeting. A lot of my clients get interactions from die-hard fans through this sector of Instagram hashtags.
Now, it’s time for you to take these hashtag tips and try them out for your business. Make sure to take a look at your analytics before you start incorporating these tips so you can compare your “after” results.
If you need any help with coming up with a hashtag bank, you can reach out to me. I’d be more than happy to help!