Today is 13 October 2020.
I literally posted yesterday about my strategy for Instagram and what I’m going to be doing.
Anyway, I did some more reading today and I’m seeing a few recommendations to use less hashtags.
Can you still use 30?
You can still use 30 hashtags in a post between the caption and the comments.
That hasn’t changed.
So what HAS changed?
Honestly I don’t know.
Reach and engagement organically had been dropping for a while and as far as I can tell, it still sucks unless your content gets engagement – which ironically it needs to be seen to do in the first place.
So you would think more hashtags would mean more exposure right?
But I had noticed the number of impressions on my posts from hashtags had been really low – but it wasn’t zero so it’s not like I was shadowbanned.
Then I was doing a bit of study today and read a recommendation to cap your hashtags at 15.
Then I looked into a bit more and noticed a few more people saying the same thing – some said 5-10 hashtags, some said up t0 15.
Then I just picked some of the hashtags I was posting for regularly and looked at the recent posts.
The ones getting engagement weren’t particular stand out or anything exceptional visually but they were getting engagement and their follower numbers weren’t big.
But they all had less than 20 hashtags.
Then I looked at some of the big accounts – which is a bit skewed because they have a following already anyway – but again, none were using anywhere near 30.
I don’t know what changed but it looks like a trend worth exploring.
So what changes am I making to my strategy?
Well I did a ton of hashtag research as you already know. (If not, check it out here.)
So I have that ready to go.
All I’m doing is using that same research and instead of posting 30 hashtags per post, I’m capping it at 15.
I have no idea what will happen to be honest.
My data will be skewed because I am also upping from posting once a day to twice a day, but I guess I’ll still be able to track engagement per post and get some idea of what’s going on.
But in theory, I will be using some hashtags less which should mean I’m not overusing any.
Again I can’t confirm a yes or no on the algorithm but a lot of sources seem to agree that you need to rotate hashtags so you don’t get shadowbanned from any of them…
So in theory this should help me avoid that.
It also means I won’t waste time doubling up on hashtags.
I used to use something like both #fitnesstips and #fitnesstip in the same post when in reality most people browsing one will probably be browsing both.
Remember that hashtags are about discoverability so you want to know what your target audience are searching for.
So the new strategy I’m trying
I’m trying this on 2 accounts.
15 hashtags per post, all in the first comment.
I categorised my hashtags in my research based on specific short keywords.
So I am basically taking blocks of 3 hashtags from 4 columns to get 12 hashtags and then picking 3 that are specific to the post that I just grab from an Instagram search.
And that’s it.
Today is the first day so hopefully I’ll have something positive to report back soon.