Businesses compete to get their content noticed, and one of their biggest weapons has become the use of Instagram hashtags. The trick is to find the right hashtags for your business.
And it works!🤩
When using Instagram hashtags for business, your most important goal is to create content that inspires engagement and use those hashtags effectively.
The way you use your hashtags has a direct impact on how your followers find your account and view your content.
Access and relevancy can make or break an Instagram business account. It’s the difference between your page becoming a ghost town or a go-to.
Although there’s no such thing as a one size fits all strategy, there are certain tips and tricks that can guide you.
Let’s dig in ⇣
How to find the best hashtags for your business: rules for Instagram hashtags
- Google search
- Check hashtags on Instagram app
- Look at other social medis posts ad platforms
- Follow industry influencers to get inspired
Because there’s a lot of competition when it comes to hashtags, especially if you decide to use some of the more popular ones, relevancy is key.
The goal is to make sure your message reaches the exact people you want to target with your hashtags.
But choose your target carefully. Your brand should open conversations with people that are or could be legitimately interested in your business.
So how do you get their interest? The first step is to make your hashtags captivating and intriguing.
If for example, you are encouraging a discussion about books, it does not make sense if you use the word “foodie” in a hashtag.
Of course, anyone looking for images tagged with the keyword will come across your post, but because it does not match their current interest or needs, it will be ignored.
So instead try using broad hashtags like #books, #read, #library together with more interesting ones like #booklover, #bookworm, #bookaddict, #bibliophile, or even #bookstagram.
Just be creative, but relevant.
And if you don’t like how a string of hashtags looks in your caption, there’s always the option to hide them or place your hashtags in the first comment.
You hide your hashtags all the way at the bottom of your caption, by using the dot + Return trick, only to be visible by pressing the See more option.
The first thing people see when viewing your post is the image and the caption.
So it makes sense that you should include hashtags in your captions instead of your comments when you want your followers to remember and be attracted to the hashtag - just as much as the image itself.
However, this can also work against you. Some people may think hashtags take away from the caption itself, so their presence might be off-putting. So they decide to hide them or place hashtags in the first comment.
According to a hashtag study by Socialinsider, depending on the size of your Instagram account, brands should use hashtags differently:
- Profiles with under 5k followers: hide hashtags in the caption.
- Profiles with 5k-10k followers: hashtags in the first comment
- Profiles with 10k-50k followers: hide hashtags in the caption
- Profiles with 50k-100k followers: hide hashtags in the caption
- Profiles with over 100k followers: hashtags in the first comment
Don't worry, Instagram’s official help page states that hashtags will show up whether you use them in the caption or the comment.
But the engagement your post receives is a different story.
There are countless reasons why marketers use Instagram Stories:
- they garner a higher response rate.
- they offer an improved experience.
- they are more engaging.
- they offer creative options for your social media content.
Also, when coupled with hashtags, Instagram Stories give your followers another reason to engage with you.
But what people do not know is that Instagram geo-locations and hashtags have their own stories attached to them. Explore new ways of connecting with other posts and grow your Instagram business account.
Surprisingly or not, the size of your business and the size of your Instagram account have a huge impact on your social media success.
In fact, your social media strategy should be outlined with these differences in mind.
When you’re a small business with a smaller Instagram account, brand awareness is an important step.
That’s why getting establishing your brand hashtags is crucial, but using very specific industry hashtags is also a must.
Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started:
- Create catchy, but relevant branded hashtags and use them often
- Add wider topic hashtags next to your branded hashtags
- Get influencers or other brands to use your hashtags through collabs
- Carry on contests and giveaways, which typically lead to huge Instagram engagement. Don’t forget to include your brand hashtags on every post.
- Add around 6 hashtags to your caption, but hide them - following the example shown above.
Having a sizeable business definitively gives you a leg up on social media.
That means that your brand is already somewhat established, so using your branded hashtags works the other way around: you use brand hashtags to establish other specific hashtags (campaign hashtags, competition hashtags, product hashtags).
Tips to improve your hashtag strategy:
- Be creative with hashtags: be witty and inventive, especially during campaigns and activations
- Use 2 to 8 hidden hashtags in your caption, depending on the size of your profile
- Use the strength of your brand name to your advantage
- Try to encourage user-generated content through hashtags to maintain a close relationship with your audience.
If you want to grow a targeted and responsive following, it is a must that you avoid using gimmicky tags that have a high amount of traffic.
Avoid hashtags like:
They have been used in more than a million posts, and when you use them, the algorithm views your post as less than authentic.
Not to mention the fact that your brand post will be alongside other random posts that have nothing to do with your audience.
That is why you should avoid recycling the exact same hashtags over and over again.
Not only does it look like you are spamming the Instagram feed with irrelevant posts, but these hashtags can also affect the visibility of your post.
When using unique and various hashtags, your posts will be viewed by more people and your audience will enjoy your content that much better.
You are allowed to use up to 30 hashtags with each Instagram post.
However, Instagram data shows that you should use far fewer hashtags, so you want to be selective when choosing these tags.
You do not want to use irrelevant tags, but you also do not want to include too many. If you have an overload of hashtags, your post might look sloppy.
