Choose Your Hashtags Wisely


By Nazia Khan-Ahmed

Hashtags were created by Twitter from there people started using Hashtags on other available social media channels. These are used in Tumblr in expanded form for classification and sub commentary. The Hashtags are used more often on Instagram then on Twitter. It is not used effectively on Facebook. Apart from this, people also use these on other places just for enjoyment.

Even though Facebook owns Instagram, the Hashtags used on both the platforms are similar. These are persistently avoided on Facebook which has lower connection rates. It forms the most rapid growth strategies that are available.

You should use Hashtags on Instagram. On Instagram, you are allowed to use up to 30 hashtags when you post your image. Many people have the idea that this is spammy. You will find that on Instagram, the “Hashtag block” that is at the bottom of descriptions is just similar to metadata. It is mostly ignored by users.

According to a research, related to the effects of using hashtags engagement on Instagram images. A number of people have a point of view that using 11 hashtags is ideal. But in fact 11 is the minimum number of hashtags. Mostly suggest using up to a total of 30 good hashtags in your description.


How to Pick the Right Hashtags

Selecting the right tags is an important part. You must have a good selection of hashtags if you use 30 in your image. This will easily lead you to conquer 75% of your competition on Instagram.

As you have a choice of using up to 30 tags per image. You must make sure that you cover the following three categories in these limited number of tags. These categories are as follows


Tags of Brands

These are Hashtags that are related to your brand. For example, Tesco will use #Tesco’s Winter offering a winter sale. These tags are not ordinary because they represent a brand. People often do not search for branded tags unless if they are aware of the existence of the tag.

The creation of branded Hashtags leads to track the activity outside your own feed. You can have an eye on the activity of people mentioning the specific tags in order to assume the stirring up of your advertised activity. On Instagram, it is ideal to use only 1-2 branded hashtags per post. Including an item that can be a general branded tag for example #Tesco’s. In some cases if you desire more than you can have numerous on your specific campaign tags.

Exceptionally, you can use 1-2 if you are having any contest. Here you will need a contest-specific tag so that your users can use it to make an entry in the contest. This type of tag can be helpful in monitoring the entries and to pick a winner.


 Tags related to specific Images

These tags do not include brands. For example, If Tesco offer their winter sale they will use #WinterSale. They contain the specific image that you post. For example, if you want to post something regarding the calmness of winter season and show snowy rail track you can use the hashtags like #Cold, #Snow or #Train. You can show a variety of image-specific tags according to your images. In some descriptive tags some passionate photographers also include their camera type in their tags if they have used some special type. Similarly, you can also include tags about meta-information. You can use the specific tag like #NoFilter if you used any filter on Instagram.


Tags relevant to specific Industry

These are tags that relate less to the image and more to your business. Tesco’s winter sale might use #Clothing here, or #Fashion. They’re tags that represent who you are as a brand and a business, without being branded. This allows people who are fans of your industry to find you even if they don’t follow your brand itself.

Industry-relevant tags might sound familiar to you once you start digging into them and there’s a good reason for that. There’s a lot of overlap between them and your keyword research. The only difference is that with keyword research you’re hunting for the long tail to find unique keywords with low competition. With hashtags, you’re looking for less long-tail keywords that would have more competition, because on Instagram, competition equals traffic. The more traffic a keyword has, the more people have the chance to view your image, within limits. Again, more on that later.

So how many of each should you use, specifically? Well, it will vary. In general, I would say about 3-5 should be branded tags, though you can get away with just one for tracking purposes. Of the remaining, oh, 27, 7-12 should be image-specific. This gives people who are interested in certain individual topics a good chance to see the image. The remaining 15-20 should be your industry-relevant tags. This makes sure the people in your industry will see the images as well.

For each image, your industry-relevant tags will not change too much. Neither will your branded tags. Therefore, it is the image-specific tags that get the most leeway to change from image to image.


Tags Relevant to your Field

These tags are more relevant to your business rather than the image itself. For example, Tesco’s clothing sale includes #Clothing here or #Fashion. These tags show your brand or business without being branded. Due to this fact, their fans are able to find them regardless of actually following the brand specifically.

Industry-relevant tags have their own important place. There is a lot of overlap among these tags and your keyword research. One of the main difference among them is that with the help of keyword research you can find unique keywords with less competition. On the other hand, with hashtags you can find long-tail keywords with greater competition. It is the beauty of Instagram that competition brings traffic. People have more chances to view your image due to greater keyword traffic.

