The Complete Guide To Instagram Hashtags: Increasing Hashtag Reach | Ethan Bridge | Skillshare

The Complete Guide To Instagram Hashtags: Increasing Hashtag Reach

Ethan Bridge, Social Media Marketing Coach

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7 Lessons (22m)
    • 1. Course Introduciton

      0:56
    • 2. The Hashtag Ranking Ladder

      2:42
    • 3. Hashtag Stacking Explained

      4:33
    • 4. Creating Hashtags Sets

      2:14
    • 5. Where To Put Your Hashtags

      3:29
    • 6. How To Rank On Hashtags

      5:59
    • 7. Course Conclusion

      2:33
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About This Class

Are you new to Instagram and want to learn about hashtags? Are the hashtags you currently use getting no reach? Or, do you simply want to become a hashtag pro? If so, then this class is perfect for you.

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This class is your one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about Instagram hashtags.

Module 1: The Hashtag Ranking Ladder

In this module, I explain exactly how Instagram hashtags work and the way the algorithm tests your content within each of the hashtag size boundaries.

Module 2: Hashtag Stacking Explained

Hashtag stacking is a common strategy used by all of the top creators. It involves selecting a certain number of hashtags from each of the ladder size boundaries explained in module 1. I tell you exactly why this technique is so effective and the exact number of hashtags you need to select for each size.

Module 3: Creating Hashtag Sets

You can't simply use the same hashtag set forever. Over time your reach will decline so you need to have a backup plan. I explain why creating various hashtag sets is so important.

Module 4: Where To Put Your Hashtags

Instagram gives you the option to place your hashtags in either the caption or the comments section. I display my preference from my own personal experience and how I actually write my captions to cater for hashtags.

Module 5: How To Rank On Hashtags

I explain EXACTLY how the Instagram algorithm works so that you can build a relationship with it, in order to eventually rank on the hashtags. This module is a MUST listen.

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For more social media marketing advice listen to my podcast Social Media Marketing School.

