One of the things that everybody mentions in their Instagram strategy is the importance of using the right hashtags.
“With the right hashtags, your posts will get discovered, you’ll gain more followers, and your overall engagement will increase!”
Sounds great!… But what are the right hashtags?
The consensus for what the “right hashtags” are goes something like this:
Hmmm… sort of vague.
Now some articles expand on this to give you actual numbers to go by, like “Do research and choose hashtags that have between 300,000 - 400,000 posts”.
Ok cool! I did my research, I’ve got my hashtags that matched those criteria!… But…how do I know if they’re working?...
Data to back it up?
Other articles go even further to say “Use these top hashtags”, providing a list of their “right hashtags” that have been working for them and others.
Awesome!… But…do you have any data to back these up?
Unfortunately many do not, but the ones that actually do have data usually say something like, “The posts that used these hashtags received the most likes and comments.”
If you’re like me, a red flag should have went up. That reasoning sounds good… but what if the people who used those hashtags have millions of followers? Any post from them would have received thousands of likes and comments regardless of which hashtags they used.
What if they really just nailed down what time of day gave them the most engagement?
Maybe #ThrowbackThursday got them more likes because more of their followers are on Instagram on Thursdays!
The truth is, there’s not a great way to know if our hashtags are influencing engagement on Instagram, and worse… if there was a way, how can we know the increased engagement wasn’t because of some other factors like our growing following count, the filter we used, the time of day we posted, or anything else?
What I built to Fix It
After several months of random Instagram hashtagging, in November 2016 I finally decided that I wasn't going to wait for some company to create something that would solve these gaping issues. Most of them didn't seem to notice there was an issue to begin with and went along with the narrative of "The Consensus".
With a degree in both computer science and mathematics, and a love for Instagram and building things... I felt like I was poised to create the ultimate "Instagram Hashtag Tool".
In other words... a pretty super smart hashtag app. And that's exactly what I built.
Smarthash helps Instagrammers easily save off their favorite hashtags as sets, allows you to split test those hashtags, uses regression analysis to analyze their engagement performance on Instagram, and displays those performance results in a beautiful heat map.
I immediately started Beta testing the app near the beginning of the year, and with the help and feedback of hundreds of members from the Instagram community... I truly feel like we we're able to make it out to be something really wonderful, useful, and... somehow fun.
#❤️WhatYouDo & #ShareItWithThe🌎
As a side note, I think the reason why I gravitated towards Instagram in the first place is because unlike other social media platforms, Instagram really fosters the dreamers, the entrepreneurs, the foodies, the yogis, the travelers, and everyone who truly loves what they do and does what they love.
And not only that, but Instagram is also the way they can share what they love to do with the world, which in turn, inspires others to do the same.
Smarthash to me is way more than just an Instagram Tool. It's actually the finished product of what I love doing every single day... which is building and creating things.
And... it just so happens that it's also the way I can share what I love to do with you.
You can download Smarthash here.