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Should Hashtags be used at ALL?!

Discussion in 'Instagram' started by fxmanaged, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. fxmanaged

    fxmanaged Junior Member

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    I've seen all sorts of threads about people either bashing or defending hashtags.

    Some say that using 30 hashtags will inevitably lead to getting shadow banned.

    Some say that traffic from hashtags is negligible and that the only people that check if their post appears on the top 9 grid are marketers themselves. I think this is a little hard to believe because how do regular people search for content within Instagram if it's not with hashtags?

    Some recommend to use all 30 hashtags because it will get you the most engagement and give you the highest chance for your posts to be found.

    Some say to minimize hashtags to 5-15 and make them very specific for each post.

    So what is it then? It sounds far fetched that Instagram will start punishing people for using the very core they initially shoved down their user's throats, but then again, Google did the same thing with backlinks a while back.

    What is your view on the ideal way to use hashtags and have you seen any studies that confirm your beliefs?

    By the way, what we've always done with hashtags is use all 30, but have multiple sets of different tags that we rotate on every post.
     
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  2. speedypro

    speedypro Regular Member

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    Each account is different. Base your actions off Insight stats. The number dont lie.
    Some require hashtags, some require 5-10, some need 30.

    I've come to my own conclusions and they are unique to me. Tags can give 10% discovery on accounts under 25k followers. Over 25k, discovery is based off your existing followers liking your content which is broadcasted to their friend's explore page. I see no difference on some accounts using 10 hash tags versus 30 on "Some accounts." But I've seen enough stats across multiple niches that tell me hashtags are irrelevant. That is MY own conclusion. Maybe those stats are based off people who don't know how to employ hashtags.

    So bottom line, no one has a set of correct answers. Act and react based on what your insights are telling you. Those who are telling you else is just projecting conjecture.

    Each niche is different. All the different strategies are not reproduce-able on a broad scale. Strategy A may work for a fitness account while Strategy B works for a pet account.
     
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  3. G0nzal0

    G0nzal0 Registered Member

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    I would say before it was ok to use all 30 hashtags but now for me, it's obvious that Instagram doesn't like it. so I generally use 10-15. But I do not rotate all the tags (have 4-5 fixed tags) and sometimes could be on top9 for them.
     
  4. fxmanaged

    fxmanaged Junior Member

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    I would tend to agree with you. It's just that some people defend the extreme sides of the argument as if they new all the secrets. I think Instagram is using a lot of AI and things cannot just be optimized in a linear fashion.
     
  5. H3fog

    H3fog Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    i don't use hashtags anymore. I feel like the method of using hashtags is kind of saturated since so many people do it.
     
  6. willteasle

    willteasle Regular Member

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    This is my personal experience.
    Hashtags dont do my account any good. I dont see a difference in likes.
    Since switching from a business account my insights tell me that hastags only bring 10-30 likes no matter if I use 30 or 8 ... These are well researched tags in my niche. The tags have less than 200 000 posts.
    I think my account is goosed though. IG is punishing me for botting somehow, I cant work it out, but I know my reach is throttled.
    So test what works for you, each account is different.
     
  7. Simox123

    Simox123 Regular Member

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    I'm using 30 hashtags on all of my posts but the key is to rotate them and choose good hashtags that are fitting to your accounts, they are bringing from 30 to 60 people organically to my instagram page and I know for a fact that they are interested and engaged.

    Use hashtags but find a good strategy.
     
  8. JonathanTivoli

    JonathanTivoli BANNED BANNED

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    Hashtags don't work anymore after the algorithm update on IG. If you're into growing your account then you should consider changing strategies. Try influencer marketing instead. If you're looking for a platform to start with, check phlanx.
     
  9. Simox123

    Simox123 Regular Member

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    Lol read my post again and stop with the advertisement of your website, the fact is that I'm using hashtags right now in 2018 and they bring me a lot of followers.
     
  10. speedypro

    speedypro Regular Member

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    Th only way to know is through the new insight. Otherwise you are just making up conjecture... the stats don’t lie and I’ve seen dozens of stats, hashtags are low hanging fruit in 2018... unless you can show me a screenshot stat that shows me anything higher than 10% discovery generated via on an acccount larger than 10k...
     
  11. TheGreyMatter

    TheGreyMatter Elite Member

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    Hashtags are always a good idea but depending solely and abusing them in every post would do more harm than good to your Instagram account. Also, what kind of hashtags you're using plays a major role in, using unrelated tags which do no justice to your niche would mess up your picture rankings and then it would be really hard to get back on track again.

    The best way is to keep everything under the radar and try to make it look as realistic as possible(like a real user would post).
     
  12. Simox123

    Simox123 Regular Member

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    I have my personal bot that follows engagement (also confirmed by social blade) and on some accounts I'm only using hashtags to grow, granted you have to choose the right hashtags and use a maximum of them which must be adapted to your personal accounts to avoid shadowbans but I assure you that it works well, you can believe me or you can try it yourself.

