Insta hacks

Dear Doctor, I saw an influencer on Instagram put their hashtags in the comments recently. Why would you do that and what else do I need to know about the Gram?

Doctor Digital Says

Ahhhh, the hacks of Instagram are subtle, and yet compelling. Let’s have a little recap on our favourite photo sharing site, which, despite having Facebook as a parent, has managed to escape the brand flogging of the Book. Insta is more popular than ever, and businesses are beginning to have some strong tools to use to sell and monetise as the Facebook advertising and business growth products are rebranded and pushed through Instagram.

A quick recap for anyone who is not on the Insta squad yet. It’s a photo sharing social media platform that allows use of filters to make photos look amazing and is favoured by visual brands and now just about anyone else who uses images and videos. It has a primary ‘feed’ as well as a ‘stories’ feed which is only available for 24 hours. It also now has IGTV which is a live video channel.

Instagram is shaping up to be the social business tool of choice in 2020. According to data from SproutSocial, 64% of Instagram users are 18-29 years old – but more importantly nearly two out of every three adults in this age group use the service. What sets Instagram apart from other social media services is in the fact that 80% of accounts actually follow at least one business or brand, and 200 million grammers actively visit business profiles daily.

Brand research is a significant function of Instagram, with 70% of users turning to Instagram to look up a brand, while 60% of people learn about new products via the social media service. Interestingly, the gender mix of users on Instagram is roughly equal, giving brands a space to play and appeal to their people no matter what their product is.

In a nutshell, if you aren’t on Instagram, and your demographic is Gen z or Millenials, you should consider your choices. Instagram is changing all the time with trends in posts. The stuff your caption with a mini essay trend still continues. The anti-long post caption stuffing trend also continues, driven by TL;DR (too long didn’t read) sentiments, where you just let the image do its work, with a few emojis for additional graphic direction and hashtags for classification.

But what about the hashtags in the comments I hear you ask? This is a newish thing, which is designed to give you the trend and searchability of the hashtag, without cluttering up or syphoning precious character limits from your post. While the Instagram character limit is 2,200 characters, the hashtag limit is different. On Instagram, you can add up to 30 hashtags whether that’s in the caption of your photo or in the comment section.

If you post your image + caption, and then put your hashtags in the comment section, you get the advantages of the hashtags without the hashtag cluster in your caption. Make sure you post your hashtags in the first comment, then once a few people have commented on your post, they won’t be there in peoples view. This hack is also great if you post to Instagram and Facebook, as you won’t get all the non active hashtags porting across to the Facebook post, showing you are double dipping on your content. Stuck for what #hashtags to use? If you're looking for some suggestions, Oberlo published a list of the 100 best Instagram hashtags for likes in 2019.

Time to up your #instagram #game and #getit in 2020 on social media.

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