Let’s say it out loud, hashtags are a pain in the back for everybody. Also for marketers!
How many on Instagram? But are they even useful on Facebook? And where the f* do I place them on Pinterest??
The truth is, unfortunately, that we need them if we don’t have a really big account, and that every single platform wants you to use them in different ways.
What have I done for you? I simply posted for 2 weeks without hashtags. I have currently 1345 followers on Instagram, I have an average account.
What happened? Well, let’s start by saying that the algorithm continued to show my posts to a small percentage of followers. As usual. I got more or less the same amaount of likes by my followers.
BUT, what I didn’t have is a visit from non-followers.
I basically have such a small amount of followers and interactions (1% is the average interaction you have on your account) that no people that don’t follow me saw my posts.
Let’s talk numbers: I currently have 1345 followers, on average 15/20 likes under every post. The reach of one post can be 200/300 people.
Without hashtags I had 13/15 likes and 150/200 people reached.
Listen to this really well: hashtags make you definitely reach non followers when you don’t have enough likes from your followers.
What does Instagram do? It shows your post to some followers. If they interact, it shows it to other followers and some non-followers. Hashtags add a small push in the meantime, allowing already more non-followers to see your post.
So, if you have a big follow (I’m talking about 20k+ followers), then you don’t need hashtags so much, since you should have enough interactions that allow you to be seen also by non-followers.
If you don’t have a big follow, hashtags are still fundamental in order to help you reach more people.
How many hashtags? Where to place them?
Now that we know that hashtags are still important, let’s see how do we choose them, how many should we use, and where should we place them.
You can use up to 30 hashtags and there’s no problem at all if you use all of them. BUT they have to be useful. If you post a photo of a cat, you cannot use the hashtag #surf.
What you should do is to find general, hashtags, medium hashtags (with 50k-200k results), and specific hashtags, that re in line with your content.
Geolocation on Instagram is a thing but at the moment it attracts only bots! It’s of course more useful for people that have to find clients only in a specific place, like brick and mortar shops or photographer, cooks… but in general, don’t put a lot of hope into it.
Example: you are a mental health coach in Zurich.
General hashtags: mentalhealth, mentalhealthcoach, mentalhealthawareness.
Medium hashtags: mentalhealthcounseling, mentalhealthhelp.
Specific hashtags: mentalhealthcoachzurich, mentalhealthzurich, your name.
What about hashtags and geolocation in stories? They are currently useless. The only way you can use them:
– geolocation maybe when you participate at an event and it’s important to show the place
– hashtags when you would like people to follow them in order to find a list or posts.
In both the cases you will see that stories are not findable anymore through geolocation or hashtags.
Hashtags are just an embellishment of your post. All the words you write on Facebook are searchable (not on your personal profile if it’s private). Anyway, Facebook is less used as a search engine nowadays, that’s why is also more difficult to grow.
Geolocation on Facebook is like Instagram, useful for people who need to find clients in a specific area.
On Linkedin people suggest to use 3 hashtags maximum. Like Instagram, all the words you use are searchable, so using the keywords inside your caption is already enough. Hashtags can be complementary.
On Pinterest hashtags are useless. It’s basically a visual search engine so every single word you write is useful to let people find your posts. You can add key words in Pin Ideas, but they are suggested by Pinterest itself.
Certainly hashtags matter on TikTok, but remember you have less characters number so you should balance the caption and the number of hashtags.
Twitter has born with hashtags and will die with hashtags!
They are useful to be searchable and can be complementary with what you write in the Tweet.
Conclusion: till a certain amount of followers it’s still important to use hashtags. Until you have 20k followers, they are important on all the platforms where they are required. After 20k you can choose but my opinion is to continue to use them no matter what!
Do you have some more questions about hashtags and geolocation?