Not only do hashtags help Instagram users organize and categorize content, they’re also one of the driving forces behind some of today’s best marketing campaigns.
Crafting a compelling branded hashtag that’s unique to your business is a great way to connect with customers, find content created about you by your followers, and build long term relationships with influential partners.
What are instagram hashtags?
An Instagram hashtag is a word or phrase (comprised of letters, numbers and/or emojis) preceded by a pound sign (#), and used to categorize and find content around a particular topic or trend.
When you search for a hashtag on Instagram, you’ll be able to browse all the posts that have been tagged with it. And when you attach one to your own photo or video, it will become discoverable by anyone searching for that hashtag.
Why you should use instagram hashtags ?
Instagram hashtags are one of the most useful tools in a social media marketer’s tool belt. Using the right hashtag (or combination of hashtags) can help you expose your brand to large and targeted audiences.
In fact, your chances of attracting new followers, getting more likes, and increasing engagement are vastly increased by the use of hashtags. But there are other opportunities to be had by using Instagram
hashtags, such as the ability to watch and learn from your competition.
By looking at what leaders in your field are doing, you can acquire powerful and insightful data into what content performs the best.
The different types of Instagram hashtags
We’ve learned that hashtags can help you reach new audiences on Instagram by connecting your posts to targeted communities, but which hashtags should you actually be using to boost your following?
1- Branded Hashtags
A branded hashtag is a hashtag that’s unique to your business.
It can be as simple as your company name, tagline, or the name of one of your products or campaigns.
Or it can be a hashtag that has nothing to do with your brand name, but has everything to do with your brand identity. While community hashtags are meant to increase the reach of your
message, branded hashtags are designed to connect themes for you and your audience. They can be used to promote a campaign or aggregate user-generated content (UGC).
hot tip: If you’re using Instagram for business, it’s a great strategy to create a hashtag around your brand; whether it’s just your brand name or a more inspirational message.
2- Community Hashtags
Community hashtags are hashtags that connect like-minded
users around a specific subject, such as #HealthyEating or
#CatsOfInstagram. They’re a great way to connect with others,
improve the SEO of your posts, gain followers, and grow your own community.
The best way to find these community-oriented hashtags is by looking to see which hashtags your audience, or favorite accounts, are already using. The narrower the scope of the hashtag, the more engaged the users are.
hot tip: The best way to find community-oriented hashtags is by looking to see which hashtags your audience, or favorite accounts, are already usin
Ways to grow engagement
1. Laser Focus Your Research
Researching hashtags before using them is important, since the more relevant and targeted the hashtags you use are, the more you increase your chances of reaching a target audience that will engage with your posted content.
Depending on your individual goals, there are many types of research for finding the best possible Instagram hashtags.
Here are the most effective techniques :
1- Research Relevant Topics
Regularly scan search results, then browse posts that contain your target Instagram hashtags to keep an eye out for and make note of hashtag trends that could be used in future posts.
2- Research Your Target Audience
For more targeted engagement, drill down to the long-tail hashtags your audience is searching for.
For example, let’s say you’re going to post a photo of a site in Vancouver, Canada. Instead of only hashtagging #Vancouver (nearly 18 million posts), you could also tag #VancouverBC
(just over 900,000 posts) and, better yet, #VancouverBCCanada (less than 7,000 posts) to reach a broader audience with less hashtag search competition.
3-Research Leaders in Your Industry
Find the top brands in your space, and piggyback on their success by directly competing with them by using the same industry-specific Instagram hashtags they use.
More Tips for Researching Potential Instagram Hashtags :
- Conduct a Google search on your hashtag without the “#” symbol – with and without spaces between the words.
- Use a research tool like Hashtagify or Ahrefs Keywords Explorer to identify high-performance hashtags.
- Search Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and other social platforms to see if your hashtag has been used before.
- Make sure that your hashtag doesn’t have a second meaning that could confuse your prospective audience.
- Check and double-check any acronyms you use in hashtags for any potential double meanings.
- Run your hashtags by another set of eyes by doing a pre-publication spell check for accuracy.
2. How to Hide Hashtags
To keep readers focused on your well-written caption, it’s a good idea to downplay the appearance of your Instagram hashtags, since tags that stand out in posts often look cluttered, spammy or out of place.
You can hide hashtags using one of two methods:
1- In captions
1- After ending your caption with a period, hit Return (be sure not to include a space after the last period).
2- Enter one piece of punctuation (a period, dash or bullet), then hit Return again and repeat four times.
3- Enter your hashtags after the last line.
This works because Instagram hides captions after three lines, so your hashtags won’t be visible unless your followers tap the “more” option or read comments on your post.
2- In comments
1-Post your content as usual, being sure to leave hashtags out of your caption.
2- Once your post is published, click the speech bubble icon underneath to leave a comment.
