Do Instagram Hashtags in Captions or Comments Belong?
If you’re trying to get new followers on Instagram, hashtags will still be one of your top tools in 2021. But where should your hashtags go? For years, there has been a fierce debate about where to put these pound signs: a team title or a team comment. And for years, most sources have argued that there is no functional difference between captions and comments when it comes to hashtag effectiveness. So what’s the truth?
Instagram has finally given us the answer through their @ creators account, which has tips and tricks for all types of content creators trying to get more followers and engagement. (Interestingly, @creators doesn’t use any visible hashtags in hashtag posts … but maybe that’s the advantage of having 6.2 million followers already.)
Why you should put your hashtags in your signature
Without revealing the details of how to actually work ” algorithm ” (in quotes because Instagram pushes the idea of a single, omnipotent algorithm), the official guide states that “for the message to be found in the search, enter keywords and hashtags in title, not comments. “
This tip can also be found on the official Instagram blog , which goes into more detail on how search results are ranked, whether you’re finding new accounts to follow, or trying to get followers to find you.
Given the weight that Instagram’s search function seems to have in building your audience, it looks like posting # hashtags in a comment rather than a caption might hold you back.
It’s unclear how much hashtags are more effective in comment captions, but for now Instagram has tipped the scales in Team Caption’s favor. However, the quality of the hashtags is probably more important than where you choose to place them.
How to use a hashtag correctly
Another takeaway from Instagram shedding light on its search function is the importance of keywords. Aside from relevant hashtags, you can benefit from including keywords about your content in your descriptor, profile name, and bio.
When it comes to finding relevant keywords, pick a niche if you want to grow your audience. If you’ve ever used the Instagram search bar, you know the daunting sight of millions of views for tags like #fitness , #foodie , and even (and maybe especially ) #feet. So how can your content stand out from this competition?
Bad news: it probably won’t – at least not with hashtags alone. The good news is, you can work smarter and find a niche that gives you a better chance of being at the top of someone’s search or research page. For example, your post may be buried in #dogs (doesn’t that sound like a dream?), But in fact, you have a chance to attract a more targeted audience with something specific, for example # stbernard (a tag where I can or can not just spent a few hours).
One caveat, though: Don’t bunch up a bunch of unrelated tags in the hopes of getting random views. You can get angry and lose potential followers, or even risk falling into the notorious shady ban . You can also read on for tips on how to make your hashtags easier to read in general.
Use line breaks if you’re concerned about aesthetics
Instagram is home to one of the greatest paradoxes of a successful online presence: the need to try really hard, giving the impression that you’re not trying at all. As we’ve discussed in the past , authenticity can go a long way in gaining and retaining your loyal followers. Use too many hashtags and you risk being branded as outdated, spamming or, in the worst crime on the Internet, cringing.
Many content creators have learned that posting all of your hashtags in the comments helps keep your headline (and brand) clear and light. So what does Team Caption do? Well, if you’ve ever wondered why some accounts use this line of dots to hide their hashtags, here’s what it looks like when an influencer gets his #cake and eats it too (#foodporn #marieantoinette). These classic signature dots are tricky to format in an app, so the easiest way is to keep your Notes app handy for copy / paste when you’re ready to publish.
After all, hashtags are like underwear: yes, we should all use them, yes, they serve a noble purpose, but no, I don’t want to see yours.