How much do Instagram hashtags increase the reach of a post? Quite a bit it seems.
Working with businesses on their social media accounts we had spotted how hashtags can affect the reach of posts. Last weekend we had a lesson in just how much difference the use of a hashtag can really make
This is the post.
View this post on Instagram
Flamingoes at San Pedro del Pinatar. Out and about in Murcia.⠀ San Pedro del Pinatar is about an hour’s drive from the villa. We like to visit and take the trails through the salt lakes and sand dunes followed by a drink and possibly something to eat in the marina. .⠀ .⠀ #flamingoes #sanpedrodelpinatar #marmenor #villawithpool #spanishvilla #villarental #holidayrental #spanishholiday #mazarron #murcia #spain #costacalida
We shared this image on the Instagram account for our villa in Spain.
We thought the flamingos would be of interest to people who saw the photo, so we posted it on Sunday evening and watched with astonishment the likes steadily increasing along with the reach of the post.
Within hours the number of impressions and reach of the post were almost the highest we had received for any previous post and by Monday morning it was the highest. The engagement in terms of likes is also the highest we have received.
In fact, it was the likes we were getting that alerted us to something different about this post. The accounts liking the post were not the usual accounts who engage with our posts. A group of our followers are normally the first to like our posts.
The reason and source of the traffic was very clear. It was a hashtag and one particular hashtag. As usual we had used a hashtag for the place the photo was taken. In this case San Pedro del Pinatar, a resort on the Mar Menor, in the Murcia region of Spain.
How did we know?
All business accounts show the number of impressions from hashtags. Since January some accounts are showing the specific hashtags that created the traffic. Luckily this was one of the ones we manage that does this. In this case #sanpedrodelpinatar was responsible for 70% of the impressions. Interestingly we also used San Pedro del Pinatar as the location – it was responsible for 2 – yes 2 impressions. A very persuasive argument for using Instagram hashtags.
Now before we congratulate ourselves on a successful post how successful was it actually?
It got great reach and engagement, but it didn’t get any profile views or follows. Nor did it prompt any website clicks, emails or calls. Other less popular posts have achieved some of these things.
Having found a hashtag that produced such great results, it is one we cannot use on a regular basis. To use it again we will have to create a post that can use it in an authentic way without looking as if we are hashjacking
So, our search for the most effective hashtags for the account continues. The addition to Instagram insights has allowed us to see which of our existing hashtags we use are the most effective. For every post we have a group of core hashtags and then add more specific ones to suit each image.
When we manage a business Instagram account, we constantly check the Insights supplied. This helps us see what has worked and what hasn’t and use this to create future posts.