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The Final 2020 Guide to Instagram #Hashtags.

Whether you own or manage a Gym, Personal Training Studio or Fitness centre, you are probably confused around the use of hashtags and you are wondering how should you use them at best for your Instagram posts. You might be asking your

self questions like:

What Hashtags should I use for my Fitness business? How many should I have on my Instagram post? Should I write them in the captions or the comments?

Here at Creative Fitness Hub we have prepared a list of tips to answer some of these questions!

1. Do some research on the right Hashtags to use

Analyze your competitors, look at their profile and posts and write a list of the hashtags they use.

Also, check what hashtags are most used by fitness influencers and personalities that are popular in your industry.

Remember, hashtags need to be relevant to your brand: for example, if you are a Pilates studio a popular hashtag like #gymlife won’t work for you. It will get your post seen by gym enthusiasts, but those are not necessarily going to be interested in what you have to offer.

Consider the related hashtags that Instagram suggests you. When you search for a specific hashtag, the suggestions appear just below it.

examples of suggested hashtags on Instagram

2. Use the right amount of Hashtags

There are different opinions on the right number of hashtags to use. On their Ultimate Guide to Instagram Hashtags for 2020 Hubspot highlights how 91% of brands use 7 or fewer hashtags per post, but also states that in their case they were more successful with “hashtag ranging in the low 20s”. Other experts say that 9 is the perfect number of hashtags, some others experimented using the max number allowed by Instagram, 30 hashtags per post.

In our case, we recommend using anywhere between 10 and 20 hashtags per post, focusing on the relevance more than on the quantity.

3. Make sure you don’t use banned or overused hashtags

Did you ever come across posts with hashtags like #bikinibody or #humpday?

If you did in the past and you wonder why you haven’t seen posts like that anymore, it’s because they are banned!

This is a good list of hashtags that have been banned:

However, it’s a good practice to check your hashtags before using them.

You can type the hashtag in the search box and if you get a message like the one below, then don’t use the hashtag!

Example of banned hashtag message

4. Separate your hashtags from your captions

Even though many Instagram users like using hashtags directly in the text of their captions, this is only a good idea when the hashtag can entirely replace the word and still make sense, without looking like it’s been forced in the context.

We suggest to separate the hashtags from your captions in two different ways:

  • place three dots after your caption and write your hashtags below them

  • Keep all your hashtags in the first comment under your post.

Hide Hashtags under the captions part 1
Hide Hashtags under the captions part 2

5. Mix popular and niche hashtags

Just because a hashtag is popular, it doesn’t mean that it will automatically get you the best quality followers. Hashtags like #followforfollow or #picoftheday are extremely popular but also overused, and won’t get your post in front of the relevant audience.

Remember, good engagement is way more important than the number of followers. Having less quality and loyal followers is more beneficial than having thousands of followers that are not interested in your product.

Use some popular hashtags like #fitness #gymlife #healthylife, but also mix them up with ones that are more specific to your brand. Hashtags with fewer shares will get you more quality followers.

6. Use hashtags in you Bio and Stories

Did you know, you can use up to 10 hashtags in your stories. They can help your stories being visible to people reaching for hashtags or following them.

A good way to use hashtags in your stories without crowding the text is to resize them so that they are not taking a big portion of your image.

Another idea is to hide them behind emojis or stickers or even blend them in the background.

7. Use geographic hashtags

People follow the locations they live on. They want to be updated on what’s happening, discover new businesses in the area and connect with people.

Using geographical hashtags will get your post in front of the eyes of people in your area, driving engagement with potential clients!

8. Make sure you use relevant hashtags

We can’t stress it enough: quality wins on quantity!

The hashtags you choose need to be relevant to your brand and product. We already explained how using irrelevant hashtags won’t get you in from of your audience.

But what other risk do you take when using the wrong hashtags?

Even though Instagram has stated that there is no policy to limit reach and visibility of profiles that post irrelevant content (the infamous “shadowban”), we have seen that profiles that overuse hashtags and don’t pay attention to the relevance overtime get less visibility. Their reach drops and their posts are not visible to people that are not following them.

Don’t get scared! If you make sure that you are following the Instagram policies, this won’t happen to you.

Another thing that can hurt your visibility is when users decide to “don’t show your post for this hashtag”. In this case, they are telling Instagram that you post is not relevant to that hashtag. Instagram, like all other social media networks, prioritizes user experience. If you are not giving a good experience, you won’t be IG’s best friend!

9. Suggest people to use your branded hashtag

This is a suggestion that does not apply to all businesses, but it can help many.

Did you consider creating your own hashtag? You can play around with your brand's name or use a short version of your mission statement or slogan. Your clients can use this hashtag when posting pictures in your gym or studio and their followers will see them!

10. This is our final point: experiment and test!

There’s no better way to know what works for you than testing out different options, combinations of hashtags, quantities and positioning. Test, test, test and with patience, you’ll achieve the best performance!

Hope you enjoyed reading. Keep checking our blog for more useful tips for your Fitness business.

Creative Fitness Hub offers freelancing marketing and consulting services specifically designed for the Fitness Industry. Have a look at our website to find out more about us!

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