Hashtags on Instagram in 2018 are still among the cornerstones of reach. We show you how to use the best and what they do today.
The leaf on Instagram has turned since the introduction of Algorithm 2016. The year 2017 was a stormy one on the platform as well. Whereas hashtags used to be considered the non-plus ultra and indispensable tool for greater range, they have lost their significance at the latest with the new 2018 algorithm. Different rules apply on Instagram, but even if many other signals are now responsible for the reach of postings, hashtags are still relevant. Because they still affect your engagement, especially if you are still relatively new or have not been able to build a large community with millions of followers. Basically, everything stays as it was. Only the rules of the game have changed a bit.
Use of hashtags: What you should pay attention to
Instagram has recently cleaned up common myths – or at least publicly expressed its position – highlighting three signals of relevance: interest, timeliness, and relationship.
But also a high commitment logically contributes to the fact that contributions are considered relevant: The more interactions, the more users see your post. This is very similar to the Facebook algorithm because you will also see posts at the top of your timeline if they have many responses or if multiple friends have already interacted with them. Instagram posts with at least one hashtag generate 12.6 percent more engagement than posts that do without hashtags altogether.
So far, we always recommend using a large number of top Instagram hashtags. Instagram itself allows 30 pieces per contribution. Because with every hashtag you expand your potential reach – especially since users can subscribe to hashtags, every hashtag can affect the visibility. However, a study by Smart Insights has shown that the optimum number of tags used is less than ten . This is also communicated by Instagram employees in a similar way. So far, however, our own experiences continue to show that the more, the better. At the very least, a higher number does not have a negative effect.
Here is the recommendation to test out what works best for you. However, it is important to note that the hashtags should all be relevant and not generic. You should always ask yourself what you want to achieve with your contribution. Most recently, Instagram has begun to censor a number of hashtags, which then lead to nothing when used. A complete list can be found below in the article.
Generally speaking, the smaller the size of the respective hashtag, the more committed the user. You do not need to use hashtags with millions of posts, because they are quickly lost in the crowd. The circumference should be in the six-digit or small seven-digit range, the mix makes the difference here.
First and foremost, make sure that your tags match your niche and are relevant to the content shown. To give a roughly exaggerated example: If you post a picture of a sausage on the Christmas market, it fits thematically in about #christmastime, #christmasparty or #christmasmarket. Inappropriate here would be tags like #fashiondaily, #veganfood or #plantbased.
It used to be that the tags had to be strategically well chosen to have a chance to land with them in the 9 top posts of the hashtag pages and thus on the presentation plate. Because those entries were placed there, which could achieve the highest commitment for the respective hashtag. Today the top posts are individualized and independent of the generated interactions.
If you are at the very beginning of your efforts and you do not have too many followers yet, you should not fall back on the most popular hashtags with millions of posts. Choose which ones have high-five and six-digit posts. As your number of followers increases, your chosen hashtags can become more popular. A healthy mix of both mentioned versions is also possible and may even bring more success. Here is also to try and grope, because Instagram is ultimately very dynamic, which is why there is no universal recipe for success.
Since the introduction of the Instagram algorithm, it’s not all about hashtags anymore, it’s about relevance. Your newsfeed is sorted by relevance. Your content will be relevant if it is possible to generate high interaction rates within a very short time after the release – it is currently expected that the frame will last between ten and fifteen minutes. However, this is a hitherto unconfirmed rumor. However, it is clear that engagement actually affects your visibility.
Hashtag styles and formats
There are basically two types of hashtags: branded and community hashtags. Branded hashtags are brought into circulation by brands, for example in connection with current campaigns or events. They are a great way to generate UGC and sometimes have a great social buzz.
Community hashtags, on the other hand, do not belong to any brand, but are more concerned with specific topics. And here comes the relevance into play: For example, while the generic # follow4follow with a volume of currently as much as 250 million contributions (as of 06/18) completely misses its target, about #ig_unitedstates with 473,876 posts is still somewhat relevant and also more specific.
It really is not nonsensical to use a set of special tags. But what should not be under the table, is – and we can not emphasize this often enough – that the images must be high quality. Just as it is not done with only generic tags, the images should not be generic and boring – because even the best hashtags do not help to a desirable commitment.
Furthermore, it should not go unmentioned that you should also engage within your community. As a reminder, Instagram is the network of interactions and they are by definition two-way.
Format: Follow hashtags
The possibility for you to follow relevant hashtags may not have been fully developed for one or the other. But we think it makes a lot of sense because you do not have to scroll through the feed forever, to find content that you want to interact with (keyword: give and take), but it is flushed through automatically.
The downside: Users can hide their content via the “Do not show for this hashtag”Call-to-action (CTA). If several users do this with your hashtag content, it could happen that it is no longer played under the hashtag. The danger is worth it, we find. Because soon, users can hide others without having to follow them, but they do not want to see their content. The signal should be the same. That you should pay attention anyway, that your contributions are high quality, is not a new fact. In any case, following hashtags is a good option for more engagement.
Tip: Many do not even know that hashtags and geo-locations have their own stories and can increase the range enormously in this way. You can find the stories on the appropriate hashtag page or at the top of the page.
Hashtags in stories
Placing hashtags in stories is also a wonderful way for more reach. Officially, you can only place a tag using stickers, but you can add more with the normal text function. For better aesthetics with multiple tags, you should cover them with an emoji or something similar.
