post by Stephanie Nelson
In social media circles, there’s a hot debate going on about where to put your Instagram hashtags. Should they go in the caption? Should they go in the first comment?
We’ve held the policy of putting them in the caption for a few reasons.
1. They’ll be seen by anyone who sees the post.
2. It won’t be seen by users or IG’s algorithm as trying to game the system. Commenting on your own post – especially when not in reply to someone else – looks like you’re trying to “guarantee” engagement on your posts. Not cool.
3. Rumor has it that putting captions in your first comment also reduces reach.
Turn out, even if our reasons weren’t spot on, our tactic may have been…at least for the most part. SocialInsider and Quuu recently partnered in a study of Instagram posts to determine if one way worked better than the other. Here’s a summary of what they found:
- Right or wrong, most brands put their hashtags in the caption.
- The team broke down the sample profiles by the number of followers. In each category except the over 100K followers category, the hashtags in the caption had a higher average reach per post.
- On the other hand, the engagement rate per post is higher when posts add shown hashtags in the first comment or insert hidden hashtags in the caption.
Our strategy seems to be working for our clients, so we’ll continue to put hashtags in the caption. What about you? What’s your Instagram hashtag strategy?