In order to create the best hashtag strategy on Instagram, you’ll need to combine hashtags from FOUR categories. The right combination of hashtag types will increase your post performance and help you reach your target audience.

1: Choose a maximum of 5-7 very popular hashtags. What is deemed as a popular hashtag? Popular hashtags are ones that have around 100,000 to 500,000 posts associated with them. When using hashtags with more than 500,000 you are more likely to invite bot activity into your feed. Also, your posts are buried in the hashtag archives within mere seconds of being posted.

2. Choose 5-7 semi popular hashtags. Semi popular hashtags range from 10,000 to 100,000 associated posts.

3. Choose 3-5 niche-specific hashtags. These hashtags typically have few than 10,000 posts associated with them. These are the ones that your core and target audiences are searching for.

4. Include 1-3 branded hashtags. These are the hashtags you use exclusively for your brand.

Why is it important to use this combination of hashtags? When you use very popular hashtags, your content will immediately appear in searches. This will generate immediate activity on your post as soon as it is posted. When you include semi popular hashtags, it will keep your content active in the search results for hours.

Since your followers are interacting with your posts and the other hashtags are keeping your activity going, your posts should show up as a top post in the searches for the niche-specific hashtags you chose. Once you gain more followers, your branded hashtags will become popular and memorable amongst your followers.

Now that you’ve mastered the recipe for hashtag success, you will need to determine the best hashtags for your brand. All of the hashtags you use on your Instagram posts should directly relate to the content itself, as well as your industry or brand.