In a world where size is everything, there are certain things where bigger is NOT better. (This may be especially shocking if you find yourself in the great state of Texas.) But we’re not here to discuss large sodas or racks of ribs, we’re talking about hashtags. And more importantly, hashtag mentions, and the impact they can have on the performance of your carefully-crafted masterpiece of social media marketing. Even the best of posts can fall short of their mark if the wrong hashtag is used.
Perhaps you’ve been living under a rock, or in a remote area where the Internet is not a thing. If that describes you, then let’s take a quick step back to cover the hashtag. What you may recognize as a pound sign, has been hijacked and transformed into a way of identifying a post, picture, comment, or anything as a part of a specific topic.
An easy example is #red. A post with #red would obviously be a reference to, related to, or something about the color red. It’s also a good way to search a topic you are interested in. Here, try it! #red
Hashtag mentions are in a nutshell, the number of times a particular hashtag shows up in posts. For example, the hashtag #red, shows up 89,185,511 times in Instagram posts alone, whereas #red_flower only shows up 7,298 times. Now, you might be thinking to yourself that bigger is better! More exposure! You might need to think again. What that actually means is, the more mentions a tag has, the harder it is to get noticed. Think little fish, big pond. Now make that pond the Pacific Ocean.
The more mentions a hashtag has, the harder it is to get noticed. And getting noticed is the primary goal here. As you can see, bigger isn’t always better — sorry Texas. Luckily, there is a way to easily identify which tags may be overused, blown out, worn out, and therefore actually hurt the performance of your post rather than give it the attention it deserves.
Our tool of choice, Plann, uses color-coded hashtags. This means that, as you type, utilizing your marketing magic, the color of the hashtag will change to reflect the number of mentions it has. And that will make it easier for you to determine if that tag you had your heart set on is the right one for the job, or if you should drop it like that tuna sandwich you found on the counter this morning that you could’ve sworn was put in the fridge.
Let’s take a look at the breakdown:
One Million Hashtag Mentions and Beyond
This will show up as orange, a color of caution, and for good reason! Mentions of over one million will make it hard to get noticed unless of course your engagement rate is superb, and you land in the top 9 grid. Best of luck — it’s highly competitive. You’ll be up against colossal media budgets and some serious marketing savvy.
500,000+ Hashtag Mentions
This range shows up as Plann blue. Probably because it’s still a large pool to swim in, but with great content, and excellent engagement, you can find success in this competitive space.Make sure your hashtags are working for you, not against you. You’re taking the time to create carefully crafted content, so make sure it’s being seen. Plann is a great asset in making sure your posts are on time, and on target. Click To Tweet
You’ll find olive green text associated with 250K. Green is a great choice for this range. Green means go, it’s the color of money, and in this scheme, it is the target area we recommend. With some good quality content, you will receive some great targeted engagement.
Less Than 250,000 Hashtag Mentions
… is represented as sky blue. This is a great area, even hashtags with mentions as low as 50k, to use for specific, targeted posts that can gather attention over several days, instead of a few hours. Think: a smoldering fire, rather than a blazing inferno.
So, know your target. Make sure your hashtags are working for you, not against you. You’re taking the time to create carefully crafted content, so make sure it’s being seen. Plann is a great asset in making sure your posts are on time, and on target.
Of course, all these awesome features are only available if you download Plann. You’ll also get professional production tools for Instagram Stories, special designer Instagram filters, our hashtag planner, the “Sneaky Peak” feature to allow you to spy on the competition and more.