How To Perform an Effective Instagram Hashtag Research
Many people ask me what specific hashtags they should be using in their posts.
The answer to that is the following: There’s no specific hashtag you should or shouldn’t be using.
It’s not as linear of a process as that: As I mentioned in previous posts, hashtags’ performance is dictated by variables such as:
- Your page’s current momentum;
- Your page’s health score;
- Your page’s niche categorization;
- Your page’s engagement levels;
- Your post’s viral potential;
- The relation between the hashtag set you use and the post itself;
- The use of location-relevant hashtags;
- The use of niche-related hashtags.
Finally, it depends on how powerful and well distributed your hashtag set is, while taking all of the prior factors in consideration. This is also why I’m not an apologist of using just changing between 2 or 3 pre-made hashtag sets for each post – many posts won’t resonate with those sets and vice-versa. hashtag research benefits
For that matter, it’s essential that you perform a hashtag research on your niche, for every single post you publish, until you can intuitively apply effective hashtag sets for your posts without having to do your research.
Here’s how you can do it:
1. Search for a specific popular hashtag that is related to your niche (i.g. “#travel” if you’re in the travel niche or “#fashionblogger” if you’re in the fashion niche) and click on it.
2. Go through the posts that are in the “top” category;
3. Search for at least 3-5 posts that have similar engagement levels as the ones you average, in a certain amount of time (this is a very simple process: see when their post was published and compare their engagement level to yours, in the same amount of time. For instance, if your post has 600 likes in 1 hour and theirs has 550-650, then you can safely say that both pages leverage a similar engagement in a similar amount of time. Make sure that this applies to their average posts, by also comparing your average engagement levels to theirs, on the last 20 posts);
4. Analyze the hashtag sets that they feature;
5. Point out hashtags that are exclusively relevant for your post and mix them together, to make your own set (Note: I wouldn’t recommend copying the very same hashtag set, for the previously given reasons, but rather adding adequate hashtags from a post, then from another one, and then successively).
Here’s why it works:
By searching for these profiles, you’re directly analyzing posts that are featured and ranking high on the top hashtags of a certain niche and category.
As you go through the hashtag sets that they’ve used, you will most likely find patterns that will provide you with a better understanding of what type of sets you should be applying towards your page as well – because you’re in the same niche AND leverage similar engagement levels in a similar time span.
To keep it as succinct as possible, this may imply that if their post could rank so high in a top hashtag, yours may too, as your page’s characteristics are similar – thus using similar hashtag sets, or sets with the same size distribution, is recommendable and, according to my experience a great new way of approaching hashtags if you’re having a hard time leveraging high levels of reach from them.
This is a research form that I have tested and applied in the past weeks and it has provided me with results such as the ones shown below.
Hope this was insightful! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment!