A resounding yes!
Whether you are posting on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, hashtags help you get higher engagements on your posts. Hashtags, which are a combination of letters and numbers, sometimes emojis, preceded by #, make your post more discoverable by categorizing content. If a user clicks on a hashtag or searches a hashtag, it will show posts that are tagged with it.
In the past year, the rules on using hashtags have changed and a lot of users say that it isn’t an effective way to get engagements anymore. But it just takes a conscious effort to use hashtags correctly. Here are 5 reasons why hashtags are still an effective way to increase social media engagement.
1 – Users can follow hashtags
Instagram allows users to follow hashtags, just like how they can follow users. Community hashtags connect like-minded users that are interested in a specific subject. Thus, even if they don’t follow you, they can still see your posts if it is relevant to a subject they are interested in. If you are sharing great content and using highly relevant hashtags, many users will follow you. However, if you use irrelevant hashtags on your posts, users can report it using the feature ‘Don’t Show for This Hashtag’. If more users report your posts, the less likely your posts will be shown on their feed. So be very mindful of what hashtags you use!
2 – Hashtags can be used in Stories
Instagram Stories have taken like gangbusters. More often than not, users view stories more than they browse through their feeds. Fortunately, you can also use hashtags on your Stories. Just make sure not to overload your post with too many hashtags as it will clutter your post.
3 – You can use multiple hashtags per post
Maximize using hashtags by adding up to 30 hashtags for posts and 10 hashtags for stories. This increases the likelihood of getting your posts noticed by your target audience. Just be careful not to use irrelevant hashtags as your post may look like ‘spam’. You can include a few popular hashtags but it is also recommended to include specific ones, such as location hashtags or branded hashtags.
4 – Find the best hashtags for your posts
Finding the best hashtags for your posts isn’t rocket science! There’s no reason for you to get stuck using #love or #instagood on every one of your posts. Yes, it can get you a few likes, but those are most likely bots that are programmed to instantly like posts that use this hashtag. Instead, make use of the search function and search keywords relevant to your posts. Find out specific hashtags that are being used by users so you can include them in your own posts. Check out other accounts with content similar to yours and see what hashtags they are using. You can also use the ‘View Insights’ function if you have a business profile and see which combination of hashtags gets you the highest impressions.
5 – You can hide them!
Instead of putting them in the caption where it looks too cluttered, you can add your hashtags in a comment. This keeps your audience focused on your post. Together with a compelling caption and great photo, you can attract more users to follow you.
Hashtags, if used correctly, can certainly help you boost your online presence. Along with great content, hashtags will help promote your brand and help you get connected to your target audience. It can be a bit overwhelming to find the correct hashtag. But once you do, engagements increase and followers will be pouring in.