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Whether you’re a freelance photographer, clothing brand, or local dog food company, Instagram hashtags, captions, and geotags are three extremely effective ways in to the eyes and ear of potential followers (and customers).

Whether you want to use hashtags to get more likes or your main goal is to achieve more followers, you should use different types of hashtags, but there are some general considerations you must take into account.

How to write an effective caption or choose the right tags, however, can prove problematic. Fortunately, that’s where we come in.

Below are 13 proven and research-backed ways to effectively use Instagram hashtags, captions, and geotags.

Use at least 11 and at most 30 hashtags

Research shows that engagement goes up after the use of 11 hashtags. The more you use hashtags, the more you have the chance to be seen by your target audience, but on the other hand using too many hashtags may look like a spammy activity in the eyes of Instagram.

Include hashtags that are relevant to your channel and content

Your target audience will be searching for hashtags related to your niche. try to use the most relevant hashtags and help your lovers find you.

Put hashtags in your comments

Packing your caption full of hashtags just doesn’t look good. Place them on your first comment instead.

Include as many popular hashtags (greater than 100,000) as possible

Hashtags are your main form of distribution to potential new Instagram followers – the larger and more populated the hashtag, the more people can theoretically see your content. You can use tools like AiGrow to find popular hashtags in your niche.

Include smaller, more specialized hashtags

Smaller, more niche hashtags contain less competition, which makes it easier for your own content to rank higher in the search results. This increases your chances of appearing in the “Top 9” grid results of a particular hashtag.

Use hashtags known to help increase followers (Use with caution)

It may not produce the most engaged following, but using hashtags like #L4L and #instafollow may prove a short-term solution to increasing Instagram followers.

Geotag your posts

When you geotag your posts, other people who post photos in your region will see your posts on the location’s page which increases content visibility.

Create a branded hashtag

Branded hashtags are an easy way for other people to share your brand, build brand recognition, and get your name on as many different feeds as possible.

Write smart captions

Paint a picture of what it was like to personally experience the content of your post. If it’s a vintage piece of clothing, what was the feeling you had when you found it? If it’s a location, what did it smell like?

Ask engaging questions in your captions

Questions are an easy way to increase audience interaction. For a vacation post, for example, you could ask something as simple as “have a friend who needs a vacation? Tag them in the comments!”

Include a clear CTA

Research has shown that including the words “Like” or “Comment” somewhere in your caption results in more likes (89% more) and comments. With more likes and comments comes a higher place in the hashtag search results. This means more visibility for your content, which means more potential Instagram followers.

Place important words/information at the beginning of your captions

When people scroll through their feeds, post captions get cut off after a few lines. You want to make sure that the critical information is seen no matter how your posts are seen.

Include emojis in your captions

Emojis make your captions stand out or emphasize particular parts of your caption. They have also been proven to lead to higher post engagement.

With your hashtags, captions, and geotags taken care of, you can focus on what really matters – creating killer content that compels people to follow your channel.

This article was actually taken from a more comprehensive guide of ours entitled 62 Proven Ways to Grow Your Instagram Followers in 2018. In addition to using Instagram hashtags, captions, and geotags to gain followers, the article also explains how to effectively use content and engagement to grow your Instagram following.

Know how to use hashtags, captions, and geotags to their fullest extent? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 😉

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