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The Death of Instagram Hashtags: Why less may be more

How did we get here?

In March 2022 during a livestream, Instagram CEO Adam Moserri revealed that hashtags on Instagram are not really as relevant to increasing reach on posts anymore.

This announcement comes only months after the Instagram Creators Account recommended using only 3-5 content specific hashtags per post. This came as a surprise to many social media managers and content creators as Instagram allows users to add as many as 30 hashtags per post.

So, does this mean it’s time to rethink our social media strategies? Read on to find out!

The Hootsuite Experiment

After Instagram’s announcement, social media management platform Hootsuite released an article about an experiment they conducted to test whether hashtags were truly hindering reach potential on Instagram.

They concluded that post captions with keywords relevant to the user’s niche performed better in terms of both reach and engagement as compared to captions filled with Instagram hashtags.

Captions focused on boosting SEO got 30% more reach and even performed better in terms of engagement!

Rethink your social media strategy

So, what does this experiment tell us? Instagram’s algorithm is clearly focusing on boosting posts whose captions are filled with relevant, descriptive keywords and only content specific hashtags.

But that’s not all.

Factors like the quality of the images or videos you’re posting, the value you are adding with your captions, the location you’re posting from and the days and times at which you post can affect your levels of user interaction.

For that reason, we recommend conducting your own experiment with your content!

  • Try posting high-quality images or videos with post captions
  • Include all the relevant keywords in the post caption
  • Use 3-5 hashtags that are integral to your brand and see what your audience gravitates towards
  • While using hashtags you can use the following method
    • use one hashtag that is related to your brand
    • use one hashtag related to your niche
    • use the remaining hashtags that are related to the creative or content

Once you find out what kind of content your audience wants to see from you, you will be able to form a social media strategy that gets you results!

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