Hashtags can make or break your giveaways on Instagram. Use the wrong ones, and you can’t get any visibility, or get spam comments and entries that don’t really reach your target audience.
However, in many cases, the right hashtags can get you engagement, contest entries, and grow your following more than doing giveaways without them. A study by Simply Measured found that simply using one hashtag in a post got a slight lift of thirteen percent in engagement. This simple addition to a post can drive growth and results without additional hours in research and development.
This post will discuss how to find hashtags, the basic components of hashtags, and actual examples of how hashtags have helped brands get more exposure and engagement for their Instagram giveaways and contests.
What Makes Up a Good Hashtag?
You can have up to thirty hashtags on Instagram per post, which includes the caption and comment areas together. However, most people don’t use the full thirty. Deciding how many hashtags to use depends on the topic, but studies have shown that 91 percent of top posts by brands don’t use more than seven hashtags.
In most cases, the longer the hashtag, the more engagement it receives. This is usually because longer hashtags are more likely to be used by a dedicated audience that is already engaged with a brand. So creating a unique hashtag for your giveaways, like #AcmeGiveaway, not only makes it more helpful for tracking, but also can help your giveaway standout from the traditional broader hashtags on Instagram.
However, make sure hashtags aren’t too long to type and aren’t confusing without spaces. For instance, turning “SF art giveaway” into a hashtag has unintended consequences: #SFartGiveaway.” Be sure to review your hashtags carefully to make sure no words are created when spaces are removed to create the hashtag. Experiment with capitalization to help you better see created words.
Even if you don’t use capitalization in your posts, the hashtag will still show up in the same search no matter how it’s stylized. This means that #AcmeGiveaway is considered the same by Instagram as #acmegiveaway. This makes it easier for hashtags to be tracked appropriately, even if someone doesn’t capitalize. (However, hashtags do have to be spelled correctly to work. So #AcmeGiveaway would be considered a different hashtag than #AmceGiveaway.)
What Instagram Hashtags Should You Use?
Besides making up your own, using hashtags that other users are already searching for and including in their posts can drive a good lift in exposure and engagement. The key for hashtags is not using common ones that are overused and hence, either going to attract spam or get lost in the sea of other people using the same hashtags. For instance, the five most popular Instagram hashtags are #love #instagood #photooftheday #fashion and #beautiful, according to Oberlo and Websta.me. When possible, try not to use generic hashtags, even if your giveaway includes fashion or could be described as beautiful.
Should you use ‘standard’ hashtags like #giveaway?
With this advice in mind, should the common prize or contest hashtags be used? Experimenting with extremely common hashtags is the only true way to tell if they actually help or hurt your specific posts.
For instance, the hashtag #giveaway currently has 23.5 million posts that contain the hashtag. When you do a search, Instagram will tell you this number: