Hashtags are used by social media platforms to group conversations. This makes it easy to find a topic to engage with.
On Instagram however, the story is a bit different. Users tend to “abuse” this feature and overuse hashtags in their post.
Today we’ll take a look at why you should not repeat hashtags and when it might be useful to.
Should You Repeat Hashtags On Instagram?
Simple answer: NO
Read to the end to find out how to use them properly, with examples of hashtag buckets to use each time you are posting. Let’s dive into it now!
It Looks Spammy
Using the same hashtag over and over again may trigger a flag with Instagram that you may not be a real person posting these photos/videos, and may be using some sort of automation software.
This is usually common among users who use third party tools to post to Instagram. What these tools usually do is allow you to select from a pool of hashtags relevant to your particular niche. The end result is that you end up with a bunch of posts with the same or similar hashtags.
How Instagram Fights Spam
On Google, you can run a simple search for the phrase: “Google Vision API” and you’ll be presented with Google’s public version of their Image Recognition tool. This is what Google uses to identify content and emotions from images. Instagram likely uses a similar tool to detect spammy posts on their platform.
Instagram also uses sophisticated Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning tools to analyze everything users do on the platform. Photos you post on the platform is run through these systems to detect any potential issues with your post.
Too many issues, and your post gets flagged for spam.
Your Account Reach Will Decline
After repeating hashtags so many times in a row, your account reach will start to decline. This happens because your post gets flagged as spam behind the scenes, hence the algorithm stops “promoting” it to more users.
If you’re looking to get to the explore page for instance, try to minimize repetition of hashtags.
How Do You Use Instagram Hashtags Correctly?
It may feel counter-productive to start these methods (below) when you have one group working so well. The idea here is to expand your reach and to grow to new audiences, not to hit the same groups over and over again.
Depending on your niche, search for hashtags based on the content you’re posting. If you’re starting out as a new account looking for more reach, begin from the Extra Small option. Work your way up to Large once you start getting some traction.
Extra Small: These are tags that are under 50K and hyper-relevant to your specific niche or content.
Small: These are tags that are between 50K and 100K. Choose 15 from this group.
Medium: These are tags that are between 100K and 1 million. Choose 10 from this group.
Large (Story Only): These are massive tags that are 1 million plus in size. Use these ones in your stories only. Choose 3 of these.
Examples of hashtag searches on Instagram
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use hashtags that are relevant to your niche whenever you post. It simply means that do not copy and paste the exact same hashtags when posting each time.
The idea is to make the hashtag is relevant and relates to the content being posted.