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How to Pick and Perform on Instagram Hashtags in 2022

Not sure whether hashtags still work? We’ll take you through how to pick Instagram hashtags that perform, in 2022.

Posted 3 months ago

Written by

Julia Cohen
Posted 3 months ago
Let’s talk about hashtags. They’ve been on Instagram since day one, and have remained integral to the platform, weathering the storm of algorithm changes, feature updates and more. Put it this way – if the apocalypse happened, hashtags would still be around. But, as Instagram has changed, so has the way in which people use and understand hashtags, and many are asking whether or not they are still worth focusing on. We’re here to tell you they are, that they can even help increase your reach by 40%, and most importantly how you can pick the right Instagram hashtags for your posts in 2022.

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  1. How to pick Instagram Hashtags for Your Posts in 2022

How to pick Instagram Hashtags for Your Posts in 2022

Do Instagram hashtags still work? 🤔

Hashtags have, and likely will, always work. Why? Because they form the basis of Instagram’s search function. When you search for something on Instagram, you more than likely search by hashtag, and even if you search by keyword, the results you get are there because of the hashtags you use. So, in short, to show up in search results of new followers on Instagram, you have to use the right hashtags.

How many hashtags should you use on Instagram in 2022? 👀

This has been up for debate, especially since Instagram’s Creator page announced that Instagrammers should use 3-5 hashtags. The reason this suggestion came up, is because people tend to use as many hashtags as possible, but don’t consider whether they are relevant to the post. If you use hashtags that aren’t necessarily descriptive or related to your post, it’s likely they’ll do nothing for you. It’s in Instagram’s best interest that you use niche, relevant hashtags because it helps improve their image recognition technology, and allows them to categorise posts easily. This is likely why the Creator page suggested fewer, more niche hashtags – in an effort to get users to select fewer, better hashtags.
However, the more hashtags you use, the more opportunities you have to rank and appear in searches. So, what’s the solution? Use as many hashtags as you can, but make sure they are relevant to your niche, and your post.

What is the goal when you use hashtags? 🏹

When you use a hashtag, your ultimate goal is to ‘rank’ – but what does that mean? Put simply, it means that when someone searches for a hashtag, you appear as one of the first posts they see, when they search, i.e. your post is in the top-performing section of that hashtag. Read more about ranking on hashtags and how it works, here.

How do you use and pick hashtags on Instagram in 2022? ❤️

To reiterate, hashtags are integral to Instagram’s overall structure, so it’s important you use them on your posts if you want to grow and reach new audiences. How you should use them hasn’t changed. There are a few simple rules when it comes to how to pick the right hashtags for Instagram in 2022 (and any year):
  1. Make sure they are relevant to the post. The more descriptive your hashtags are, the more likely they are to help your post reach new audiences. When someone searches for something on Instagram, they want to see exactly what they have searched for (think of it like Google), not something irrelevant. The more relevant you are with your tags, the more engagement your posts are likely to get, and the more engagement your posts get, the further it moves up in the hashtag results – making your post rank and therefore be seen by more people.
  2. Consider the size of the hashtags you are using, and the average engagement top-performing posts in that hashtag are getting. If you use hashtags that are too large or receive comparatively more engagements than your posts on average, this makes them a lot more competitive – and harder to rank/gain visibility on. You want a well-balanced selection of competitive, mid-range, and easy hashtags to rank on, to increase your chances of performance. Read about how to build out your hashtag strategy here.
  3. Avoid banned and flagged hashtags. If you use a hashtag that has been banned or flagged by Instagram your post could in turn be flagged, and have lesser visibility. Read more on how to find out if a hashtag has been banned or flagged, here.
  4. Get clever with your hashtags. Just because your hashtags need to be relevant, doesn’t mean you should only pick things that describe your post word for word – you’d run out of ideas! Think about other descriptors, like locations, brands, interests and more.
  5. Use a hashtag finder, like Flick, to find and manage hashtags relevant to your posts, account size and metrics. Start a free trial, or learn more.
  6. Consistently analyze what hashtags are working and help you rank, so you can constantly improve your strategy. You can use our Analytics Suite to do this!
  7. Don’t always use the same hashtags, you’ll want a variety of chances to rank, and new audience pools with your posts, so spice it up a little!
As hashtags experts, we’ve got plenty of resources on hashtag strategy and finding what works for you, explore those here.

How do you know if a hashtag is working? ✅

You’ll know whether a hashtag is working or not by analyzing your performance, and understanding whether you are ranking. A good way to check if hashtags are performing well is by looking at the ‘discovery’ section of your post, which will show you exactly where new people are finding your posts. You can also review your analytics by seeing where you are ranking on a hashtag, how often, and how effective it is for your engagement, in Flick’s Analytics Suite.

So, what are our tips for finding the best hashtags? ☝️

Brace yourself for a shameless plug, but by using Flick, you can easily find, manage, store and analyze the hashtags you use. Flick allows you to link your account (it’s safe!) type in a search term that is relevant to your post e.g. ‘fashion’ (perfect for days when you’re feeling uninspired), and Flick will suggest specific hashtags that will work for your account (based on your average analytics), that are relevant to your search term.
What’s more, is you are able to view how competitive the hashtags are for your account, so you can pick the perfect mix of tags. You’ll be able to see hashtag size, average engagement, and the number of posts the hashtags tend to get, so you can also compare it to your own performance. Then, you can save the hashtags you like into categories we like to call Collections, so you can easily come back and use them any time. You can either copy your hashtags, ready to post, save them for later, or run a scan, where we will check if your list has any banned or flagged hashtags before you post.
Finally, once you’ve used your hashtags, you can hop into our Analytics Suite, to see how they are performing, where you are ranking, and whether or not they are useful for your account, so you can audit your selection. What’s more, is as we learn more about you, we are able to provide you with ‘suggested hashtags’ based on what you tend to use, and what is performing well for your account.

Want to set up a hashtag strategy for your account, or brand? ♟

We’ve got something for that! Read our ultimate hashtag strategy guide, including how to use Flick, as well as how to build a strategy out manually if you aren’t a member, here! You can also join our community below, where we share results, offer advice, and share live classes and tips:
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