[GUIDE - PART 2] - Hashtag Strategy in 2022: DO'S and DONT'S - How To Maximize Your Reach On Instagram

IGWizzard

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Overdiscussed, overused, overestimated, call them whatever, but hashtags remain one amazing tool on Instagram if you use them correctly. In this guide, I will try to answer most of the questions people ask about hashtags: how many, where, why use them? How to find the right ones?

First's thing's first: why use hashtags? There are two ways hashtags help you:

1. They increase your reach - new people will find you only by looking/using the hashtags you are using.
The main advantage of using hashtags is to increase the reach of your posts. Even if you have an excellent post on IG, that post will only be available for your followers if you don't use hashtags. IG itself will put you on the explore page in exceptional cases (like creating an extraordinary viral post or being a celebrity).
But if you use hashtags, you increase the chances that people that don't follow you find your post, engage with it and follow you.
2. They work on categorizing your content - that means that hashtags tell IG more about your content (you're in fitness, for example). IG uses this info to push your content to the right people (those searching for fitness-related info).

How many hashtags should you use?

Some say 25-30, some 8-14, and last year IG @creators account announced that we should use 3-5 hashtags/post.
Even with that recommendation, you must know there is no general trend on this issue. You have to try and see what works better for you.
Using only five hashtags is ok, using ten is ok, using 25 is also ok. Try multiple options and see which helps you maximize your reach. Once you find out what works best for you, use that regularly, but not always.
Be careful to mix them up, numbers, order, and even hashtags themselves. That will help you avoid IG spam and shadow ban.

What hashtags should you use?

1. Niched hashtags, specific to your profile, to your industry (fitness) - they should explain your photos, caption, and your profile.

2. Active hashtags - don't use outdated hashtags. If you are not sure about it, check them on IG: write the hashtag you want to use, go to the first 5-7 posts and see if they're recent, if they have engagement or not.

3. Pay attention to the size of the hashtags: use a mix of small to medium and large hashtags: I recommend going for 40% small, 40% medium, and 20% large. It's not a straight formula, try all kinds of mixes and see what gets better results.

Where should you use hashtags?

I see some people use # in the caption, some in the comment section. There's no wrong answer here. But, if your goal is to increase your reach, you need to put your hashtags in the caption.
Putting hashtags in the comment will give you equal ranking on the hashtag page, but if you use them in the caption, you will show in the search page and have more visibility, therefore more reach to your new followers and potential customers.

How to analyze hashtags?

Always look at your analytics and see what they tell you what hashtags generate the most results. Keep these hashtags, mix them with new ones, and recheck the analytics until you find the right hashtag group for you.

COMMON MISTAKES WHEN USING HASHTAGS:

1.
You're using hashtags that don't match your content: even if you have good hashtags (in size or group), they will not work for you if they don't align with your content.
For example, you are a business coach, and you post a photo with burgers on a beach from your vacation and use #businesscoach #entrepreneurlife. When someone is searching #businesscoach, there will be some photos with business tips and your photo with the burgers on the search page. Which one do you think people will choose?
People will see what you did, that your hashtags don't match your post, and won't click on your posts again. Your reach will decrease, your engagement will decrease, your number of followers will go down.

2. You don't use different categories of hashtags, sizes, or groups.
Don't use very small hashtags (under 100 uses) - they might be fun, but they have no results at all; they don't help you with anything. Also, don't create your own hashtag unless you are a Kardashian or Elon Musk.
Don't use hashtags that are too big; that won't help you either. Using #workhard will put you, maybe, on the explore page, but you won't last there more than 2 seconds. The competition is too big, and there will be thousands of posts in less than 5 minutes.

3. You're using the same hashtags/ groups of hashtags every post, which will kill your account.
Make a list of your hashtags that work well in your niche, put them in groups (of 5 to 25 hashtags), and always mix them. Don't put the same hashtags or the same groups of hashtags over and over again. Instagram will take that as spam, and you can get shadowbanned.

4. Stay away from banned hashtags - easy to say, but how do you know which ones are banned?
Whenever you want to use a banned hashtag, IG will pop up this message:
"recent posts of #…. are hidden because some posts may not follow IG's Community Guidelines".