Stories have become one of the most popular formats since being integrated into the platform, which is being used by more and more users every day. The great thing about Stories is that, unlike your content, they do not have to be curated in the feed and they’re quick to go by the hand. Users are totally on (private) background stories of companies or other users who otherwise only publish glossy images.
The problems with bot or spam comments should, however, continue to be less. If Instagram was bot-contaminated for a long time, as many users have used 3rd-party apps to automate comments or likes, this is now prohibited on the platform. Although Instagram has removed some third-party apps like Instagress There are more than enough of this species. The use is not only nonsensical, but also annoying for the recipients of automated comments. Since Instagram can not always keep an eye on all the apps, the network has now found a simple solution: users who use a third-party app that accesses the account, may be punished with a shorter reach or temporarily suspended. And it does not matter to the platform whether the app is used to automate interactions, or hashtag research. For this reason, apps like Tag O’Matic are currently not recommended. Only official partners can be used safely.
If you continue to receive spam comments, you should rigorously report, delete and block the user. Instagram has finally announced the bots the fight and the result can be seen so far quite.
By the way: If you continue to focus on automation, it may well be that Instagram locks your account. This may be too much for a private account, but for corporate accounts, it can be very annoying.
List of current top hashtags
You can almost always use the following tags, but you have to be careful here, because in a short time they can be just as overused as #nofilter, #love or #friends – and thus become useless. Attention: The hashtag list shows only examples and can only serve as basis and inspiration. Everyone has to do a bit of research for their own individual needs.
#vscocommunity #liveauthentic #thatsdarling #darlingmovement #flashesofdelight #livethelittlethings #nothingisordinary #thehappynow #dewocheaufinstagram #theweekoninstagram #visualsoflife #visualsgang #instamagazine #instamagazine_ #saturdaze #instainspo
Adventure & nature
#tellus #thedscvrr #getoutside #thegreatoutdoors #getoutdoors #takeahike #outdooradventures #openmyworld #goplayoutside #greatnorthcollective #wildernessculture #letsgosomewhere #ourplanetdaily #wildlifeplanet #keepitwild #stayandwander #campvibes #lonelyplanet #passionpassport #themountainiscalling #theoutbound #mindthemountains #explorewildly #finditliveit #campvibes #adventuremobile #thedesertisbeautifultoo #northwestisbest #exploremore #bestvacations #natgeo #travelstoke #wonderful_places #lensbible #theoutbound #wildernessearth #exploretocreate #liveoutdoors
#f52grams #feedfeed #eatclean #commontable #mycommontable # #lifeandthyme #eeeeeats #onmytable #tastemade #forkyeah #dailycortado #yahoofood #huffpost #buzzfeast #foodlicious #foodshot #instafeast #bareaders #foodandwine #onthetable #vscofood #vscocook #foodstyling #beautifulcuisines # heresmyfood #theartofslowliving #rslove #realsimple #foodporn #cntravelereats #drinkwine
Home & interior design
top wedding hashtags
#bride #weddedbliss #weddingstyle #weddingfun #marryingmybestfriend #weddingday #easyweddings
Hashtag research tips
The mentioned tags represent only a small part of the population. As described above, you should try out here to find your own way. For each account, other hashtags work sometimes more, sometimes less well. Sometimes, instead of singular, it is enough to choose the plural in order to see a clear difference.
You can get even more inspiration from high-impact posts in your niche. These were formerly in the top 9 of the hashtag pages, this is no longer the case due to the personalized arrangement. Our tip: Find some feature accounts from your niche. Feature accounts share interesting photos of notable photographers. While they rarely use hashtags, the photographers themselves often do so.
Another way to search for relevant hashtags is to search. If you enter a specific day here, you’ll find other popular and related hashtags listed above:
And now: a few useful hacks that you should heed
We have now learned that hashtags no longer perform the same function as they once did. While they used to be responsible for the reach of content for smaller accounts, today it is a combination of several factors.
# 1 Smaller accounts should definitely use hashtags
Often you can see small accounts that do not have too many followers and use only a few hashtags. But just for these, the use is quite useful.
# 2 Hide hashtags in the comments or not?
While this used to be the insider tip for more aesthetics in the posts, today it is relatively the same whether the hashtags are placed in the caption or in the comments. Some believe that Instagram limits the reach when the tags are hidden in the comments, but no one has confirmed it yet.
# 3 Censored hashtags circumnavigate
Whether it’s bot activity or excessive spam with a predominantly sexual background, the list of recently censored hashtags is long and not always traceable. Thus #tgif or #Streetphoto are currently locked in addition to #Instamood. Also, #Snapchat can be found under the censored tags.
# 4 hashtag hack for saving time
And so you do not have to tediously type in every single hashtag every time, here’s a hack that will make your job a lot easier in the future: save time with the Instagram hashtag hack. But beware: In the meantime, it is assumed that the same tags have a negative effect on the range, which is why you should vary them.
# 5 Mark accounts
Lately, it has become established to tag other related accounts in the pictures to get more attention. The idea is good and works frequently, but it should not be overused. The linked accounts should be well chosen (such as feature accounts), because, in the meantime, more and more users are annoyed by the method – and lock the one who constantly marks them unasked.
# 6 Instagram Pods
Loved by users, but the meaning behind it should always be questioned. The fact that the algorithm sorts according to relevance (ie engagement) has led to users being forced to join together in messenger groups and thus to generate artificial engagement with each other. However, Instagram is well on the way to tracking such activity and punishing users with lower coverage. Recently, Facebook has begun to delete large engagement groups on the platform. So you should ask yourself if pods are the way to go.