Here you may have a question in your mind that how many should you specifically use. The answer is that it can vary. You can use about 3-5 branded tags but you can get away with one only and that can be for tracking purpose. Next, 7-12 must be image-specific. This can give a chance to people to see the image. Finally, the remaining 15-20 must be your industry-relevant tags. This will lead the people in your industry to see the specific image.

Your industry- relevant tags will not change for each image including your branded tags. Apart from this, it is the image-specific tag that changes from image to image.

These tags do not have a strong local identity. These are created by people who have their local businesses. Whereas, the online-only businesses and global brands do not use these tags. If you want to focus on your local image or local business brand, then you can use the hashtags that are related to your geographical location of the image location as an additional identifier.



Characteristics of a Good Tag

You can’t use tags with no activity, because if no one uses them, no one is going to see your image through them. It’s not really hurting you to use them, except that one of your 30 slots is going to a tag that isn’t benefiting you.

By this point, you must be having an idea of different kinds of hashtags you need and should have. There are numerous criteria available through which you can filter the useless tags. Some of them are discussed below:

Hashtags should be relevant to your niche: If shoes are your brand and you relatively post an image of winter boots then in this case you cannot post this specific picture by using the tags #books or #basketball. This will surely be considered as irrelevant or spam. This approach will not work due to its irrelevance. If for instance, people want to see images related to #basketball and you post a picture of boots-in-snow it will be considered as irrelevant. The audience will not accept it and they will not even click it. So, it will be useless. You should always make sure that your tags are relevant.

Hashtags should be active: You should always check a tag before you post it. You should also see that when the last post was made and also the time frame of other posts that are made. The concept of being “Active” may vary. In case if you have a branded tag, it may not matter because they are for your specific use regardless of public. If you are posting images and industry tags you will have to search for the posts that have ongoing comments. A few slow tags may have five to six posts per day or even less. This shows that these particular posts are not very active.

Hashtags should not be too active: Most popular tags including #cute or #nonfilter face the problem of too much traffic on it. This can be a negative aspect. For example, if you have an audience in millions they will try to access the post at the same time. Besides of having a large number of audience, you will actually have a subsection of the total number. It is highly recommended that you should not have more than 2-3 highly active hashtags per image.

You can also try to target your competitor’s hashtags. You can review the most recent posts made by your competitors. Now check out the kinds of hashtags that they use in their posts. In case you are in an intelligent industry you can note numerous keywords that they use. But if you are in an enlightened industry, it might be a possibility that you may not see a vast number of hashtags or substandard tag choices. These can have both good and bad results. It can be bad because you cannot steal the original ideas. Whereas, it can be considered as good because you will be able to easily surpass the competition due their competent hashtag usage.

Here you should also keep in mind that in any case you should not use your competitors branded hashtags. For example, Tesco’s advertising for Kohl will not work out for them.

You should also be aware that you have the choice of using more than 30 tags and you will just have to post them in your comments after you post your image. The purpose of these additional tags when you post an image is to sort your image into the feed sequence wise. Through this, you can use most popular tags in your description and can save less popular tags like geographic identifiers and branded tags in your comments. In case you try to include your image to the particular tag then it will not be displayed on top and will seem invisible.


Why Never to use more than 30 Hashtags

You should be aware of one thing if you manage to find more than 30 tags that you want to use. The filing of image shown in hashtag feed clearly depends on the time stamp only and not the hashtag. It will not bring it to the top feed if you want to add up an image later like it did before. In this case you should sort out your hashtags. Selecting the most active and popular hashtags should be kept on top and then posted in the description of the image while posting it.

You should post the 31+ group of tags including less active tags in a comment. These can be posted in a comment at once or you can even hide them. If you wish you can also use the five period method and then it will appear as a […] in the Instagram comment feed. People can click on this link and expand to see the comments.Although this is not possible because many people will not do so. If you want to do it then it will be your decision.

Hashtags are devised to facilitate the users of Instagram and Twitter although they are not popular with Facebook their importance cannot be ignored.


About the Author

Nazia Khan- Ahmed is a Social Media Writer who has majored in Textile Designing. Also Holds Bachelor’s degree in Education and English Language Certification. Finds it impossible to discuss herself in third person but is doing so as per the demands of this bio. She is a home-maker and teaches Textile Designing to degree classes at the same time. Being nocturnal has taught her to manage her work in the night and her home at day time.