5. You copy others' hashtags without doing your own research. If you don't know what hashtags you can use for your niche, it's ok to look at similar accounts or your competitors and see what hashtags they use. It's even ok to "borrow" some of their hashtags. It's not ok to do that without doing your research.
Some of those #might not suit you, might be too big or too small for your account. Some of them might not even work for your competitors, and you wouldn't even know that.
"Borrow" hashtags, but always check their results: go to analytics and see what results from each of those # has.

6. Don't use hashtags spelled wrong - that will only decrease your reach. Always double-check if you are spelling correctly.
For example, you want to use #career tips (with around 367k posts), but you write #carertips (with fewer than 100 posts). That will narrow your reach a lot, and you won't be visible to a big and important part of your audience. It's not only a misspelled word; it's also a misused hashtag in your strategy.
The only exception from this rule is when the #keyword is commonly spelled wrong (the famous #hodl instead of #hold in crypto).

HASHTAGS TOOLS

If you don't have time to do all that research on hashtags, you can use a few tools that will do all that work for you. I'm not an affiliate; this is not a commercial. These are some of the tools I've discovered and worked for me:

1. Hashtagslayer.com - you can get up to 50 suggestions for every search; you have likes and comments metrics for every hashtag; you can organize them in collections mix and match the collections for better-optimized groups. Also, you have a 7-day free trial if you want to see how it works before paying for the service.
2. Flick.tech - you get up to 40 suggestions for every search; you can filter using key hashtags metrics; you can check for banned/flagged hashtags; you organize them into files and have access from wherever on your app. It has a 7-day free trial as well, so you can decide for yourself if it works for you or not.
3. Metahashtags.com - this is the one I use the most and you can see below some of the reasons why.

If you don't want to spend money on finding the right hashtags, you can try some free tools like:
4. all-hashtag.com - all you need to do is enter your keyword, and you'll get the most relevant suggestion for that. You can choose between top, random and live hashtags. It also has an analytic tool that helps you know more about the popularity or ranking of the hashtag you want to use.

Second Part - My hashtag generation process

Not associated/affiliate in any way with being bellow mentioned services, this is just how I do my hashtags routine selection.

1. I am using an online hashtag generator (pro version @9eur/month). At the moment, the one that fits best my needs is metahastags.com. I like them because they have a hashtag generator where you can use a big niche hashtag like 'nature' and they generate you a list with all the related hashtags. You can export them in Excell format and then you can arrange it any way you like.

They give you pretty good insights related to every hashtag as: posts vol, posts/h, avg. likes, lowest likes, avg. comments. This comes in handy when you want to do a strong selection.

E.g. Let's say I have an account with 10k followers, when I am posting, I am using a mix of the 40-40-20 rule:
- 40% of hashtags that are equally to 10k-20k searches volume;
- 40% with accounts 20k-100k searches;
- 20% with big hashtags >1M posts;


2. After I've chosen the hashtags, I am building the hashtags blocks, using the Excell bellow. It was built with someone from Upwork, and I will share it here (tested with virus total) with you guys.

2.1. There are 3 columns in the left part:

IMG1.jpg


The columns contain hashtags ranked using the 40-40-20 rule mentioned above like this:
- in the first column: 40% lower volume hashtags
- in the second (middle) column: 40% middle volume hashtags
- in the third column: 20% higher volume hashtags.

You can edit it and add yours as much as you want.

2.2. In the right part is the script that generates the hashtags

IMG2.jpg


The script generates blocks of hashtags based on the column from A, B, C. If you want to modify the proportion of extracted hashtags modifies ONLY these values pointed in the image: Follow steps: 1 -> 2 -> 3 -> 4
Press Fetch Results and wait, it will generate a list of 500 different hashtags blocks:

IMG3.jpg


After that, if you want to use other hashtags, press Clear Results and put new hashtags in columns: A, B, C and repeat the process.

If you are a beginner and want to do some money, you can take the sheet, open an account on Fiverr, list your hashtag research service, do what I've told you in Part 2 of this article, find clients, bank money, come here on BHW and buy a JrVip subscription, list your hashtag research service on Marketplace then bank more.


I hope you find this article helpful for your IG growth. I wish you an incredible journey and many happy and loyal clients!
 

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vongucci

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Overdiscussed, overused, overestimated, call them whatever, but hashtags remain one amazing tool on Instagram if you use them correctly. In this guide, I will try to answer most of the questions people ask about hashtags: how many, where, why use them? How to find the right ones?

