I changed my Instagram Hashtag Strategy to test out for a week.
The general gist of the change was:
- Fewer hashtags 15-20 maximum
- Slightly bigger hashtags – I tended to focus mostly on the under 100k and a tiny % between 100k posts and 1 million posts but I’m focusing more on those bigger tags with 100k or more posts and a small % with over 1 million posts
I had done some of my own reading and observed what other accounts were doing.
This seemed to be the trend to stop using 30 hashtags in every post so I thought I’d try it out.
I did screw up my own testing slightly by upping frequency of posts to twice a day which meant data would be skewed by more frequency of posts but I have brought it back down to one post a day this week so by my next update I’ll have more informed stats to share.
So what happened in this week?
I tested this approach across 2 accounts.
Like I said, I upped the frequency of posts as well as reducing hashtags so it isn’t a like for like comparison.
But for the sake of keeping it simple for this post, let’s just say that if I was posting twice a day then in theory if the hashtag strategy was better, my reach should have more than doubled.
(Doubled by doubling post numbers and then a bit more from better use of hashtags.)
Here’s the results
In fairness I should have taken my screenshot on Monday instead of on Wednesday morning because it’s been tanking again this week.
But as you can see, impressions were up 19.3% for that time period (5 of those days were 2x posts a day).
Total impressions of 1,121 on an account of 175-ish followers.
I mean it’s always nice to see green – but for twice the effort in posting, you’d have wanted to see a bit more of an uptake.
As you can see, Account 2 is slightly skewed by Friday.
One post went big and got 400+ impressions through hashtags.
That’s honestly the most I’ve had on any post in months.
And it wasn’t a particularly aesthetic or visually stunning post either – it was just my own Twitter screenshot post.
Aside from that, there was no big uptick.
So what can we learn from this?
Honestly I have no idea.
I find where I’m doing it all myself, 1 post a day and 15 hashtags is the sweet spot where I can keep on top of it all without getting overwhelmed.
So that’s my test for this coming week.
I created enough content on Monday to be able to put out 2 pieces of content each day but between scheduling it, writing the captions, formatting them and adding the hashtags, 1 post a day is the aim for now.
When I can outsource and get some support I will go back up to twice a day (and I’ll document that process here of course too) but for now I am going to have to stick to one post a day and try sticking to the current hashtag straetgy for another few weeks too.
Also bear in mind…
Both of these accounts don’t carry much authority. Relatively low on followers and low engagement even with existing followers.
I suspect if I just focused on building the community of 50-100 people engaged on each of these, they would engage with my content a ton more and things would just take off.
That will also probably be something for when I have more resources available to me.
Watch this space for when that happens.