Ah hashtags – those funny little characters at the bottom of everyone’s Instagram posts. So popular, they’ve even made it into conversations offline now (in an ironic way, we hope).
But what are they, actually?
Back when (cast your mind back to ye olde 2007) social media was just a whisper on the marketing streets and hashtags merely lurked in the shadows. No one was particularly sure what they were, or how to use them.
They knew the hashtag sign (#) as a pound key (not this kind – £). Sounds incredibly alien, right? People soon caught on that hashtags help to filter topics of conversations into streams on social media.
For instance, you can click on trending hashtags like #food and see an aggregation of all of the posts on that channel about food (see image below and also say hello to 370 million pictures of food!). It’s almost like creating a chat room based on that hashtag and this is applicable to most social channels.
But, are hashtags even still relevant?
Ya damn skippy they are! Instagram might have been through more changes than Madonna in her career, but one thing stayed the same – hashtags. They help people find your posts organically, which is great when you’re growing awareness and engagement for you or your brand. After all, you want people to notice and engage with what you’re posting – that’s why it’s called social media. Otherwise, it’s like having a conversation with yourself and you can do that alone at home (no judgement, we’ve been there too).
When you use hashtags (even just one), you can drive up to 12.6% more engagement than posts without a hashtag. Imagine what several would do! Now that’s a party.
And you might bring people to the party with hashtags, but you can also join their social soiree, by clicking on the hashtags and interacting with their posts which use it. The more interaction you do, the more you can grow your own audience.
But, how does that work?
Well, when you’re spreading love (authentic love, not just meaningless comments which could have been made by a ‘bot), then people are more likely to hop over to your profile and engage with your content. Tit for tat. But it has to be for real because people really see through disingenuous comments.
Ok, ok, but how do I use hashtags?
We are so glad you asked.
There are a few ways to use them:
- On every post and Instagram Story. You can post up to 30 on your Instagram posts and 10 on your Story. Rule of thumb – post your hashtags in the first comment on your posts, so it looks tidier and doesn’t interrupt your genius caption. On Stories, you can reduce the size of Instagram hashtags so they’re not taking up the entire Story (you don’t want to distract from your selfie).
- In your profile: you can use a few to showcase who you are and what you do, to make it searchable.
How do I even find the right hashtags?
If you want some ideas on what’s relevant for your brand, then see what your competitors are and influencers with an Instagram hashtags search.
Top tip – use hashtags which have between 250k – 750k reach is the sweet spot for your socials.
So onto the exciting bit….(drum roll….) the trending top Instagram hashtags for 2020 are:
1. #love – 1.221B use
2. #instagood – 704.0M
3. #photooftheday – 478.6M
4. #fashion – 456.5M
5. #beautiful – 445.0M
6. #happy – 413.8M
7. #cute – 404.3M
8. #tbt – 401.4M
9. #like4like – 393.9M
10. #followme – 374.3M
11. #picoftheday – 363.1M
12. #follow – 357.3M
13. #me – 341.6M
14. #selfie – 329.4M
15. #summer – 320.6M
16. #art – 319.4M
17. #instadaily – 311.6M
18. #friends – 299.3M
19. #repost – 295.8M
20. #nature – 286.4M