Instagram Is Reportedly Working on a Fix for a Hashtag Nightmare
Lo and behold! Instagram is testing a new feature for adding hashtags as a separate block underneath the images.
App researcher Jane Manchun Wong tweeted earlier this week a screenshot of what looks like a beta version of a new Instagram feature, which should simplify and improve the way hashtags are presented on this platform. Currently, a lot of Instagram users stuff their captions with hashtags, which makes for less than a great user experience.
Instagram is testing the ability to add hashtags to posts without including it in the post caption pic.twitter.com/OhQn0xcCuw— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) September 20, 2018
While we are waiting on the official word (or release) from Instagram, I always recommend my clients to put hashtags in as a first comment. This will make your posts as discoverable as they’d be otherwise, and keeps your captions polished and engaging. Plus, if you share your Instagram posts to other social platforms where the use of hashtags is not part of an etiquette (such as Facebook and Pinterest), inserting your hashtags as a first comment keeps captions user-friendly on other channels.
So, next time you post on Instagram, write your caption and click Post. Then, go into the comments under this fresh new post and type up hashtags there.
There doesn't seem to be a limit to the number of hashtags per post for now. But I'm sure folks at Instagram will limit that when the feature is released pic.twitter.com/tneolkSELm— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) September 20, 2018
The new rumored feature also seems to not impose a limit on the number of hashtags under a single post. However, it is most likely that the feature will have a limit once it becomes available. 30 is the current maximum number of hashtags one post can have, which is plenty if you use them correctly.
I highly recommend you utilize all of them to increase visibility of your posts and attract more of your target audience to your handle. Hashtags are the most powerful way to get discovered on this platform! If you think about it, hashtags are really like keywords. So, if you want your ideal audience to find your posts, and thus, your handle, you need to up your hashtag game. Do not rely on someone accidentally stumbling across your posts; become very strategic about optimizing them for maximum exposure.
In my experience, newbie Instagrammers resist leveraging all 30 hashtags, because of the fear that it looks “spammy” and “desperate.” To that I say: it is not true. If you pay attention to some of the most popular posts and handles, a majority of them take advantage of the hashtag limit -- and so should you. Unless you are Beyonce -- then you don’t need hashtags.
But since you are not (yet) Beyonce, do your hard content-creating work a favor and maximize the reach of your posts! You spent time crafting a perfect image and then you’ve spent time polishing and accompanying glorious caption, and then… you do nothing for more people to see it! If you insert hashtags into the comment section, no one is actually forced to sift through them in captions -- so it is out of sight, out of mind.
However, not all hashtags are created equal. To truly leverage the power of hashtags, you need to get very strategic and use only those hashtags that are very relevant to your niche and that are popular, yet not overly-used. I recommend hashtags that have between 30,000 and 500,000 posts associated with them.
Also, strive to create a good mix of hashtags with low, medium, and high volume of content. More popular hashtags will ensure that your content is discovered by as many people as possible, while less popular hashtags ensure your content has a chance to stay up top longer.
It is also important to note how many engagements top posts in each given hashtag feed receive. Depending on your post performance, it may get to be featured in top posts for these hashtags. It is an awesome strategy to further maximize engagement and leverage the virality factor.
While there is still no confirmed information or date of release, I suggest you start researching the best hashtags for your business now. Whenever the new feature gets released, you will be ready and on top of your Instagram marketing strategy.