How Hashtags Help Posts Get Seen in the New Instagram Feed

HASHTAG ESSENTIALS

The new Instagram feed relies on image popularity, not the traditional chronological timeline.  For many users, this change is throwing off their game entirely. This format is similar to Facebook, and relies on an algorithm that rewards popular content. Before you post in vain again, take the time for a re-think, and to adjust your strategy.

The issue is that for many posters, their content is not liked fast enough or frequently enough to make the cut. So it rapidly disappears into oblivion.

How can you increase the chances that your content is seen, and liked, in a timely fashion by the right people who will like and comment on your images?

Hashtags to the rescue!

Here are some Hashtag strategies worth trying.

  1. Choose hashtags wisely when composing your captions. Limit yourself to one or two hashtags that are the most relevant.
  2. Post up to 30 hashtags in the comments field, immediately after posting your image.  Critical: Make sure they are relevant and specific to you post and your audience, and not an invitation for likes and/or follows. Most users are limited to 30 hashtags by instagram, although some original users may have a higher limit grandfathered in. Why not use them all?
  3. Prepare yourself by creating your own hashtag lists, and storing these lists in your notes for easy copying and pasting. These lists can include:
    • Location hashtags
    • Group or organization hashtags
    • Activity hashtags
    • Cause hashtags
    • Campaign hashtags
    • Subject matter hashtags
    • Popular culture references and meme hashtags
    • Brand name hashtags or other identifying info about products/places

Additional thoughts and tips:

It’s important to comment with your hashtags as soon as possible after posting, particularly when you are using popular hashtags – and you may want to rethink your use of the most commonly used tags.  Instagram shows hashtags feeds in two sections – a “top posts” section up top, followed by  a chronological feed that shows the most recent posts at the top.  It can be very difficult to make it into the top posts section of popular hashtags and your post will quickly fall off the chronological timeline on a popular tag feed.

Therefore, extremely active/popular hashtags are only useful for increasing exposure in the first few moments immediately after posting. Because there are so many people using these hashtags, your content tagged with a popular tag will potentially be seen by many people, but not for very long unless you have incredible traction.

Niche and less used hashtags can be added later, and may provide additional longer term exposure if they are not over used, so if you think of one to add – go ahead and add it! These types of hashtags have the added benefit of helping you gather engaged followers who are truly interested in the types of images/content you are sharing.

Pro tip: If you don’t like the look and feel of a full paragraph of hashtags in the comments, ask a friend or colleague to comment on your post.  Once you’ve received two comments on your post, the hashtags will no longer show in the feed.

Got additional tips to share? Tweet us @Hashtracking!

 

About Ciaran Blumenfeld

Ciaran Blumenfeld is a serial entrepreneur with a pedigree in marketing & advertising. She's one of the original co-founders of Hashtracking. She enjoys a strong, engaged personal social media presence with footholds in the parenting, lifestyle and travel markets. As a marketer Ciaran can be found overseeing multi-platform digital campaigns from strategy to execution. This is when her geek side shows.

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