Instagram Reels have been available on the platform for over two years now, but there’s still a lot for Instagram users to learn about them. Technically still a newish feature, Instagram has placed a lot of emphasis on Reels, especially over the last year. Slowly, images are getting less and less engagement, while video-based Reels are moving up in the algorithm. It’s not uncommon for newly posted Reels to get hundreds of likes in a short period, while new images await a fate of much slower engagement.
Still, Reels have a few things in common with traditional Instagram posts. They both can create a beautiful, organized feed, grow a dedicated audience, and build awareness for a brand. Instagram users can also add hashtags to Reels, just like they can with photo posts, to keep pulling in the right audience for their content.
But do Instagram Reels hashtags work the same as hashtags for image posts? Continue reading this guide to learn more about using Instagram Reels hashtags to improve your Reels engagement.
The Benefits of Hashtags for Instagram Reels
Screenshot from @aviate.with.ana via Instagram
Similar to regular Instagram posts, hashtags can boost engagement on Instagram Reels. Hashtags classify posts into topics, pulling posts using a specific hashtag together for interested audiences to find. Instagram allows hashtags on Reels for the same purposes: letting the platform understand your content’s purpose and helping Instagram users find the content they’re interested in.
Even more important is the ability of hashtags to increase the engagement you get on your videos. Such is the case with traditional Instagram posts, too. Hashtags tell Instagram’s algorithm how to classify your Reels, helping your content display to the right people and potentially leading to more views, likes, and comments. You could also get more engagement when others find your Reels using a hashtag search.
How to Use Instagram Reels Hashtags to Boost Engagement
Instagram Reels hashtags are most effective when they become a part of a clear strategy to increase Instagram engagement through research, strategic placement, and analysis.
Conduct Legitimate Hashtag Research
Start by researching hashtags to use with Instagram Reels. The best place to start is your Explore page, which shows popular posts relevant to other content you engage with or search for. See what hashtags Reels on that page use to get an idea of what other creators are using.
Then, move your attention to the search bar. Plug in keywords and phrases related to your content. Instagram’s search will pull up relevant hashtags using those words or phrases, along with how many posts currently use those hashtags. Choose a mix of hashtags with more and fewer than 100,000 posts.
Finally, check on your competitors to see what hashtags they use on their related Reels. Use one or two hashtags on your post and use the rest to gain some insight into similar phrasing or keywords to use in your research.
Know Where to Place Hashtags
Screenshot from @hedgehogcutest via Instagram
Adding a hashtag as text on Instagram Reels doesn’t work the same as it does on an Instagram Story. In other words, your hashtags won’t be clickable on Reels. Instead, place your hashtags in your Reels caption or as a comment. Like posts, you can include up to 30 hashtags in your Reels, whether you add them as a caption or comment. The algorithm favors them in either position.
Analyze and Improve Your Hashtag Strategy
Instagram updates its algorithm frequently, and hashtag strategies need to shift with those changes. Instagram prefers fresh content with fresh hashtags to go with it, so avoid using the same hashtags in each post. Make your hashtags hyper-specific to all new Reels, which likely means researching hashtags every time you want to post new content.
Use Instagram Insights to help you determine the efficacy of your hashtags. Tap on a specific post and scroll to the Reach section. Under Impressions, find how many impressions came from your hashtags. This provides a general idea of how well your hashtags for that post performed.
You can also note how the engagement of your Reels compare based on the hashtags you use.
Other Crucial Factors for Reels Engagement
Screenshot from @vidiblade via Instagram
It’s important to remember that Instagram Reels engagement relies on more than hashtags. In fact, the number of times Reels have been played and replayed is an excellent predictor of how popular they are. Therefore, Instagram’s algorithm gives them a boost in Explore pages, allowing even more people to see them. As a result, those Reels are typically the ones that get more engagement through likes, comments, and shares.
Essentially, creating excellent content that Instagram users want to see is the best way to ensure engagement on your Reels. Avoid making Reels too long, as playing Reels in their entirety shows Instagram that people want to watch them all the way through. Use your Explore page to see what’s currently trending and find ways to make your own content even better than what’s popular right now on Instagram.
Learn more about Instagram hashtags and how to use Instagram hashtags effectively to grow your Instagram account and engagement on your Reels. Keep growing your audience through the use of Instagram Reels, hashtags, and other strategies, including installing the Instagram follow button on your blog or website to make it easy for visitors to follow your profile.