Follow me on Instagram: @themarketingethan

Transcripts

1. Course Introduciton: Instagram hashtags are possibly the most frustrating thing on the platform to get to grips with you, we're seeing all of these gurus posting their results. They're getting thousands upon thousands of impressions and you're getting 0. And you're sitting there thinking, why on earth all my hashtags not working. And well, that's because you don't understand how hashtags work. This course is going to be D Complete Guide to Instagram hashtags. We're going to go through step-by-step, how Instagram hashtags work, how to select the hashtags that work best for you. How to then use those hashtags, and then how to rank for each of the hashtags you use on your content. So I hope this provides you with some actionable tips so that by the end you can go off and increase your hashtag reach. 2. The Hashtag Ranking Ladder: So before we can go into how you exactly rank on Instagram hashtags, on which hashtags, CPUs, we need to first understand how they actually work. So I'm going to talk you through a process of which I like to call the Instagram hashtag ranking ladder. And I'm going to leave a diagram here, which I hope provide some more in-depth information and helps US understand it even further. Now, with Instagram hashtags, you can pretty much separate them into four different categories. So if you go onto the search engine of Instagram, type in a hashtag, you wanna look up, click on it. It will tell you how many people have actually posted a piece of content using that hashtag. Now you can split these amounts up into four different categories. You have got category number one, which is less than 50 thousand, then that bumps up to 50 thousand to a 100 thousand Category 300 thousand to a million, and then you've got a million plus. Now is pretty self-explanatory on which ones are the easiest to rank on is obviously going to be nought to 50 thousand. But these are the most important hashtags that you are going to be using on your content, because these notes are 50 thousand hashtags are the ones that Instagram or go into test your content on first, if you begin to rank on those notes to 50 thousand, it will bump you up to the next category. If you're ranking on those bumps shop again. If you're ranking on those, it pumps you up again. So that nor to 50 thousand is incredibly important. It may not seem like a lot and you may just be thinking, right? The first thing I'm gonna do when I use Instagram hashtags is I'm just simply going to use the ones that have the biggest reach possible. I'm going to use the hashtags like hashtag, Instagram, hashtag, shout-out for shoutout hashtag follow for follow because they have millions upon millions of posts. And these are the ones that people searching for. Wrong, wrong, wrong. You won't rank, you will not rank for these hashtags because they are so, so competitive. You've got people with the likes of fifty million, sixty million followers using these hashtags. So they are the ones that are gonna take the top spots there. You have your 1002 thousand followers, have no chance. So you need to make sure that you are using hashtags that are specific to your industry. And those which are more realistic, those which you are more likely to rank on. So that is why you need to understand that hashtag ranking ladder. Because you need to have those notes of 50 thousand hashtags that are easier to rank on. So you can actually begin to rank on the rest of the hashtags that you use. 3. Hashtag Stacking Explained: Now we understand the hashtag ranking ladder. We know that there are four different categories and that you need to rank on the first ones in order to rank on the next. So how do you actually select the hashtags that you're going to use? And this is now where we talk about the strategy of hashtag stacking. Hashtag stacking is effectively you're going to end up like a pyramid. And that's why we call it hashtag stacking, because you pick a different number of hashtags from each set of the hashtag ranking ladder to use on your piece of content. So how many do you actually use for each boundary? Because as I mentioned, that naught to 50 thousand is the most important. They are the ones you want the most Gulf. You want at least 14? Yes. 1414 hashtags that between Norton 50 k on your concept. Now Instagram allows you to have 30 hashtags on every single post. And I suggest you do use all of these because you wanted to make the most of it. And now you might be thinking, well, why would I want to use half of my allowance up on the lowest amount? Surely I want to have more that have the higher reach, so I can reach it a higher amount of people. As I begin to rank. You won't rank if you don't have this amount of smaller hashtags. So that is why I suggest you use at least 14 between 050, kay, on your post. Next, there is the 50 to a 100 K. So you've got the big section at the bottom, we have 14 and then you have a slightly smaller nine hashtags for the 50 to a 100 k. So you're beginning to rank on the naughts 50 k, the algorithm, seeing that it's going right, I now need to push this content to more people. So it begins testing it. On the next level up it begins testing you on the 50 to a 100 K. And now you have nine hashtags in this category. So that's great. This is where you start increase in that reach, but it's still testing your content. It hasn't pissed you up to the big fish hashtags where the real reaches out. But because you've got nine hashtags in this next section, even if you don't reach the final two sections, just still going to get a good amount of reach. So you have to use at least nine hashtags in this 50 to 100 k section. Now, a 100 K to a million, this is where we start reaching that serious amount of impressions, that serious breach. Now you want to have five hashtags from a 100 K to a million. Now, if you are ranking on naughts are 5050 to a 100 K, it is likely that you are going to then rank in the next set of hashtags. So you always want to have these hashtags in there. You could just have them split between the naught to 5050 to a 100. And just understand that you're gonna get a similar amount of reach every single time because it's likely that you're going to rank on most of these. But if you really want to get that serious reached that you see some of those, some of the gurus of getting, then you need to have the bigger hashtags just in case the ranking all of these. And then it begins to push you through on the next set of hashtags. So you want to have five from this 100 K to a million. Now, if you begin to rankled knees, now, you are off to the races now you were talking because now you have the opportunity to begin to rank on those 1 million plus hashtags. These super competitive, these are normally taken up by the bigger pages. You have, that great engagement rate and they can pretty much rankled them straight away because the algorithm already knows that their content works. It just does that for you as a smaller page to rank on these, you need to be ranking on those smaller hashtags. So that's why you need to fill up your 30. We've mostly those, but it's always good to have at least two. You can have two in this final section, two hashtags for this a million plus because you want to cover your bases. You want to cover that category just in case you rank on the rest of those hashtags. Because that is where you're gonna get the serious reach. And if you do rank here, you're gonna see a huge spike and engagement. You're gonna see a huge spike in following Christ, and that is what you arguably worn for your content. So now you have your pyramid. You've got 14 in the first section, you've got nine in the next five, in the next two, In the final, that's 30 hashtags. And now you can post that piece of content. 