First's thing's first: why use hashtags? There are two ways hashtags help you:

1. They increase your reach - new people will find you only by looking/using the hashtags you are using.
The main advantage of using hashtags is to increase the reach of your posts. Even if you have an excellent post on IG, that post will only be available for your followers if you don't use hashtags. IG itself will put you on the explore page in exceptional cases (like creating an extraordinary viral post or being a celebrity).
But if you use hashtags, you increase the chances that people that don't follow you find your post, engage with it and follow you.
2. They work on categorizing your content - that means that hashtags tell IG more about your content (you're in fitness, for example). IG uses this info to push your content to the right people (those searching for fitness-related info).

How many hashtags should you use?

Some say 25-30, some 8-14, and last year IG @creators account announced that we should use 3-5 hashtags/post.
Even with that recommendation, you must know there is no general trend on this issue. You have to try and see what works better for you.
Using only five hashtags is ok, using ten is ok, using 25 is also ok. Try multiple options and see which helps you maximize your reach. Once you find out what works best for you, use that regularly, but not always.
Be careful to mix them up, numbers, order, and even hashtags themselves. That will help you avoid IG spam and shadow ban.

What hashtags should you use?

1. Niched hashtags, specific to your profile, to your industry (fitness) - they should explain your photos, caption, and your profile.

2. Active hashtags - don't use outdated hashtags. If you are not sure about it, check them on IG: write the hashtag you want to use, go to the first 5-7 posts and see if they're recent, if they have engagement or not.

3. Pay attention to the size of the hashtags: use a mix of small to medium and large hashtags: I recommend going for 40% small, 40% medium, and 20% large. It's not a straight formula, try all kinds of mixes and see what gets better results.

Where should you use hashtags?

I see some people use # in the caption, some in the comment section. There's no wrong answer here. But, if your goal is to increase your reach, you need to put your hashtags in the caption.
Putting hashtags in the comment will give you equal ranking on the hashtag page, but if you use them in the caption, you will show in the search page and have more visibility, therefore more reach to your new followers and potential customers.

How to analyze hashtags?

Always look at your analytics and see what they tell you what hashtags generate the most results. Keep these hashtags, mix them with new ones, and recheck the analytics until you find the right hashtag group for you.

COMMON MISTAKES WHEN USING HASHTAGS:

1.
You're using hashtags that don't match your content: even if you have good hashtags (in size or group), they will not work for you if they don't align with your content.
For example, you are a business coach, and you post a photo with burgers on a beach from your vacation and use #businesscoach #entrepreneurlife. When someone is searching #businesscoach, there will be some photos with business tips and your photo with the burgers on the search page. Which one do you think people will choose?
People will see what you did, that your hashtags don't match your post, and won't click on your posts again. Your reach will decrease, your engagement will decrease, your number of followers will go down.

2. You don't use different categories of hashtags, sizes, or groups.
Don't use very small hashtags (under 100 uses) - they might be fun, but they have no results at all; they don't help you with anything. Also, don't create your own hashtag unless you are a Kardashian or Elon Musk.
Don't use hashtags that are too big; that won't help you either. Using #workhard will put you, maybe, on the explore page, but you won't last there more than 2 seconds. The competition is too big, and there will be thousands of posts in less than 5 minutes.

3. You're using the same hashtags/ groups of hashtags every post, which will kill your account.
Make a list of your hashtags that work well in your niche, put them in groups (of 5 to 25 hashtags), and always mix them. Don't put the same hashtags or the same groups of hashtags over and over again. Instagram will take that as spam, and you can get shadowbanned.

4. Stay away from banned hashtags - easy to say, but how do you know which ones are banned?
Whenever you want to use a banned hashtag, IG will pop up this message:
"recent posts of #…. are hidden because some posts may not follow IG's Community Guidelines".

5. You copy others' hashtags without doing your own research. If you don't know what hashtags you can use for your niche, it's ok to look at similar accounts or your competitors and see what hashtags they use. It's even ok to "borrow" some of their hashtags. It's not ok to do that without doing your research.
Some of those #might not suit you, might be too big or too small for your account. Some of them might not even work for your competitors, and you wouldn't even know that.
"Borrow" hashtags, but always check their results: go to analytics and see what results from each of those # has.

