Hashtags Can Help or Hinder Post Exposure
Do you use a hashtag generator app? Do you search for the most popular trending hashtag and use it as often as you can?
You may very well be destroying the possibility anyone will ever see your post besides you and your fur baby, Rover.
Let’s think this through together.
If you use an app to find your hashtags, do you suppose that app is going to give you something more unique or fitting to your post than it’s going to give the tens of thousands or millions of other people that are using it that day? If everyone is getting pretty much the same hashtags, how is your post going to stand out?
Maybe you research your hashtags. Do you look for the most popular hashtags? Or do you think it’s clever to use a hashtag that almost no one else is using?
Grab your phone
When you open up Instagram on your phone, how many images do you see? How long do you think it would take you to scroll through 1,000,000 images? In fact, if you’re searching a hashtag that has been used 1,000,000 or more times, each time you refresh your screen, different images will appear. That screen will change in seconds.
If you have a tendency to use, say 5 hashtags per post, and use hashtags that already have millions of uses, your post will be like a drop of water in the ocean. How likely will it be that your target audience finds you?
The big question: What’s the sweet spot?
The sweet spot you should aim for when choosing hashtags are ones that have been used between 5,000 and 500,000 times.
Hashtags used over 500,000 (too many eyeballs) and under 1,000 (not enough eyeballs) are unlikely to be found in an Instagram search.
Using a mix of more popular hashtags (which get a lot of eyeballs) and some less popular hashtags that you might be able to get a spot in the “Top Posts” in is ideal. My favorite range is between 5,000 and 500,000.
- Hashtags that have been used between 1,000 to 1,000,000 times are good.
- Hashtags that have have been used between 5,000 and 500,000 are better.
- Using a variety of hashtags that include less popular and a few that are trendy or more popular is best.
- Try to use all 30 hashtags that Instagram allows but not that many on other platforms.
- About half your hashtags should be about your product or service, the other half about the type of person you’re targeting.
Creating the best mix of hashtags for your post is part art and part science. If you’re looking for the step-by-step blueprint for your perfect blend of tags that will get you in front of potential customers, take a look at this great reference workbook, “Hashtag Bible”.