3- Enter your hashtags in the “Add a comment…” box, then tap “Post.”
4- After your post receives more comments, your hashtags won’t be viewable unless users tap the “View all comments” button.
3. Place Hashtags in Instagram Stories
Adding hashtags to Instagram Stories – in the text, a sticker or a location tag – provides your content with another way to be found by a new audience.
But placing hashtags in your Instagram Story images or videos doesn’t guarantee that it will happen.
Why? Because hashtag aggregation depends on the quality of the content posted and its level of engagement.
Even so, with the potential to reach thousands of additional Instagrammers who could be interested in your brand, hashtagging Stories is definitely worth the effort.
In addition to using the same hashtags that you use in standard posts, here are a couple of other ways to do it:
– Use Geographical Tags
Research has shown that posts with tagged locations get 79% higher engagement than those without a geographical tag.
When it comes to Instagram Stories, location tags work almost the same way as conventional hashtags. There are only a couple of differences:
Locations can only be posted using stickers (no text is allowed), and
Each photo or video can only have one location tag.
When tagging locations like certain neighborhoods in a city, tagged Stories could reach local, state, regional, and national audiences.
4. Use Niche and Custom Hashtags
Instagram hashtags come in many varieties, and each has its own use and target audience
Here’s what you need to know about the major types of custom tags to shape an effective strategy.
To find your sweet spot and reach a highly targeted audience, zero in with very specific niche hashtags. If you’re eyeing vintage watch lovers, for instance, the hashtag #VintageWatches will place your post in a broad feed with some 800,000 others. Using #VintageRolexWatch will narrow the search results to only 1,400 posts, giving you a greater chance of exposure and conversions.
Search to make sure your chosen brand is not already being used by someone else.
Make event hashtags relevant, descriptive, short and easy to understand. Then be sure to use them before, during and after the event. Finally, don’t forget to use event hashtags in offline promotions to drive traffic to your social channels.
5. Use Hashtags to Build Communities
To find community-oriented hashtags, do your research and see which Instagram hashtags your target audience uses when they talk about things related to your brand, then adopt them. To build community, give users and consumers a reason to use your hashtag. (Whether it’s a prize or sharing user-generated content, audiences respond better when they get something out of the relationship.)
6. Add Hashtags to Your Instagram Profile Bio
Just place “#” before any word in your profile, and it will automatically become a clickable link that can be used for everything from shining a spotlight on your branded content to promoting the Instagram community you’re building.
7. Avoid Banned Hashtags
If your posts are receiving less engagement (likes and comments) or don’t appear in searches, you may be under a shadowban.
Being shadowbanned will prevent your Instagram posts from appearing to all users who don’t follow you, which can hamper your growth.
To avoid a shadowban, steer clear of illegal, risque and overly controversial hashtags, and avoid overusing tags and relying on hashtag tricks (using automated third-party apps to game the system).
8. Use Special Daily Hashtags
Daily hashtags offer a way to interact with your audience each day, keeping them consistently engaged with your content and connecting with them over the long haul.
1- MON: #MondayBlues, #MondayVibes, #MondayMorning, #MotivationalMonday, #MondayMotivation, #MusicMonday
3- TUE: #TuesdayVibes, #TuesdayTip, #TipTuesday, #TuesdayTreat, #TravelTuesday, #TuesdayTunes
3- WED: #HumpDay, #WednesdayWisdom, #WednesdayMotivation, #WednesdayNight, #WednesdayWorkout
4- THU: #ThrowbackThursday, #TBT, #ThursdayThoughts, #ThursdayMorning, #ThursdayNight, #ThursdayMood
5- FRI: #FridayNight, #FridayFeeling, FridayNightLights, #FlashBackFriday, #FridayFact, #FridayFun
6- SAT: #SaturdayMorning, #SaturdayNight, #SelfieSaturday, #SaturdayLove, #SaturdayLunch
7- SUN: #SundayFunday, #SundayMorning, #SundayBrunch, #SundaySpecial, #SundayMood
- Make sure every hashtag you use is well-researched and relevant to your content.
- Avoid using generic hashtags, which will only get your post lost in a generalized feed.
- Count hashtags because if you use more than 30, Instagram will block your post in searches.
- Stalk your ideal audience and spy on the competition to find new and trending hashtags.
- Follow your own branded hashtag to stay in the loop on what people are saying about your brand.
- Track industry hashtags to keep a finger on the pulse of relevant news and trends.
- Keep all of your hashtags organized in a spreadsheet where you can add metrics data.
- Stash your most-used hashtags in your smartphone notes for quick and easy access.
- Create an Instagram hashtag strategy incorporating different hashtags across all types of content.
- Have a plan for quickly removing or editing problem hashtags if issues arise or errors are discovered.