    You don't need insight if you're a programmer :)
     
  13. Billy Batts

    Billy Batts Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    I only reply to your title, start 2 new IG, grow one without hashtags and one with and see what will happen..

    Ofc you need hashtags!! Now if you have a big account it becomes less necessary but in the beginning you will need em.

    Last week I start a new account, my first post without following anyone yet I got 50 likes out of nowhere, just because of the tags.
     
  14. speedypro

    speedypro Regular Member

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    I know the API pretty well, inside and out. Having developed analytic tools on a LAMP stack.. You are still only hypothesizing.. You can check your likes, your followers but the question is...
    For a single post. Say you post something this morning at 8 AM. What is the % of discovery from your hashtag use? That is the question and only Insight answers it.
    Sure, you can use hashtags.. But guess what. Normal people dont search by hashtags. Hashtags are often picked up by bots and other users looking to do monetization on IG using automated tools.
    Those tools dont register as "impressions" as the insight only records in-app (hint: real users) impressions. That is why some accounts see why they get 80 new followers a day then lose 70 the next. It goes in a repeated cycle because those 70-80 followers are all bots. You may get a follow but it wasn't from that single post. It was from a bot. They notice you used a tag so they followed you... But if they didn't click on your post to view it within the smartphone app, that impression is not recorded.. If you did IG API programming, you would know this to be an accurate statement. API (legit or backdoor) views do not record impressions.

    Insights will tell you out of 30,000 impressions. Only 80 new users found you via hashtag. To me, that tells me hashtag is IRRELEVANT.. I've seen over 200 different insights from various influencers.
    From accounts as small as 5K to 300K... And they all show 1-5% hashtag discovery..
    They all use 30 tags with tiered sizes - 10 tags with less than 10K, 10 tags that are 10k-100k in size, and the rest of various sizes that are always specific to their niches. They rotate their tags.. These are "so called" influencers who know how to use hashtags and have so for the past 3-4 years.

    The only ones who break 10% are those in photographer niches that engage in photo competition where YOU Have to use hashtags to be voted/discovered. And Insight will show that. They will show 10K impressions with 1,200 discovered using hashtags as it makes perfect sense.. But outside of those niches that rely on hashtag contest/feature discovery, everyone else sees 1-5%.

    Remember, we are talking about SINGLE post.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
  15. rodol

    rodol Regular Member

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    FINALLY! Someone who understand that HT Sucks... a lot of people misinforming here, i have done many test with HT and i can assure anyone that they are not necessary (for now), ppl just notice some big accounts using them and they think it's a good idea, but i have seen so many bigger accounts with an amazing engagement using no HT at all
     
  16. speedypro

    speedypro Regular Member

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    I just want to add examples:

    Same account. 7K account. 2 different days

    1) 7774 impressions. 33 hashtag discovered . This is normal. Not even 1% discovered via hashtags
    and 20 of them showed in Top 9 for 100k-2 million large size tags

    2) 2nd image. Shit impressions of 2,309 with 233 from hashtag.
    This was from a Photo-competition where 100 of users submit photos from 8AM to 10 AM. 2 hour window..
    So there are those 150 or so other photographers checking out the entries.. Again proves my point.
    If there was no photo hashtag competition. the hash discovery would be zilch.

    I've gotten as high as 2000 hashtags with a 10K reach but they were all driven by some sort of sponsored tag which is sort of like a
    telegram group/engagement pod. Other photographers checking out the submissions.

    Outside of that, HT makes little difference.


    Notice the "other" w/ 2,825.. I know why it has high other.. The content was very good.
    I spend 3 hours photoshopping and 2 hours onlocation in a photo-shoot.
    So people sent emails to their friends to check out..

    The 47 "Other" is simply because I shot an image on my dSLR and mildly edited hoping we photocompeition would give me exposure. Bottom line, quality still matters no matter how hard you try to boost it.
     

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  17. PocketAce

    PocketAce Junior Member

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    I use quite a few hashtags. Like around a good 15-20. But they are all around the same topic and I usually have fixed hashtags (which define my whole niche).
     
  18. redarrow

    redarrow Elite Member

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    Hashtags are part of website search algo ,so not using them would be silly.
     
  19. Mr5dollar

    Mr5dollar Registered Member

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    hash tags are a must, simple as that
     
  20. Simox123

    Simox123 Regular Member

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    I'm not using the API (yet) I'm using the browser (I find it better because the limited functions are all I need) for posting it can be a pain in the ass doe :p anyway to the post:

    Let's say I post something with hashtags today at 8 AM, and I don't do one follow or one like, we can say that the majority of my added followers for the day after are coming from that hashtag, no ?