Five Things I've Learnt About Hashtags

Hashtags, hashtags, hashtags! Should we use them? Should we not? How many should we use? Is 5 too little? 30 too keen? And then there’s those that profess that they have binned using hashtags altogether. Woah! So, with all these conflicting notions doing their bit in the world of social media total confusion, I thought I’d do a little investagative work and share my findings. Now, I have to confess that I am not an expert. What I share here is not to be taken as gospel. These are just my thoughts and my findings this week that I thought some of you may be interested in reading. And, as always, I am more than happy to be challenged on this or offered more expert advice. As you know, this blog is a sharing caring kind of ethos for my followers and nothing more as I’m always happy to help where I can. So, after an awful lot of trawling and self-exploratory with my own posts, I have come up with the following five points:

1. More or less. It doesn’t seem to make any difference whether I use 5 hashtags or 30. In all fairness, the more hashtags I use I seem to get a much further reach and therefore more likes. If you have made your account a business account you can see all the data analytics on your post, such as reach and where the views have come from. Over the past week the majority of my views have come from hashtag use so based on that I’m using all 30 as much as possible! Also, if you look at the big accounts of 100K plus, they are generally using all 30.

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2. Mix them up. Now I know most of you already know this but don’t use the same 30 hashtags for every single post. When I use new hashtags I have more chance of getting into the ‘Top’ page of the hashtag. I have trialled this this week and have repeatedly been on the ‘top’ page when I’ve introduced new hashtags. This then increases your chances of people seeing your post, hopefully clicking that heart button and then the algorithm suddenly becomes your new best friend. Also by mixing them up, Instagram (whoever Instagram is!) doesn’t think you’re a robot!

3. Big and Small Hashtags. Use a selection of small (10k), medium (100K+) and large (millions). Now this has been revolutionary for me as I didn’t always do this in the past but it makes sense so I’ll try to explain in a way that makes sense to you. If you use a small hashtag your post has more chance of being seen as it will stay in the most recent for a little longer than in a widely used hashtag where it will be so far down the page within a matter of minutes. It will also hopefully get more likes within these smaller hashtags which will then mean that the algorithm will be kind and start to show your post to more people. If it then starts to do well from engagement in the smaller hashtags, the algorithm may pop your post in the ‘Top’ section of the larger hashtags and then it is all hallelujah from there!

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4. Hashtags In The Caption. Now there is a whole host of different thoughts on this but from my findings this week I am sticking with popping them in the caption. The reason being that Instagram places your post in the hashtag from the time it was posted and not from the time you wrote the hashtag. So if it takes you two or three minutes to type the hashtags out in a comment your post will be down the hashtag feed before people have even had a chance to see it (particularly in the larger hashtags!). Pop those hashtags in the caption and your post will be seen timely within the hashtag therefore boosting your chances of people seeing your post and being generous with the double clicking which in turn pleases the algorithm greatly! Make sense?

5. Hashtags in Stories. Always add hashtags to your stories. For example if I use #theprettycities I will increase views to my stories by a third. These will be people that are mostly not following me so it shows my account to more people who will, hopefully, once viewing my profile, click that follow button!

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So, there you have it. Five simple things that will hopefully be of help to some of you. I don’t have a direct number to Instagram to check if they agree but if anyone does could you let me know. But, in the mean time, give these tips a whirl and let me know how you get on. Let’s learn from each other because hopefully those that are reading this are not those caught up in the buying of followers, likes and comments. Oh, and one final thing, make your image the best it can be because all of these tips will help you flourish even more if your photos are popping.

As always, I love to read your comments so let me know what you think. Or if there is anything glaringly obvious I’m missing out, let me know and if you want some clarification on any of the above either drop me a comment below or dm me on Instagram.

Thank you for reading and happy scrolling.

Helen x


Helen Sandle8 Comments