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How Instagram Hashtag Research Can Strengthen Your Following  

Digital Marketing

Madison Mesquita Digital Content Marketer

Hashtags are a huge component when it comes to strengthening your following on Instagram. We use them to help promote our posts, to get more attention, and increase activity on our pages. You want to bring a certain audience to your Instagram page and hashtags can help you do that. But, do you realize how important it is to use the proper hashtags and do research before? Continue reading to find out why you need to do hashtag research for Instagram.

Why Hashtags Help You Reach Your Audience 

Instagram allows 30 hashtags per post but what does that mean? Each post gives you the opportunity to use multiple hashtags, and each hashtag is directed towards an audience. With over a billion users on the platform, how do you speak to the audience that would be most interested in your content?

Hashtags are one of the most accessible tools to help your content and page reach the people you value the most, your target audience. By directing your content it will help increase reach and discoverability to in turn boost the engagement of your posts. 

To reach the right audience, you want to ensure that other Instagram posts associated with what you are posting is similar. Researching hashtags will help verify if your content fits with other posts under the hashtag. You do not want to attract a different audience with unrelated hashtags. Many hashtags are also very alike, so doing your research will show different variations. Using suggested hashtags will not guarantee your target audience, so it is important to do hashtag research before. 

How To Start Hashtag Research 

Start your research on the platform, put yourself in the mindset of your audience and what type of content they would be interested in. That doesn’t mean tagging #Dogs if your content is about sports. 

Look for hashtags with posts similar to your own content and analyze the performance of both the most recent posts and top 9 posts. Does it align with the content you create and what your audience would be interested in? 

What To Look For In Your Hashtags

As you develop your bank of hashtags, you’ll notice some hashtags are overly saturated and update frequently. For example, #Love is the most popular hashtag on Instagram. Because of this oversaturation, the posts only live for a few seconds to minutes on the top of the feed before they are buried by newer content. 

Using hashtag research tools to aid in your planning can help you quickly identify how saturated (or competitive) a particular hashtag is. Inflact and Ritetag are two online tools that can help for hashtag research. Both will show you the engagement with a hashtag, along with the saturation of each one. 

Recognizing which hashtags are popular for your target audience will help you narrow down which are the best suited for your Instagram posts. Using the platform SproutSocial, you can better understand how each hashtag performs on your posts. These tools are user-friendly and can help make hashtag research for your Instagram page faster and straightforward. 

As you dive deeper into research, you will notice other posts and accounts using similar hashtags. Accounts that are performing well with good hashtags and content will give you some insight into what direction you should be taking. Remember, the impression of a post is first, while the Instagram like or further action, is dependent on the content. So, always take note of other posts that are also using similar hashtags and ranking well as it might help you. 

Hashtag Rotations

Pro tip: always switch up your hashtags so you gain more insight on what works and what doesn’t. Switching up your hashtags will also help widen the target people who the post will be viewable by. If you are consistent with the hashtags, you will be able to record how well each one does and filter out any that do not help. Consistently doing hashtag research will broaden your range, ensuring there are always new and fresh hashtags that can be used. It is a trial and error process that requires time but it will be worth the results if you are looking to increase activity and users on your Instagram page. 

Consistency, Insights, & Results 

Hashtag research will show exactly how many people use the hashtags and how competitive each one is. If you only use high-density hashtags, those which have the most activity, your post will get buried. All new posts will top yours, essentially meaning your post will not have as much exposure. Low-density hashtags may not have as much activity or use but your post will rank higher on these pages. It is good to use a combination of both and always change your hashtags. When you use certain hashtags over a certain period of time, the way your audience and activity reacts will show if the hashtags are working. It will also show if you are reaching the right targets and being exposed to new ones. 

Hashtag research is important for those looking to increase their activity and following on Instagram. It will help you reach the proper audience, scope out the competition, and show the results of your consistency. Doing hashtag research is time-consuming and can be tedious, however, it is all worth it in the end. So, set your goals and start doing your hashtag research!

If you enjoyed this blog, check out “What’s a “Good” Social Engagement Rate?”



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