Hashtags don’t work, how to increase your Instagram #engagement
New research conducted by Mention found that hashtags do not increase engagement for Instagram posts, but tagging other users in posts will.
Social media tracking and web monitoring firm Mention released its ‘Instagram Report 2018’ today, finding that using hashtags in Instagram posts does not correlate to increases in engagement. However, Mention’s data did find while 72% of posts on instagram contained no tagged users, tagging other users in posts can increase engagement rates.
According to Mention, the common assumption that hashtags lead to increases in engagement are wrong. While hashtags can make posts more discoverable, Mention’s data found no correlation between the number of hashtags in a post and the number of likes or comments.
With exactly a third of Instagram posts containing no hashtags at all, according to Mention’s report Instagram posts actually perform better without a hashtag.
Businesses wanting to increase their engagement rates on Instagram should be tagging as many users as possible in their posts – According to Mention’s report the more users tagged in a post, the more likes and comments that post will receive. Mention says the correlation between users tagged and likes on Instagram is “basically linear”, so there is no downside to pushing Instagram’s limit of 20 tagged users per post.
According to Mention, video posts are 38% more engaging on Instagram than static posts, with an average of 1699 engagements per post. Video posts also yield 2.1 times more comments on average, comments being the rarest form of Instagram engagement at 1.9% of all engagements.
Carousels are Instagram posts that contain multiple instances of images or videos, these posts were found by Mention to be equally as engaging as static images, with an average of 1235 engagements per post.
Mention’s report advises businesses looking to maximise engagement on Instagram to post regularly, with most major brands posting 1.5 times per day. Mention’s research also found that the best times to post on the platform are from 11am-1pm and 7pm-9pm, particularly on a Monday or a Thursday. Mention’s report involved the analysis of over 115 million Instagram posts.
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