6. Don't use hashtags spelled wrong - that will only decrease your reach. Always double-check if you are spelling correctly.
For example, you want to use #career tips (with around 367k posts), but you write #carertips (with fewer than 100 posts). That will narrow your reach a lot, and you won't be visible to a big and important part of your audience. It's not only a misspelled word; it's also a misused hashtag in your strategy.
The only exception from this rule is when the #keyword is commonly spelled wrong (the famous #hodl instead of #hold in crypto).

HASHTAGS TOOLS

If you don't have time to do all that research on hashtags, you can use a few tools that will do all that work for you. I'm not an affiliate; this is not a commercial. These are some of the tools I've discovered and worked for me:

1. Hashtagslayer.com - you can get up to 50 suggestions for every search; you have likes and comments metrics for every hashtag; you can organize them in collections mix and match the collections for better-optimized groups. Also, you have a 7-day free trial if you want to see how it works before paying for the service.
2. Flick.tech - you get up to 40 suggestions for every search; you can filter using key hashtags metrics; you can check for banned/flagged hashtags; you organize them into files and have access from wherever on your app. It has a 7-day free trial as well, so you can decide for yourself if it works for you or not.
3. Metahashtags.com - this is the one I use the most and you can see below some of the reasons why.

If you don't want to spend money on finding the right hashtags, you can try some free tools like:
4. all-hashtag.com - all you need to do is enter your keyword, and you'll get the most relevant suggestion for that. You can choose between top, random and live hashtags. It also has an analytic tool that helps you know more about the popularity or ranking of the hashtag you want to use.

Second Part - My hashtag generation process

Not associated/affiliate in any way with being bellow mentioned services, this is just how I do my hashtags routine selection.

1. I am using an online hashtag generator (pro version @9eur/month). At the moment, the one that fits best my needs is metahastags.com. I like them because they have a hashtag generator where you can use a big niche hashtag like 'nature' and they generate you a list with all the related hashtags. You can export them in Excell format and then you can arrange it any way you like.

They give you pretty good insights related to every hashtag as: posts vol, posts/h, avg. likes, lowest likes, avg. comments. This comes in handy when you want to do a strong selection.

E.g. Let's say I have an account with 10k followers, when I am posting, I am using a mix of the 40-40-20 rule:
- 40% of hashtags that are equally to 10k-20k searches volume;
- 40% with accounts 20k-100k searches;
- 20% with big hashtags >1M posts;


2. After I've chosen the hashtags, I am building the hashtags blocks, using the Excell bellow. It was built with someone from Upwork, and I will share it here (tested with virus total) with you guys.

2.1. There are 3 columns in the left part:

View attachment 203152

The columns contain hashtags ranked using the 40-40-20 rule mentioned above like this:
- in the first column: 40% lower volume hashtags
- in the second (middle) column: 40% middle volume hashtags
- in the third column: 20% higher volume hashtags.

You can edit it and add yours as much as you want.

2.2. In the right part is the script that generates the hashtags

View attachment 203154

The script generates blocks of hashtags based on the column from A, B, C. If you want to modify the proportion of extracted hashtags modifies ONLY these values pointed in the image: Follow steps: 1 -> 2 -> 3 -> 4
Press Fetch Results and wait, it will generate a list of 500 different hashtags blocks:

View attachment 203155

After that, if you want to use other hashtags, press Clear Results and put new hashtags in columns: A, B, C and repeat the process.

If you are a beginner and want to do some money, you can take the sheet, open an account on Fiverr, list your hashtag research service, do what I've told you in Part 2 of this article, find clients, bank money, come here on BHW and buy a JrVip subscription, list your hashtag research service on Marketplace then bank more.

https://www.virustotal.com/gui/file/c72d2aabcd4ccaa890952b204b6028ee2666c3b7285328e6cef7766645b6e295?nocache=1
I hope you find this article helpful for your IG growth. I wish you an incredible journey and many happy and loyal clients!

Thank you so much, very thorough!
 

IGWizzard

Jr. VIP
Jr. VIP
Joined
Jan 10, 2020
Messages
478
Reaction score
211
Website
skyrocket-growth.com
Appreciate it, Thank you for the guide:)
Very welcome, hope you find it useful.
Thank you so much, very thorough!
Happy to give back to this community, hope it helps you!
I must now check your first part mate
@getseoonline, sure thing, here is the link.
Enjoy!

 
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