Believe it or not. Instagram is more than just a photo and video-sharing networking platform. It is also a great marketing platform which you can use to help grow your business and brand. One very general, easy and common way to do it is to include hashtags along with your post. A study from Simply Measured shows that an Instagram post with at least one hashtag can drive 12.6% more engagement than a post with no hashtags.
In other words, hashtags are powerful.
They can skyrocket your business and brand to new heights, help posts reach a your target audience, develop a more positive brand image, and more. But, to prevent your hashtags from becoming irrelevant and pointless, you need a clear strategy in mind. So here’s a little guide to keep your Instagram hashtags more relevant in 2018.
Find out what other people are hashtagging
Yes. We said it, hashtagging.
You want your hashtags to be able to attract the right followers. The best way to do that is finding out what hashtags people are currently using. Make a list of your competitors or followers, consider this as simple research to find out what hashtags they use on their own photos or perhaps just search what is the trending or most used hashtags at certain moments. If possible, you can also research what the influencers in your industry are hashtagging. Since influencers have a large social media following, you know they must be doing something right. It doesn’t hurt to find out what the cool kids are doing, right?
If you’re relatively new on Instagram and still don’t know whose hashtags you should research, it’s probably best to use certain tools instead. Tools like TagBlender, HashtagForLikes even our very own Sonar Platform, tools like these can help you find Instagram hashtags that are currently trending, which hashtags will relate and potentially generate the highest engagement rate to your content.
Narrow your hashtags
HubSpot’s Social Media Community Manager, Krystal Gillespie, suggests you use more specific hashtags. Try using hashtags tailored to a specific topic and then narrow it down. For example, you can use #VintageDress instead of just #Dress if your marketing post was mostly about vintage fashion.
You can think of it this way: if you’re a user, you’re more likely to find what you need if you search for something specific. When a post from a certain business shows up for your specific search request, you’re more likely to be happy with what you find. You must think as a consumer at all times, right? This will help you narrow down and choose the right hashtags that users will more likely relate to and search for in future rather than using a general or irrelevant hashtag that users will most likely pass by and ignore.
Keep the Instagram hashtag limit in mind
Instagram allows you to post up to 30 hashtags per post, but remember that you don’t have to use them all, and we advice you not to. You want your Instagram content to look tailored and to remain relevant. Putting too many hashtags in one post can appear as spam to most people, plus they aren’t going to read all of it then the hashtag won’t exactly stick with them in their mind. Around 91% top brands use seven or fewer hashtags per post. However, the magic number for everyone is different. You need to conduct a little test to figure out how many hashtags work best for your Instagram marketing.
Test out related hashtags
But what hashtags should I try out on my Instagram posts?
We figured you would ask that question. Well, as we’ve said before, you can research what other people are hashtagging. In addition, when you type a hashtag into the search bar, Instagram will show you related hashtags in the scroll-down menu. After you click on a hashtag, Instagram also shows related hashtags on the next page. You can create a longer list of hashtags to try out. Relevancy is key in using and searching for hashtags
Follow your own hashtags
Since the end of 2017, Instagram has allowed you to follow hashtags. So, instead of searching for an Instagram hashtag and scroll through a feed to find a certain content, your posts can now appear automatically in the feeds of potential new followers. Let’s say you have a brand called “QWERTY”. Follow the hashtag #Qwerty so that you can connect with other people talking about your brand and develop a better relationship with them.
Once you figure out what hashtags work best for your Instagram marketing, you can create a brand campaign hashtag. Make sure the hashtag you use is funny or memorable so that it can pay off big time, because hashtags are now a part of today’s digital brand marketing and positioning. Good luck!