Learn Our Hashtag Formula to Instantly Increase Instagram Likes

How to Instantly Increase your Instagram Reach using Hashtags

We’re all fans of facebook’s visual storytelling platform and social network, Instagram. Instagram uses hashtags, which are essentially simple tags which are similar to twitter in the sense that when you tag a post you’re identifying with other similar posts from other users and essentially opening up conversation starters by allowing more eyes to view your post.

Instagram uses hashtags as a categorical feature. If we tag a post with  #bulldog, all Instagram users who have hashtagged #bulldog or searched for #bulldog will be able to see a mosaic of images of cute cuddly animals with a couple of exceptions…

Popular tactics by less than honest users spam tags which are irrelevant to their photos to maximize their potential exposure. While this can create the desired effect, the mosaic then populates with unrelated content. It’s best to use descriptive hashtags which can help generate a positive sentiment among users viewing aggregated content.

What’s the maximum amount of hashtags that you can use on Instagram?

Instagram has a 30 tag maximum per image. If you post more than 30 they’ll erase all your hashtags and post your photo tagless.

Does increasing your hashtag count to the maximum tag threshold increase Instagram likes?

Software developer Max Woolf has analyzed around 120,000 Instagram images, split between hashtags; #sunny, #rainy, and #snowy. This graph displays the distribution of the number of tags on photos from that dataset.

How you can get more Instagram likes with our Hashtag Formula

As you can see in the graph above, the majority of Instagram photos have around 5 tags, which is reasonable for users who quickly describe their photo in the photo caption box. What’s interesting is that even though the maximum amount of hashtags provides the most distribution, you can see that as the tag count raises the popularity of doing so goes down. Until you get to the max threshold of 30, this shows us there’s a niche of tag abusers or marketers that understand the capability.

The statistical average is 11.45 tags with a standard deviation of 8.01.

The distribution of likes are quite skewed as you might expect when viewed normally however when the distribution is view logarithmically, the shape becomes closer to a bell curve.

How to get more instagram likes using hashtags

The statistical average of likes on instagram photos is 26.19. The standard deviation is 154.07. This is high because of photo anomalies where there may be thousands of likes on a few photos.

If we analyze the distribution of likes for each number of tags, the results are more descriptive.

How to increase you Instagram likes with hashtags

What we can see here is that as the number of tags increases, the distribution of likes increases.

Regression Analysis

Using a linear regression of logged likes on tags, this can show us if the increase of tags corresponds to an increase of likes.  How to increase your instagram likes using hashtags

There is undoubtedly a strong correlation between the number of tags and the number of likes per photo.

Number of tags vs. the average number of likes on 120,346 Instagram photos by number of tags:

How to increase your instagram likes using hashtags

What we see here is that Instagram photos which have the maximum number of tags (30), on average receive about 3 times as many likes than Instagram photos with only a couple of tags.

So what have we learned here?

Using more hashtags will undoubtedly increase the likelihood of receiving more Instagram likes.

We think that there’s one major point to be taken from this data. When you post using the maximum allowable number of hashtags, you’re getting the most eyes on your content. If you have the option of connecting to 1-30 distributors of your content, what are you going to choose? 1-5? I think not. Choosing 30 will give you maximum likes, engagement and views. Many

But should you simply blast out 30 random hashtags? I mean who doesn’t want to get the maximum amount of views and engagement?

Social media isn’t all about the numbers. Try to remember that it’s not all about the likes we receive. It’s about the overall feeling and cohesiveness of the brand. It’s about communicating what your brand is about. Social Media is not about measuring up to the next brand’s likes & followers.

How are users reacting when they’re looking through their favorite car photos from the hashtag #corvette and they see a picture of your dinner from last night?

Not with the most positive sentiment. You want your users experiencing your content with positivity, increasing the likelihood of a share and a positive experience which can be associated with your page or brand.

Using Hashtags in the Comments Section as Opposed to the Photo Description

Hashtags in a comment have the exact same function as those in a photo description. They are discoverable for people searching that same hashtags.

So if you post a photo with a normal photo description and later put the hashtags in a comment it is as if you’re posting a photo with that same hashtag in a photo description.

Why would I hashtag in my Comment Section?

Can you imagine a brand posting an Instagram photo with 30 hashtags in a photo description on a Facebook page?  It looks ridiculous! It shows up in users feeds, and it’s been found to annoy users.

What’s the most effective way to tag an Instagram photo for maximum reach, positive sentiment, and geo-targeting?

1.) Post your hashtags in the comment area of your post.

2.) Use 30 hashtags to maximize your reach.

3.) Use this formula to help shape the hashtags you use:

10 Image Description Related Tags + 10 Location Related Tags + 10 Audience Related Tags

If you want to take this strategy a step further:

Measure Volume + Sentiment + Frequency of the Hashtags you’re selecting to include in your post comments. Pick out the best performing hashtags.

Measure the post Volume and Conversation for each hashtag to discover the most popular hashtags relative to your Instagram content.

If you have questions about social media marketing, digital marketing, seo, experiential marketing, event production or mobile tours, contact BeCore today! We’d love to partner with you!