Covering the foundations of why hashtags are essential and how you can get the most out of them.

Hashtag Research

👋 Welcome

In this lesson, you will gain an introduction to hashtag strategy, and learn why hashtags are so important for the growth of your Instagram account. We’ll arm you with all of the necessary details you need to understand before you start your hashtag research. We will also get you to grips with the basics when it comes to the perfect hashtag formula before you start planning. 

Like any good story, the best place to start is from the beginning. Before building up your knowledge and using more advanced tactics, you need to get to grips with the basics. Set your pace, and don’t rush – your Instagram hashtag strategy is a marathon, not a sprint.

“Your Instagram hashtag strategy is a marathon, not a sprint.”

How do hashtags really help?

  1. They help match your Instagram account to Instagram's algorithm. If you use hashtags that are related to fitness, they'll know the best fitness-loving audiences to push your content to.
  2. Hashtags can help get immediate eyes on your posts. Did you know that most Flick users who follow a hashtag strategy are getting 70% of their post impressions via hashtags?
  3. When people search on Instagram, they search by hashtags. This means that if you use the right ones, you can get your content in front of the exact audience who are already looking for posts like yours. It’s much easier to convert people already looking for your content. 
  4. Instagram’s machine learning technology favours content that is well-labeled, and if you do this using hashtags, your posts will be shown to a wider audience. 

What are the fundamentals?

  • Hashtags are not all the same. Some are more competitive than others, and you can gauge the level of hashtag competition by looking at a hashtag's 'average likes' (the average engagement levels of the people who are appearing in the top-posts section of a hashtag).We’ll cover this more in-depth in later lessons!
  • The more relevant your hashtags are, the better the results you'll get - Instagram wants to provide the best user experience for its audiences, which means giving hyper-targeted content. The better you label your content, the more relevant an audience you'll reach!
  • Hashtags can't save content that isn’t high quality, so make sure your content is both attention grabbing and matches the quality on your feed. 
  • You should be using 20-30 hashtags on every post and shouldn't constantly use the same ones over and over - they should vary in size and type.

With this in mind, let’s look at some examples of good hashtag usage, and poor hashtag usage.

⚡️Now it's your turn

This won’t be too strenuous, don’t worry! Your first task is to take a look at the hashtags you’re already using, if any. As you evaluate your current strategy, keep the information above in mind, and note down where you might be going wrong, or where you could improve. 

Set your goals for your overall account and the growth you hope to see via your new hyper-targeted hashtag use. This is for you to look back on and evaluate once you have a foolproof strategy in place.

Let's recap!

  • Hashtags are essential for the growth of your account, and for reaching the right audiences, who are engaged in and/or are looking for your content. 
  • Hashtag success requires time and strategy. Rather than just using random hashtags there should be a method to the magic. It will take a bit of time to get into the swing of things, but when you do, trust us, it’ll be worth it!
  • Your hashtags should match your content in order for the best results, and you should use a variation in the hashtags you use across all of your posts. 
  • Hashtags can help increase your visibility by over 30%, no matter what your account size is.