Your audience will not read every hashtag, and they may even view a lot of hashtags in a single post in a negative way.
You do not want to turn your audience off. You want to appeal to their interest, and you want the hashtags to add value to your content.
Hashtags need to be perfectly integrated into the content and add value to your post. So as a rule, if a specific hashtag is unrelated or it simply lengthens your list, do not use it.
You already got a general idea about how to use hashtags for your business, but let’s make it more specific.
According to a hashtag study by Socialinsider, depending on the size of your Instagram account, brands should use hashtags differently:
- Profiles with under 5k followers: 6 hidden hashtags in the caption achieved better engagement, reach and more impressions.
- Profiles with 5k-10k followers: 5 shown hashtags in the first comment achieved better engagement (despite the reach and impression rates).
- Profiles with 10k-50k followers: 2 hidden hashtags in the caption achieved better engagement, reach and more impressions.
- Profiles with 50k-100k followers: 8 hidden hashtags in the caption achieved better engagement, reach and more impressions.
- Profiles with over 100k followers: 6 shown hashtags in the first comment achieved better engagement, reach and more impressions.
When you want to engage with your audience, the topic you discuss must interest them. Even more, the topic must be intriguing enough and encourages conversations and the exchange of viewpoints.
That is why it is important to focus on one or two topics when creating hashtags. These hashtags can be centered around a niche or be specific to your industry.
In either case, your tags convey a condensed meaning of the post, so your audience can distinguish right away if your post appeals to them or not by skimming through your hashtags.
If your hashtags are not representative to your specific niche, your followers will scroll past your posts every time.
Use a mix of popular hashtags, together with your own brand hashtags to increase exposure and increase the visibility of your own hashtags.
But while setting on your brand hashtags is an internal process, finding the right popular hashtags requires some research.
Following Instagram hashtags is already a trend now.
Previously, using the "Explore" tab was the most prominent way to search the platform using hashtags. And that’s a great tool. You could also click on a hashtag listed in a post in order to populate a list of other relevant posts. Don't forget to tap Follow when you really like a hashtag.
Instagram also allows users to follow a particular hashtag instead of searching for them. This gets relevant posts to appear in your feed without manually performing a search.
It means that if you publish a post with a hashtag being followed, your post will appear in the feed automatically. It's a better way to engage with followers easily, while cultivating new followers who share the same interest.
Hashtags that contain **more than one or two words** are **hard to remember** - and sometimes hard to spell.
Shorter hashtags make it easy for your audience to search the phrase to find your page, so not only are short phrases inspirational, they also leave a trail so that people can find you.
You want to use hashtags that are easily duplicated because they are short, sweet and simple. They are memorable and catchy, which inspires your audience to reuse your hashtag in their own posts.
It is estimated that when you use a hashtag that has 10 million posts attached to it, it will only take 3 minutes for your post to be pushed out of the first 9 in the feed.
That means that your audience has less than 5 minutes to find your post and engage with it before the post will be much less visible. That is why you should avoid using the same hashtags that your competitors are using - at least the most popular ones.
While you want to follow your competitors' hashtags for inspiration and direction, you still aim to be unique and set yourself apart.
Copying your competitors' hashtags might give you a few extra followers, but for the most part, your growth will be artificial - because it is not targeted. Besides, chances are that your competitor will make sure your post gets buried.
If you’re looking for targeted followers who engage with your page frequently, you must use uniquely created hashtags.
As an advantage, your unique hashtags can become part of your branding. You can follow them and check to see how engaging they are, what hashtag combos you should use and if you’re using one specific hashtag too often.
It is advisable that you perform your hashtag research before you determine which ones could be more effective for your use.
Look for keywords that are relevant by way of industry, location, events, holidays or brand. Include other social media channels in your research.
By capitalizing on the hashtags that attract people across multiple channels, are you more likely to discover keywords that highly responsive - or create some of your own.
Trending topics typically translate into good hashtags. Just like you’d do when writing a blg post, go to google to get inspiration on what topics you should address.
It doesn’t take too much effort to perform a simple check and get ideas from Google results and Google suggestions.
Go straight to the source and look for your hashtags directly, if you don’t already follow it. The app will show how many posts contain the hashtag you’re looking for, as well as displaying those posts.
Make an educated decision: Is that hashtag too popular or too unpopular for your needs? Do the prior posts fit the type of content you want to post? Will it be displayed to the right audience?
Any other posts on any social media platform can help as inspiration.
You can get tons of ideas and be up to date to the latest popular or viral subjects just by regularly scrolling Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And we all do that anyway, don’t we?
Influencers are all the rave nowadays, but not all influencers can help your marketing efforts.
The right influencers are mainly concerned about the same industry in which your business activates. These are the people who talk directly about issues that should concern you, thus being capable of offering amazing, unbiased insights.
With these tips, your Instagram marketing campaign will have the reach needed in order to cultivate audience engagement.
Your posts will appear in your followers' feeds with less effort, and you will more effectively attract new followers who are interested in your content.
The trick is to incorporate multiple types of content marketing strategies so that you are not relying only on your chosen hashtags.
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