Are your Instagram posts getting the desired reach? Doesn't seem so, right!! In January 2011, Instagram added hashtags to make content discovery easier. Its inclusion made different types of content stand out and also attracted a like-minded audience. But for the past few years, there have been rising concerns that “ are the hashtags on Instagram Functioning Properly?”. To answer that, we first need to know what Hashtags actually are, and trust me it's more than you know!
A hashtag is a type of keyword with a pound sign (#) in front of it. But the lesser-known fact is that the pound sign has its own importance as any content with the same hashtag will be grouped up into a link, even if the content is on a different platform. These tags are basically used mainly on microblogging or Photo-sharing platforms such as Instagram or Twitter, for cross-referencing content on different topics.
What type of hashtags are good to be used?
Honestly, Instagram allows you to add up to 30 hashtags per post and up to 10 per story, platform has this limit so that people can utilize these tags to get more engagement on their content and gain some like-minded followers. There are some cases where these tags are not working like they used to, resulting in a drop in view count and interaction on the posts.
Let's first look deep into the root cause for this decrease in the efficiency of hashtags:-
The pros and cons of using a popular hashtag are that there are chances of your post getting viewed by many people but there is a greater chance of getting replaced by another post that is using the same hashtags. Now that Instagram has over 500 million active users per day, there's a high probability you end up using the same hashtags as others ultimately making your post alien on the platform.
ii) Repeated Usage When it comes to Instagram, repeatedly using a single set of hashtags for all your posts can prove to be disastrous. Instagram's algorithm will start to blacklist your account if you try spamming it or maybe even shadowban your account. The Algorithm might take this activity as a threat as you’re successful hashtags to jack up your stats. Trust me it's a case to watch out for. iii) Irrelevant hashtag People who get the unwanted posts in their feed usually report them as spam, marking them as something that doesn't interest them. So, using irrelevant hashtags in your posts can sometimes backfire. Instagram inspects and bans the accounts that use irrelevant hashtags, all thanks to the highly advanced algorithm the platform uses.
iv) Banned hashtag The leading reason why some of the hashtags might not be working is that you are using a set of banned hashtags. These are the tags that promote posts that are against the community guideline of Instagram. This year there are around 97 hashtags that got banned for use. Read more about the banned hashtags on Instagram.
v) Irrelevant hashtag Violating the community guideline can make your account face a shadowban or your content could get reported as spam. Getting shadowbanned can also restrict your post views to only a few of your followers thus barring your reach. Reporting an account as spam can ban its content from being shown on your wall.
These were the key reasons that decrease the effectiveness of hashtags but lately, the changes in the interface of Instagram have been diverting users towards the Reels section instead of static posts. Thus decreasing the effectiveness, but don’t worry here are a few tips on choosing your next effective hashtags for your Posts.
Use them Adequately!
Hashtags are added to a post so that it appears to people with similar interests. Similarly, you can follow the same hashtag to discover content that interests you. Hashtags on Instagram are clickable and take you to a page with all the posts using the same hashtag. These Instagram hashtags can be divided into 9 categories-
i) Product or Service Hashtags ii) Niche Hashtags iii) Community Hashtag iv) Event Hashtag v) Location Hashtag vi) Acronym Hashtag vii) Emoji Hashtag viii) Relevant Phase Hashtag ix) Daily Hashtag
If Instagram hashtags are adequately used, they can take your reach to new heights. Studies have also shown and proven that people who use more than 11 hashtags per post have more traffic than the others. You can put hashtags in your Instagram description as it gives you the benefit of changing them afterward or can put them in the comment section, which works out pretty well too. Using them wisely expands your reach outside your network, engages with your followers, opens new doors of communicating, and increases brand recognition and awareness.
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