Hashtags have become a fundamental tool across all platforms within social media, especially for platforms like Instagram. Yet, how do you know if you are using hashtags on Instagram to their full potential? We will help you answer this question by profiling 8 Instagram hashtag techniques.
Hashtags act as keywords, a way to categorise posts. This makes posts searchable and means that they may appear in the news feeds of people who don’t follow you. But why is this so important for businesses?
It is simple, they increase your visibility which means there is more opportunity for your brand to be discovered. Research shows that including just one hashtag could increase your engagement by 12.6%, however, hashtags only have this ability when implemented correctly.
So this blog will walk you through 8 Instagram hashtag techniques to find and implement the right hashtags for you.
To know which hashtags are right for you, research has to be conducted surrounding your industry and your target online community.
If you’re not sure where to begin, don’t worry because here are 3 places you can start exploring!
Look at what hashtags your competitors are using! While rifling through their content it is good practice to not just observe what #’s they are using, but which posts get the higher numbers of likes and comments. This information can be used to make more informed decisions when considering hashtags you may implement yourself.
Another good place to look is at industry leaders, this is because they are already embedded within your community online. Reviewing the #’s these people are using can help you stay on top of current industry trends. Something that is fundamental when alining your brand as an industry expert.
Finally, it is always a good idea to use Instagram’s search function to look at different keywords within the Tag section. This will provide numbers on how many posts that particular hashtag as be tagged within, plus other suggested hashtags at the same time. By searching keywords/phrases related to your brand and industry, it is an easy way to start building a list of potential hashtags to use within your social media marketing strategy.
Over the years as the hashtag phenomenon has grown, so has the different types of hashtag and what they are best used for. So it is important to know what is what!
On Instagram, there are two main types of hashtags, community and branded. So let’s go over the things you need to know when it comes to each type.
Community hashtags surround topics that can have a wider scope rather than necessarily brand or company-specific.
Within this, there are two types of hashtags; common & niche.
For Example, #photooftheday is tagged in 714M posts or for an industry-specific example, #marketing is tagged in 33M posts.
Common hashtags have their purpose as they can help broaden your reach. However, it is not ideal so only use popular hashtags within your post, as they may get lost in the crowd.
An example for the dog lovers out there, instead of using #dog in posts, you could go bread specific. Such as, #vizsla (1.9M tags), or go more niche with #hungarianvizsla (568K tags) or #velcrodog (430K tags).
Utilising niche hashtags enable you to target your content more specifically at the desired audience, plus it increases your chances of getting ranked highly for those used!
Overall, it is most effective to use a combination of common and niche hashtags within your posts, but it is wise to consider the ratio of each.
Unlike community hashtags, branded hashtags are created specifically for your company. This could be your company name, tagline/phrase or related to a current campaign, the key aspect is that it reflects your company and brand.
The purpose of branded hashtags is to help deepen the brand connection with your audience. Branded hashtags are designed to have a long life span, so it essential to choose wisely when creating your branded hashtag. The exception is for campaign hashtags which have a short life span as they are just for the duration of the campaign.
A great way to increase engagement with your audience is to ask them to implement your branded hashtags in their own content. This is a great way of creating online word of mouth! This is incredibly desirable as word of mouth is highly influential in sparking the interest in a product or brand from other potential customers.
If creating your own brand hashtags, make sure to keep them short, memorable and on-brand.
Nike is a brand, that maybe unsurprisingly has been able to create a hugely successful presence and community on Instagram, by implementing #nike and #justdoit. Connecting a wide range of people together to show off Nike products, plus endorse the Nike campaign and mentality in fitness of Just Do It.
Now you know how to research and find the hashtags you want to use, plus the different types of hashtags. It is time to go through how you implement them.
If using branded hashtags, the first place to start is in your Instagram Bio! By doing so, it improves the functionality of your Bio. By immediately informing your audience of what your brand hashtag is, it has the ability to boost user engagement. Either from increasing the chances of the user following your branded hashtag, or implementing the hashtag in their own content, or both.
However, don’t fill your Bio with hashtags. Opt for one or two key hashtags.
You can utilise more of your selected hashtags within your Instagram posts. Here you can have up to 30 hashtags within each post. So you may wonder, how many should I actually use?
Some recent research has indicated that posts with 9 hashtags receive the most engagement.
However, the real question should be, what hashtags are most relevant for this post?
It can be easy to decide upon your chosen hashtags and then implement the same ones within every post, but this can come across as “spammy”. It is far better to switch up your hashtags and be intentional with your choice of hashtags.
We know that being intentional with your hashtag selection will always provide you with better results in engagement. So the truth is, there is no set number of hashtags you should use per post. It is all about selecting the right hashtags to implement within each post.
In addition to frequency, there is the question of where to place hashtags on Instagram posts. It is not ideal for them to be distracting from the message being delivered in the caption. So there are 2 popular options for keeping the captions looking less cluttered.
Typically, we would recommend hiding your hashtags through the first method, as it appears more authentic to your audience.
Instagram stories are becoming increasingly popular with consumers, as many want to be able to watch real-life footage from brands they are interested in.
With the ability to insert hashtags into Instagram stories, this can be a great place to increase your reach. That being said, although you can include up to 10 hashtags within normal text function or one as a sticker, it is not wise to litter your content with hashtags.
In addition, due to Instagram’s algorithms, it can be difficult to get your content accepted into the hashtag aggregation.
But don’t be put off using hashtags in your Instagram stories! We suggest using locations as a go to hashtag in your stories as there is a higher chance of aggregation for these types of hashtags.
At the end of the day, you probably want to know which Instagram hashtag techniques will have the biggest impact on your engagement.
A lot of this knowledge will come from experimentation over time, analyse which posts obtained the most likes or comments and what hashtags they had. The more you post and review, the more you will understand what works with your audience.
However, Instagram Business accounts provide statistics related to the impact of the hashtags used. There are also companies like Later that provide the same statistics, but in addition, you have access to some insights regarding suggested hashtags and the best times for posting content.
We hope you found this blog insightful when it comes to Instagram hashtag techniques?
If you want any further assistance on this topic matter, or with any other social media marketing advice, please phone 01772 935 116 or email firstname.lastname@example.org