4. Creating Hashtags Sets: So we now understand the hashtag ranking letter. We understand that we need to have hashtags stacking. So now I encourage you to have multiple sets of hashtags. You've got that first set, you've got that first 30. And it's working great. Your love in it. You're getting increased engagement. You're getting that increase reach. But it won't last forever. Hashtags wear out over time. Let's say after about nine posts, you will see that your engagement begins to drop again. Now that's not what you want. You can't just keep using that set of hashtags at, in the hope that eventually that engagement will come back again. Because it's unlikely. It will say you need to be prepared as soon as you see that dropping engagement, you need to have another set of hashtags. You can instantly pull on to the old content and use. So I encourage you to have 55 sets of hashtags. Now why do you need 55? Seems like quite a lot of hashtags to prepare, but it's a must because let's put it this way. First set of hashtags working great. Dropping engagement, new surf hashtag, Brilliant. But then he says droplet engagement. If you go back to that first set again, you probably haven't given it enough time to recover on your account. So you need to have more sets you can cycle through before you jump back to that first set. So you have that first set engagement drop, jump into the second engagement job, third, fourth, fifth. By the time you've done or five, it's likely that you can go back to the first and they will work just fine. It's a continuous cycle, have five sets of hashtags that you can continue to cycle through so that you can never experienced that drop in engagement because there will become a point if you just continue using the same hashtag set that they don't work at all. You would have completely exhausted the reach from that hashtag set. So don't be in denial, don't carry on using it and go, Okay, it's gonna come back one day. It used to work. It won't it won't work like that. Have a second set, have a third set forth and fifth that you can cycle through to make sure that you always have the highest engagement possible. 5. Where To Put Your Hashtags: So you've now got all of your hashtag sets. You ready to post them on your content. But anything can write where on earth do I post them? Where do I put them on my piece of content because it's declined gives you two different options of where you can post your hashtags. You can even post them in the caption, or you can post them in the comments. So which is the best place to put them? And well, the answer is it doesn't really matter. You need to test both and workout, which works best for you. Every creator has a different strategy and it works differently for every single Creator. One will have hashtags that just doesn't work at all in the captions, but a brilliant in the comments and vice versa. So you need to work out which works best for you. For your first ten posts, put them in the caption, record the results. And then for the next ten, put them in the comments, record the results, but you need to record the results because you need to compare. If you can't record results you can't compare. So record those results, compare, see what works best, and then you jump in to whichever one got the better for ourselves. From personal experience, I like to put my hashtags in the caption. Now you might be thinking, but I don't want to actually put them in the caption because it makes my post look messy. I've worked great. I've worked on individuals of my content. My caption looks fantastic, and now we're just gonna put a bunch of hashtags in the comments and it ruins it. It ruins the aesthetic. I don't want that. Now. I use an app called flocked to write my captions. You may realize that when you write your captions on Instagram, you write it out, you hit Post, and it just looks nothing, nothing like that of which you have typed when actually preparing your post on Instagram, it goes through, it's completely unformatted. Now, I use an app called flocked, floated brilliant. You type your caption out in the app. And then exactly how it appears. You copy and paste it. And then exactly how it appeared in the app is how it appears on your content. So what you can do is you can copy and paste your hashtags, which you've kept in your notes. You've got your five sets in your notes. You copy and paste your hashtag set on to flocked. But what you do is you hit the return button so that it puts it below and it's unseen by your audience, is out of the way. No one really cares, but arguably, no one really cares about your hashtags anyway, you need to use hashtags to grow in your account. Anyone that serious about their Instagram growth, they know this. They are not going to look at you using hashtags and go, oh, I don't like this creator. They're using hashtags. Useless. You're not gonna grow your accountant. If you don't use hashtags. And people understand this. So they'll just understand you're using hashtags because you want to increase your reach. So if you're worried about your posts looking unaesthetic, please stop. It doesn't matter. Using hashtags is for your own benefit, is going to increase your reach, which is going to increase your audience. That is what you want. So stop caring about what other people think. No one actually cares about the aesthetic of your comments section. Simple. So to conclude, it doesn't really matter where you put your hashtags, but test, test them in the caption, test them in the comments and put them wherever works best for you. As I mentioned, personal experience, the caption is best for me. 6. How To Rank On Hashtags: So now we're almost there. We pretty much know everything we need to know about hashtags. We know the hashtag ranking ladder. We know that we need to stack our hashtags. We know that we need to have different sets and we know where we need to put them on our content. But how do we begin to rank? How does the algorithm determine which content to push on hashtags. Now, people talk about the algorithm being some really confusing piece of codes and confusing piece of software that no one really understands. But from my personal experience and my research is pretty simple. You can pretty much dumb it down to one simple conclusion. All the algorithm wants to do is keep people on the platform. Only wants to do is keep people scrolling through Instagram. Instagram make their money through advertisements. They make money by showing ads and charging advertisers to post ads on their platform. The longer they can keep people on the platform, the more ads they can show, the more ads they