This short post is the last of a series of five in which we share some of the results of our latest Instagram Engagement Report.

  1. Video crushes the numbers
  2. The 19 most used hashtags in 2018
  3. The 19 most engaging hashtags of 2018
  4. Tagging users doesn’t generate engagement
  5. The more hashtags, the less engagement

Now, if you want to learn all there’s to know about the latest trends to generate more engagement on Instagram download our free 30+ pages report.

Instagram Engagement Report 2019

Less hashtags = more engagement

To #hashtag or not to hashtag? That is the question.

Our analysis indicates that the more hashtags Instagram users display in their posts, the less engagement they manage to generate.

instagram engagement report hashtags engagement

What does it mean for businesses?

Hashtags are not as essential as you think anymore.

While they still provide context for your post and give your business more visibility when you create branded hashtags – focus on delivering quality, relevant and consistent content instead.

An example of brand’s social media communication I love is Oatly’s. They almost never use hashtags to promote their Instagram posts. The bond they created with their audience and the quality of their content is what generates engagement.

instagram engagement report social oatly

We think that the “hashtag relevance” shift is due to the addition of various factors:

  1. Celebrities don’t use hashtags and tagging the same way we mortals do.
  2. While hashtags contribute to give visibility to your posts, quality is what triggers engagement, not the number of hashtags you use. Besides, we know that the more engagement a post generates, the more likely it is to be picked up by Instagram’s algorithm.
  3. Unless there’s a specific event happening, Instagrammers use their timeline more than the search to consume content on the platform. This means that brands with engaging communities don’t need to promote their posts using a ton of different hashtags.
  4. Low-quality, promotional posts that include 10+ hashtags affect the overall result our the analysis.

Case in point:

View this post on Instagram

#belts #ferragamo #ferragamobelt #giftsforhim #giftsforher #gifts #valentines2019 #valentines #classy #elegant #prestige #brands #style #fashion #trend #classic #colombo #colombolife #colombostyle #colomboshopping #colombofashion #srilanka #srilankafashion #skyfigallery

A post shared by SkyFi Gallery – Majestic City (@skyfigallery) on

Would you interact with this post? I know I wouldn’t. There’s no story, just a bunch of hard-to-read hashtags. In fact, it’s so terrible that only bots seem to be interacting with it.

Instagram Engagement Report 2019

Clément is Content Marketer for Mention. He creates content to help brands manage their online reputation strategy. If not behind a screen, you can find him reading books in Parisian cafés or exploring the city with his dog.

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