Are you confused about how Instagram hashtags work for business and for marketers? Have you wondered how they sort them or rank them?
Do you want to learn the basics of hashtags for Instagram? A lot of people struggle with Instagram hashtags.
They either don’t know how to use them for their business or they just think they don’t work.
So why are hashtags so important on Instagram? The reality is, they are the secret sauce to success.
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Instagram has very limited search capabilities as a platform, and one of the best ways to get found and get more eyeballs on your content is to use hashtags which will allow you to show up in various searches for your target audience and get more people finding your content.
So if you’re using hashtags to get found in the search, there are three specific places that you can use hashtags in your Instagram content.
One is the Instagram feed posts, the second one is Instagram stories and the third one is IGTV.
In the Instagram feed post you can use up to 30 hashtags and you should put them either in the caption or comment, in order to have them rank for a search.
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Anything beyond 30 will not show up in the search. MetaHashtags free hashtag generator can ease the hashtag research part.
For Instagram stories, you can only use up to three hashtags, You can use one hashtag sticker, or you can put three in a text box. For IGTV, it’s just like a feed post, you can use up to 30 in the description of your IGTV video.
So now that you know how to use hashtags, and you want to put them in all of your content, it’s worth noting that there’s no guarantee that you will actually show up in any specific hashtag search.
All these results for hashtags are actually sorted algorithmically. Now that sounds kind of complicated but don’t worry, I’m going to explain it so you understand how these results are sorted.
When it comes to a search feed on Instagram, head to the little magnifying glass, go to search, and look for a hashtag. You will see two tabs.
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One is going to be for top-performing posts and the other one is for recent posts. Everything in the top post is definitely algorithmically sorted.
It is determined based on you as an individual and the type of content you interact with.
So if you really like puppies, for instance, you’re more likely to see content with puppies in a search result.
If you really like self-help-type content you’re more likely to see that in a search result no matter what type of content you’re looking for in a hashtag.
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The algorithm knows what you look for and it will sort it for that based on you.
Meaning if you go look at a hashtag search sitting right next to somebody else you will see different results because they’re sorted for each of you individually.
Now, if you switch over to the recent tab in that hashtag search, that’s sorted chronologically.
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Here is where you’re more likely to appear but there’s still an algorithmic sort associated with this and there’s not a guarantee that your content will show up in every hashtag or even any of the hashtags that you specifically use.
But, there’s always a chance that you can, and when it comes to hashtags I kind of think of it like a use or a lose it type thing.
Where, if you don’t use them, there’s no chance of showing up in search. If you do, there’s a better chance of getting found by more people.
So we want to use them, take advantage of them, and get the opportunity for more people to see your content.
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How to make a good memorable hashtag for your business
So here’s the thing when it comes to hashtags, nobody owns a hashtag. You can’t trademark them, you don’t own them, anybody can use them, and they can be any combination of words or phrases.
So sometimes we’ll see these really long run-on hashtags, and sometimes you see something super short. Is one better than the other?
Well, it depends on you, your business, and your audience, and what you are using that hashtag for. So things like contest hashtags can usually be a little bit longer.
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You want this to be descriptive even say something, maybe related to a contest or giveaway in the hashtag so it’s very clear that it’s for that purpose.
If it’s your typical branded hashtag for your business, short, sweet, and easy to remember is key.
We don’t want something that’s complicated or is hard to spell, or it has a long 30 characters worth of content in it. People won’t use that frequently.
But you also don’t want it to be too short because if it’s a shortened acronym that is super common that other brands or other people might be using, then your content isn’t the only content on that hashtag and that can drive confusion around your brand.
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So we want something that’s usually somewhere in the 10 to 20 character range for a well-branded hashtag for your business. Keep it short and sweet, but recognizable and distinct to the brand.