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Hashtag Hacks & Tricks


25th February 2020


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If you’re searching for some great Instagram hashtag hacks to get more followers and boost your engagement, you’ve come to the right place!

From hiding hashtags in your post’s first comment and Instagram Stories to picking your profile’s top-performing hashtags, we’ve got a hack for you.

Ready to get started? Here are 12 Instagram hashtag hacks and tricks you don’t want to miss:

Add Line Breaks Before Your Hashtags

You can pour a lot of love and energy into writing great Instagram captions, but isn’t it annoying when Instagram removes the line breaks from your text?

Use Hyper-Relevant Hashtags to Get More Engagement

Using ultra-popular hashtags #love, #instagood, and #photooftheday might get you a few extra likes, but they aren’t going to help you grow an engaged, targeted following on Instagram.

If you’re hoping to get more genuine engagement, you need to get super-relevant and niche with your hashtags — by using hashtags that describe your account, your business, and your target market.

Take Little Spoon, for example, a delivery baby food company whose target market is expecting moms and parents with small children.

The account uses super hashtags to describe its product and business, like #littlespoon, #babyblends, #freshbabyfood, and #organicbabyfood as well as its own branded campaign hashtags like #itsfreshbaby and #nomoreoldbabyfood.

It also uses hashtags which describe their ideal customer like #babyfoodie, #girlmom, #boymom, and #babyontheway, along with community hashtags for parents like #motherhoodunplugged, #letthembelittle, and #dailyparenting.

These kinds of niche hashtags are perfect for growing a community of like-minded users around your brand.

Plus, they can also help you connect with others, improve the searchability of your posts, and gain new followers (and hopefully customers, too!).

Post Your Hashtags in the First Comment

While adding hashtags to your posts is one of the best ways to boost your engagement and get your posts in front of your target audience, too many hashtags in your captions can look untidy (or worse, spammy!).

Instead, posting your hashtags in the first comment is a great way to make your caption the star of the show, without compromising any of the engagement you can get with hashtags.

Add Hashtags to Your Instagram Stories to Get on the Explore Page

Adding hashtags to your story is a great way to give your content an added chance to be discovered by new audiences.

When people search for a hashtag on Instagram, if it’s popular enough, they’ll be able to view active, real-time stories on that hashtag’s page – including your own.

And if they like what they see, they might even tap the follow button!

There are two different ways to add hashtags to your stories. One is by using the hashtag sticker (you can only add one hashtag with this method), and the other is by using the text tool and simply typing your hashtags out (you can add up to 10 hashtags using this method).

If you want to maximize your story’s discoverability, use this under-utilized hack and add relevant hashtags to your next story!

Hide Your Hashtags in Your Stories

As we just learned, hashtags are great for making your stories more discoverable. However, they can also ruin the aesthetic of an Instagram story and look “spammy” if you’re posting a ton on each story.

Luckily, there are tricks to get around it!

If you want to hide hashtags in your Instagram Stories, type out your hashtags, and then pinch them to make them smaller.

Now place a GIF or image sticker over the hashtag text so it’s perfectly hidden!

Or you can select the colour tool from the text option and choose a colour that perfectly matches your Instagram story background (this works a lot better if the background is a solid colour). With just two taps, your hashtag content will magically blend into the background but still be searchable!

Keep in mind that if you make the hashtags too small, Instagram won’t register them! So the best way is to camouflage them with the background or hide them behind another design element.

Source User-Generated Content (UGC) from Hashtags

Incorporating UGC into your social strategy could be a game-changer. Not only will it save you a ton of time on content creation, but it will also help you engage with your followers and attract new ones. An example of a hashtag for user-generated content is #gophoit which we used for Pho’s January campaign.

Track Your Instagram Hashtag Success

Those who’ve switched to a business profile not only have the ability to check on how their accounts are growing over time with Instagram’s analytics, but they can also analyze how individual posts are performing and compare the specific results from each.

What does this mean for you?

You’ll be able to see exactly how effective your posts are at attracting a new audience, based on impressions from various sources — including your Instagram hashtags!

To access this information, select the post you want to get more detailed analytics on and tap “View Insights” in the bottom left.

Then swipe up to see the full page of data for that post, including things like reach, impressions, and interestingly enough, how the people who viewed your post found you.

Unfortunately, Instagram doesn’t tell you which hashtags were the most effective in getting your posts discovered — so the takeaways can be somewhat limited. With our Sprout social reporting, we can provide insights into the engagements from different hashtags.

Follow Your Favorite Hashtags on Instagram

Did you know that you can follow hashtags just like you follow other accounts?

This is an under-utilized trick that has a ton of business uses. For example, you can encourage your existing audience to follow your branded hashtags so that you connect more easily with your community.

Or you can use the feature to keep a close eye on competitors and even discover potential partners by choosing to follow industry-specific hashtags.

When you find a hashtag you’d like to follow you simply open the hashtag page and tap on the “Follow” button.

Once you’ve selected to follow a hashtag you’ll begin seeing top posts from that hashtag in your feed and some of the latest stories in your stories bar.

Add Hashtags to Your Instagram Bio

Whether you’re promoting an Instagram contest or UGC campaign, including your branded hashtag in your Instagram bio is a fantastic way to drive engagement on your posts!

What’s so great about this feature is that it makes your bio even more functional — you can use hashtags for everything from promoting your Instagram community to highlighting your branded content and announcing your Instagram campaigns.

Including your branded hashtag in your bio is also a great way to get your followers in the habit of posting with it.

All you have to do is include a “#” before any word in your bio and it will automatically become a clickable link that leads visitors to that hashtag.

Use 10+ Hashtags to Increase Your Engagement Rate

We recently teamed up with the experts at Fohr to learn more about how hashtags are being used and what the biggest trends are for 2020.

One of our biggest insights? Instagram posts that include hashtags get more engagement… a lot more!

After analyzing influencer posts that contain hashtags, the data shows using more hashtags actually results in a higher engagement rate.

The sweet spot? 10+ hashtags per post!

This is especially true for accounts with less than 25K followers.

So if you’re a new brand or a micro-influencer looking for new ways to grow your following, having a strong Instagram hashtag strategy could be a fast-pass to a boosted follower count.

Instagram hashtags are a great way to connect with customers, find content created about you by your followers, and build long-term relationships with influential partners.

Hopefully, these Instagram hashtag hacks and tricks have sparked some new ideas that you can implement on your own account!

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