The Do’s and Dont’s of Hashtags

Hashtags have taken on a life of their own and are a huge part of marketing on Instagram and beyond. Knowing how to use them correctly is an essential part of building your social media strategy and making your content discoverable by people outside of your follower circle. We’re going to break down some tips and tricks for how to utilize hashtags to grow your presence and increase your influence on Instagram.

As many of you know, Planoly has rolled out an exciting new feature called Hashtag Manager, which allows users to create hashtag categories, add hashtags to your posts, and grow your engagement overall. You can read more about how to use this new feature in detail here. There is more to hashtags than meets the eye, and we’re going to expand on a few key points such as Insta bots, banned hashtags, maintaining variation, overusing hashtags and this so-called “shadowbanning”. Please note that Planoly is 100% approved by Instagram and we comply with their terms of service, so your Instagram engagement will not be affected in any negative way by using us.

The Do's and Dont's of Hashtags - Planoly Blog 3

Hashtag Variation

It’s important to not only use a variation of super popular and less popular hashtags – but it’s also necessary to mix it up and not always post the same hashtags for every post. Widely used hashtags expand reach and visibility, while niche hashtags help you reach a target group of people. Research what your competitors and target audience are using for hashtags and include them in your content!

Say No to Bots

If there’s one Instagram faux pas that rises above the rest…it would be using bots. More and more people are using bots to comment and like other people’s content and boost their own engagement. Nobody likes fake people in the real world, so it makes sense that fakeness isn’t well-received in the Instagram world either. About 40% of comments on brand Instagram posts are bots, and Instagram is not happy about this. While it’s tempting to pay for bots to grow your following, it’s not worth it! Many people that use bots are putting their accounts in danger of getting shut down or suspended. Authenticity always wins over bots. Your Instagram will thank you in the long-run and you’ll cultivate a real following, which is far more valuable than numbers.

Overusing Hashtags

An unknown mistake that a lot of people have been making on Instagram is overusing the same hashtags in their posts. Unfortunately, if you’re using the same hashtags extensively, Instagram might mark your account as spam. Some widely used hashtags have even been banned recently due to Instagram’s attempt to solve the problem of offensive content.

Pro Hashtag Tips

  1. When using Planoly’s new Hashtag Manager, you’re able to go in and edit your categories. That way, if you realized a hashtag you added is banned, you can go in and delete it without losing the entire list.
  2. We mentioned mixing up generic and specialized hashtags depending on your industry. Here’s a list of examples in the fashion category.
    • Generic: #fashion, #fashionblogger, #fashionista, #ootd, #style, #trend
    • Specialized: #coffeenclothes, #ihavethisthingwithwalls, #personalstyle, #currentlywearing, #outfitgoals
  3. Another tip when using our Hashtag Manager is to include different variations of the same topic. You’ll receive less engagement if you use the same hashtags all the time, so mix it up! Make them specific, so it’s easy to for you to go in and easily choose the right category for your image. For instance, when it comes to food, you can create several hashtag categories such as: breakfast, brunch, lunch, restaurant, eatingin, dessert, etc.
  4. Remember: Hashtags are only meant to help amplify your content, so don’t rely on them too much. Your content should speak for itself. Hashtags are just the icing on the cake, but if the cake isn’t good then what’s the point of icing?