If you use Instagram for marketing a product or self-promotion, then you know the importance of using hashtags to get your post to stand out from the more than 40 billion photos that have been shared. Since my company’s Instagram page (@yuleapp) has gained over 10,000 followers in one year, more and more friends are asking me for advice on how to increase engagement and get more followers. Many of these friends are individuals and artists who feel a little uneasy – or even flat out embarrassed – to use a lot of hashtags on their posts for fear of looking ‘spammy’ and desperate for attention. With over 400 million active users on Instagram, how can you possibly get your post (and therefore your account) noticed? The reality is many Instagram users are using simple tricks and techniques in an attempt to ‘hide’ their hashtags, thereby maximizing their exposure without hindering the aesthetic of their post caption.
Over the past several years, Instagram has proven to be a highly effective platform for businesses of all sizes to attract new customers (lead generation). Of the top 100 brands in the world, 90% have Instagram accounts. The ability to tell the story of your company and lead people directly to your website is a major form of traction that has helped companies like Frank Body and Teami achieve booming success. Perhaps the most effective trick to maximize your exposure is to ‘hide’ your hashtags in the Comments section of your post.
The result is that a post will look as though it only has a couple hashtags in the Caption, when in fact there are many more hashtags hidden in the Comments. So here’s how it’s done:
1. List Your Hashtags On Your Notes or Notepad App
Open your Notes or Notepad app and list up to 30 hashtags, preceded by 5 rows of “…” or something similar. You can do this by simply typing “…” and tapping “return” on the keyboard. Remember that currently the total number of hashtags Instagram allows is 30, so you will need to exclude the number of hashtags you want to include in your caption. For instance, if you want to use two hashtags in your caption, your Notes page should only include 28 hashtags to account for those. Once your hashtags are fully listed, Copy the entire page.
2. Make Your Instagram Post
Now that you have your Notes page copied, go ahead and make your Instagram post as you normally would. Immediately after your photo or video successfully posts, tap to make a comment on your post. Paste the entire Notes page in the comment box and tap Post.
That’s all there is to it! You just have to choose hashtags that are specific to your post, brand, and target audience. If you follow this basic process, you will start to see a significant rise in followers, reach, and engagement (typically 75% or more).
Our Innovative Solution
We picked up on this rather silly charade of hiding hashtags early on while developing our social media nightlife app, Yule. So our solution has been to allow the user to include invisible or ‘hidden’ hashtags on their posts! We have included a caption section along with a “tags” section which allows users to add additional hashtags to their post without it appearing in the caption. Users are able to add hashtags in this section that will effectively do the same thing as the Comment technique described above, but are only visible when someone taps the “…” button on a post. We’re pretty happy with this nifty solution, and will continue to make hashtag exploration easier and more widespread throughout our app in the coming months.