Testing Hashtags on Instagram – Part 4

Hi again, friends! After several weeks of testing the Instagram Algorithm, I’m really no closer to discovering the best process for gaining likes and followers on Instagram. I took some time to look at some of the people I followed on Instagram and decided to ask them what their secret was for getting so many likes on their Instagram posts. One account in particular has half the followers I do but when he posts, he manages to get thousands of likes on his posts. So I asked him what it is that he does to gain so much interest in his posts and he told me that he spent time “testing” different hashtags and came up with a diverse list of hashtags that he uses on all of his posts. He said it took him some time to get there, but now all of his posts get thousands of likes no matter what he posts.

The logical thinker in me didn’t believe this theory. I had way too many questions about the hashtags he was using to be convinced this was the only thing he was doing. I had to see proof of this theory in action. I figured he wouldn’t be willing to share his hashtag list with me outright. So I took a few screenshots of his hashtag list and then went researching online again.

What I discovered was that his hashtag master list matched hashtag lists from various Instagram “tools” you can use to generate the most popular hashtags for gaining traction on Instagram with your posts. So it’s very possible he started out using one of these tools then adopted the hashtag generation from this tool and posted these hashtags on all of his posts. I have already tested this with some of my posts by using related hashtags and only swapping out the ones that link directly to the post content itself. There are a lot of hashtags you can use that will work on any posts regardless of the content – much like “general” hashtags. But the one thing you need to be careful of is using hashtags that don’t relate to your image. This is a huge No-No on Instagram and people have been banned for spamming by doing this. I also think that if you’re resorting to these methods when posting, you’re really defeating the whole purpose of Instagram. People might love to see you putting on your makeup in the morning and tagging it with #sexy and #pretty, but if you’re tagging your posts with #cats #lovepets and other hashtags like this that do not relate to your content, you’re breaking the rules of Instagram. You want followers to like your content because it’s genuine and it’s yours, you don’t want to attract random people who don’t relate to your content by using erroneous hashtags just to gain eyeballs on your posts. You want the right eyeballs on your posts, right?

With that in mind, I went back to testing this theory using Tagify which is one of many Instagram apps that generate hashtags based on a keyword search. It generates the most popular hashtags related to your keyword so you can copy these into your Instagram posts. What I did was create my own lists based off some of these words and then edited around my post image. I have slowly started to see more likes on my posts than usual but I’ll need to test this for a week or two and will report on my progress then.

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