Are Hashtags Still #Relevant on Instagram?

Olivia Yetman

Hashtags are still valid ways of getting your posts and information out to your audience in 2021. Yes, they’ve been somewhat oversaturated simply because of the volume of users on the platform. But, how you utilize your #hashtags is the difference between success and failure.

Posts with hashtags saw 12.6% more engagement compared to posts without them in 2020. Hashtags have also connected users and organized content so that users can find more of your material because it’s related to a specific topic or word. It’s all about originality, quality, and timing with hashtags, which help them make a difference for your business’s Instagram page.

Why Are Hashtags Important? 

Since October 2010, when Instagram was founded, hashtags have been vital to post outreach for users, particularly brands, public figures, and influencers. Instagram uses hashtags as a part of its sorting process among the 95 million photos posted on the platform daily. By using hashtags, your content will be discovered by people who have related interests. It gives the people who use them a more specific and targeted reach, categorizing your posts in a way that helps your targeted audience find you with more ease.

The first hashtag symbol was created in 1988 on Internet Relay Chat (IRC) to label groups/topics available to the network. In the social media age, hashtags have increased the effectiveness of a whole host of marketing campaigns, product advertisements, and more. Different types of Instagram hashtags include product hashtags, hashtags for industry niches, user-generated content hashtags, location hashtags, and many more. And, they’re all still highly beneficial in 2021. 

Knowing Your Audience Is Key

Researching and knowing your audience is necessary to making hashtags work. Adding just any and every hashtag that’s popular on Instagram won’t do the trick. Using a hashtag that has been used millions of times doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to see high engagement numbers when you include it in your post. Using popular hashtags can reduce the chance of your post being seen or placed among similar posts. Additionally, using more hashtags doesn’t guarantee success either. The maximum number of hashtags you can use in a post is 30, while the average number of hashtags used per post is around 11.

Your hashtags should be industry-specific, relevant to your brand and services, tailored to audience interests, and location-based hashtags are ideal for local brand awareness. Quality over quantity should be the thought process with every hashtag you use. By using too many, you could come across as being spammy to Instagram’s algorithm, which will significantly slow your reach. 

Keep Things Fresh

mobile phone on the desktop displaying instagram

Ensure you’re not repeating the same hashtags whenever you post on Instagram.

Regardless of how similar your posts are, avoid being too repetitive with your hashtags. Instagram could punish you for overusing the same hashtags time after time by flagging you as a spam account, even though that’s not your intention. Some accounts have even been banned because of it. The best way to avoid this is by rotating your hashtags so they’re relevant to each post.

Another smart way to use your hashtags is by using them in the comments section of your post rather than the caption. Instagram doesn’t differentiate between hashtags used in captions versus in comments. By doing it this way, you’re essentially hiding your hashtags until users navigate to the comment section. Instead, you can hide hashtags in the caption by writing a caption that’s just over three lines long, then adding several line breaks with a punctuation mark. 

If you’re also wondering if there are any banned hashtags, yes, there are. Ones like #NSFW, #mustfollow, and others that don’t appear in the search bar are banned. If a hashtag search doesn’t yield a message about the content being reported or unavailable, then the hashtag is good to use. 

If your radio station is struggling to come up with original hashtags, you can use tools like Hootsuite and Hashtagify to help you identify industry-relevant hashtags. They are also good tools to find trending (and specific) hashtags that are ideal for your brand.

#Hashtags can still do wonders to get your radio station the kind of buzz it needs to grow on IG. For all your social media marketing needs, schedule a call with the team at Killer Bee Marketing, and let us help you accelerate that growth today! 

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