Everyone's been lying to you about hashtags--this is how you really do it.

Daggermouthx

Regular Member
Sep 23, 2018
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I made comment on another thread about a hashtag experiment I did that went mini-viral. I've had a several people sending me messages and quoting my comments asking for a guide. I'm in the middle of building two businesses, so I don't have time to make a super detailed Instagram guide. I can make this quick hashtag guide though, so I hope you enjoy it.

Here's the experiment:

Here's a trick that everyone gets wrong:

Go to: https://displaypurposes.com/

Type in several hashtags in relation to your niche.

Here's the trick. You want evergreen traffic.

How do you achieve this? There are hashtag popularity stages. If, for example, you get less than 50 likes on your images, then you need to use hashtags with a popularity of below 60.

I've tested this with 30 mixed hashtags, 30 medium hash tags, and 30 popular hashtags over several months with the same photo.

Then I would reduce the amount of hashtags down to 5-10 for the mixed, medium and popular. I would get close to the same exact results.

Result from using popularity stages: 30-400% increase in likes and traffic on new accounts.

edit: You can also use tumblripperv3 to scrape tumblr images.

Instagram images usually stay in their own sphere of influence and get recycled continuously.

Tumblr will have niche accounts that you can scrape and find tons of HQ images that haven't been abused on IG.

So here's what I did:

I created 4 accounts and posted the same picture.

Account 1: 10 high/10 med/10 low Account 2: 30 high Account 3: 30med Account 4: 30 low
Accounts 1 and 3 had roughly the same results. I think it was around 30 hash tag reach.
Account 2 averaged about 30.
Account 4 averaged about 50-70.

I also tried lowering hashtag count on a client's mommy blogger account (climbed from 1-1.5k followers in a week so numbers can be a little skewed).
5 high pop hashtags: Averaging 30 hashtag reach
5 medium hashtags: Averaging 100 reach
5 low pop hashtags: 30-70 reach

Then on the same account:
Mixed 10 high/10med/10low: around 400 reach
Mix med/low: 4k reach

Conclusion: High popularity hashtags have so many posts that newer accounts get drowned out very quickly. They do not quickly pick up many likes from high popularity hashtags. I actually think that many likes from high popularity hashtags might be bots if you have a newer account.

I noticed that I also received more likes on posts in the newer accounts with low popularity hashtags. Around 10 more likes on average.

So if high popularity hashtags supposedly help the account grow more, then why would low popularity hashtags get the same amount of likes or more?

I also noticed the likes with high and medium popularity hashtags quickly halted after about 30 minutes to an hour.

Low popularity hashtags would continue to drip in for a few hours.

After I ran these experiments I organically grew reach on the 1k follower account from 4k reach to nearly 20k the next week.

I'm explaining there are different tiers of popularity for hashtags--just like keywords hashtags have a difficulty level. The more broad the hashtag, the more difficult to get results from the algorithm.

If you have a brand new website, you're not going to 1st page rank against HubSpot's most difficult keywords--so why do you treat hashtags differently?

You shouldn't.

This is what you need to do differently:

Step 1.) Go to https://displaypurposes.com/

Step 2.) Type in a very broad keyword related to your niche.

Step 3.) Click "copy mode"

Step 4.) Click "five dots" to remove the dots.

Step 5.) Add the hashtags into a note pad and remove any that aren't niche specific enough. Sometimes hashtags will be used for two completely different niches. Remove these.

Step 6.) Copy the hashtags, click the back arrow in your browser and paste them into the search bar.

Step 7.) Click "Auto" and move the slide from 30 to infinity.

Step 8.) Rinse and repeat until you have a ton of hash tags.

Step 9.) Click copy mode and copy all of the hash tags.

Step 10.) Special paste values only the hashtags into the "A" column of Google docs named hashtags.

Step 11.) Make a column B named "post count", then column C named "Tier/Likes".

Step 12.) Go through several hash tags with different popularity levels. Go to instagram and put them into the search bar. Take a look at the top 6 photos for every hash tag. How many likes/engagements do you need in order to rank for that hashtag?

13.) Only use hashtags that give you a chance of reaching top 6 posts.

14.) Enjoy 400% more reach.
 
Thanks for sharing man!

Is there maybe a page or service where you can paste all of the hashtags and get as a result the average "post count" and "tiers/likes"?
To automate this a bit more?
 
Great share!

There's something I didn't quite understand - If I get 50 likes in average for my photos, I should look for hashtags with popularity of 60%? Most of the hashtags there are 60% for the broad ones.
 
Great share!

There's something I didn't quite understand - If I get 50 likes in average for my photos, I should look for hashtags with popularity of 60%? Most of the hashtags there are 60% for the broad ones.

Those were actual stats I used during my hashtag experiment.

The popularity level and amount of likes may differ from niche to niche.

Don’t focus too much on the numbers I was talking about in my experiment.

What’s really important is the idea.

It’s best practice to follow the guide and do your own research.

Don’t use numbers from a niche that’s different from yours.
 
I guess that high/medium hashtags doesn't help if you cannot define a big/small account without numbers.
 
good stuff, thank you very much
i have a question not closely related to your thread, if you don't mind
can you fake engagement and reach top posts using bought likes and comments
have you tried this before?
 
good stuff, thank you very much
i have a question not closely related to your thread, if you don't mind
can you fake engagement and reach top posts using bought likes and comments
have you tried this before?

Glad you asked, I recently tested this with a "power likes" service here on BHW.

The answer is no.

UNLESS the bots take a natural path to engage with the post.

Meaning the bots need to increase your reach, impressions, etc..

Without an increase in these metrics, engagements will have ZERO affect on the algorithm.
 
I guess that high/medium hashtags doesn't help if you cannot define a big/small account without numbers.

The high/medium is to help others understand that hashtags, like keywords, have different levels of difficulty associated with their ability to rank.

When I first wrote that comment, it was just that, a comment written as fast as I could from memory.

I wasn't exactly trying to spend hours going through my google drive to find all of the exact numbers.

I hope you still found value from this.
 
Hi,

Thanks for the great guide.

So what your saying is for example if you get 50 likes on average, you would need to search for hashtags which top results have 60 or below likes? Or add 50 + 60%.

Thank you.
 
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