can show, the more money they make. So all I want to do is keep people on the platform. So they are going to push the content on hashtags, on the Explore page on people's feeds that wants to be seen. They're going to push content that is keeping people on the platform with your content. What you need to be looking to do, you need to be looking to get high engagement. Engagement is made up of likes, comments, shares, and saves for simple things. So when you're creating your content, you need be optimizing it to achieve those four things. If you know, then you've got no chance because you're not going to have no engagement. The algorithms not going to like your content, and it's not gonna push it to other people. Now, out of those four things, which one do you need to focus on most, the ones you need to focus on most are shares and saves. The one that is the key is saves. Saves are the key indicator to telling me algorithm that your content is brilliant. And put it this way. I'm going to explain, when someone saves your content, they have already taken the time to consume it and they loved it. So they've saved it. But because they've saved it, that means they want to refer back to it at a future date. They've already spent time consuming it, but now they've saved it. So they're going to come back and spend even more time consuming your content. They're not consuming at once. They may consume it 2345 times. The Instagram algorithm is sinking, right? If that person wants to consume the content more than once, then more people are going to want to do the same. So they're going to push that piece of content to rank on hashtags to be shown on the Explore page because people are spending time consuming it and then they're coming back onto the platform to see it again. So not only are they spending more time on the platform from consuming it in the first place? Instagram can be sure that they are going to return to the platform at a later date. And that means obviously they can show more ads, make more money, and your content has been the key indicator that displays that. So engagement is the key to ranking on hashtags. Now, this is the thing. When you are first starting your Instagram page, your engagement is not going to be very high. That is something you have to work on. And hashtags shouldn't be the main thing you are focusing on for your growth. Hashtags will not be the reason your account grows in the beginning. Your initial account growth is down to your him paste onto your engagement efforts with other creators. That is the main thing you should be focusing on when first join in Instagram, you can just come onto Instagram posts and content with some hashtags expect to rank and then just organically grow like that. It doesn't work like that. Because obviously, as I mentioned, you need engagement. And to get engagement first, you have to give engagement yourself. Don't expect something in return. If you're not willing to give it in the first place, you need to build a relationship with other creators. You need to build a solid fan base of people that are commenting on your content, liking your content, sharing it, saving it every single time you post. So you won't rank on hashtags, possibly until you reach six hundred, seven hundred, eight hundred followers. But could you haven't built that base audience. So you cannot be using hashtags as your key to growth. Initially. Don't come to me after consuming less and go, right, this isn't working. Why am I hashtags not working? I'm following everything you say. I'm just going to have a look at your account on there, see that you've got two hundred, three hundred followers and your engagement is low. And that's all I'm going to tell you. I'm going to go right. I told you this in the course. You won't grow through using hashtags. Initially, hashtags are something that begin to work. Overtime. Azure account grows, the instrumental algorithm gets to learn your content. It starts to realize that it deserves to be pushed to a wider audience because it's keeping people on their platform. But until you engage with others, until you build the initial fanbase that are engaging with your content. That's never going to happen. So don't focus initially on hashtags, focus on engagement, and then start to research your hashtags. Yes, you can use hashtags from the beginning. You will get some reach from, as I said, that first 30 seconds where you post your hashtags because they will show up on the recent. And if people search in on the recent bit for hashtags, then they will see it there. But until you do get that engagement, until the algorithm does land to light your content. They won't work. 7. Course Conclusion: Congratulations guys, you have completed the complete guide to Instagram hashtags. I hope this course provided you with some actionable tips so that now you can go away and master some Instagram hashtags. Your project, I want you to go away and research, find different hashtags. Says, Find Hashtags which work for you, come back and post your results. But don't come back in three days time. Don't come back and say, well, given this three days, I've researched more hashtags are found something that worked for me. They didn't work. Glucose was rubbish. Hashtags take time. They're not going to work in three days. You need to give them at least 30 days. Give them at least 30 days test different sets, test the comments, tests the captions, and then come back to me. If they don't work in 30 days, come back to me or have a look at your account, I'll see what you're doing wrong and I'll let you know. But if they do work for you, if they are successful. After viewing this course, Leave your project in the course review. I'd really, really like to see what you guys come up with and see your progress just by consuming the content I have created. Now, if you are interested in social media marketing, I host a podcast called social media marketing School is available on pretty much any POC OS platform, such as search social media marketing school, one, Apple, Google Spotify stitcher, you name it, any of them, it will come up. There were already tons of episodes in which you can listen to and improve your social media marketing strategy. I release episodes every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Monday episodes are about paid ads, Wednesdays are about Instagram growth. And Friday, it more or less than episode where I talk about pretty much anything. I want to. So more of a fun episode. But if you have any questions or anything you want to talk about with regard state anything I've mentioned in today's course. Just reach out to me on Instagram at the Marxian Ethan semi DM and I will make sure I get back to you no matter wall. But I hope you guys did enjoy the scotia cause this is the first course I've created. I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed recording it for you guys. So if you have enjoyed it, I would really appreciate a nice review. Let me know how I did. As I said, send me a DM on Instagram, let me know I did. If I say anything I can improve on, just let me know and I'll make sure I improve on that in courses to come. The thank you all for tuning in to the skill share course.