Hashtags have become deeply engrained in contemporary language, so much so that the term ‘hashtag’ – as it relates to social media – is now an official entry in the Oxford English Dictionary. But should you use them on your next Instagram post, or are they outdated – and causing your account more harm than good?
First things first: what is a hashtag?
“Hashtags are searchable topics that social media accounts – particularly Twitter and Instagram – can use to ‘tag’ individual posts. They are a useful way of helping you identify messages and images relating to a particular topic. For example, searching the hashtag ‘travel’ will bring up content relating to travel.”
What’s wrong with using hashtags?
” Have you ever searched a topic on Instagram via a hashtag? It’s a search function that a lot of users take advantage when browsing the platform. Personally, I think there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain by using a select group of the right terms; adding just one hashtag to your Instagram post will deliver an average of 12.6% higher engagement than a post without, as they make your content much more easily searchable. Some people shy away from hashtags because they think it makes you look desperate for followers. There’s no need to spam people with a huge stream of them, but a few well chosen inclusions will only benefit you.”
Where should my hashtags sit?
“Currently the general consensus is that hashtags should be placed in your caption, perhaps a few spaces below the last sentence. You can create space by adding a few dots, with one per line — check one of my recent posts to see how this is done.”