Whether you’re a social media influencer, a social media manager, or a food blogger, the chances are that you’re using Instagram to reach new audiences. Instagram popularized hashtags, or the combination of the symbol “#” followed by a word or a phrase.
Many social media platforms such as Twitter, TikTok, and Reddit also use hashtags, and they are instrumental in expanding your reach. With Instagram, you can attract new users to your social media page and retain them through creative, original content. Here is everything you need to know about Instagram hashtags with some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.
Find hashtags related to your industry
Hashtags will only help you reach new audiences if you choose the right ones. For example, people interested in nail art and jewelry will naturally search for those terms on Instagram. By using hashtags such as “#nailart” or “#handmade” and #jewelry,” you will drastically expand your reach on the platform. The types of hashtags to consider using include:
- Brand hashtags (your name, name of your brand, company, etc.).
- Campaign hashtags (specific to a particular campaign).
- Industry hashtags (related to what you are selling/promoting).
- Product hashtags (names of your products or services).
- Event hashtags (related to limited-time organized events).
- Local hashtags (location, country, city, etc., of operation).
- Social movement hashtags (related to LGBT, Black Lives Matter, etc.).
You can look for the best hashtags by simply searching out your competitors and brands on Instagram with large followings. Look for pages that post the type of content you make and choose a set of hashtags to try out. Pair these with tags that include your brand name, the city you operate in, and other differentiators to make your set of hashtags unique.
Combine high trending and low trending hashtags
Another way to reach new followers on Instagram is to combine popular hashtags with less popular ones. You’re not limited in the number of hashtags you can use so that you can play around with your selection quite a bit. Different hashtags can also be broken down into individual words, such as graphic design (#graphicdesign > #graphic #design).
By writing trendy hashtags and adding a few you’ve come up with yourself, you will be seen as more original than most other pages. You can use services like Trust My Paper to proofread and format your captions and hashtags before publishing each post on Instagram. Experiment with different hashtags until you experience an uptick in user engagement due to your new tags.
Repeat your hashtags in multiple posts
The best way to discover which hashtags work and don’t work for your brand is to repeat them for some time. Consistency is an essential element of Instagram marketing, and your social media posts should share the same hashtags for extended periods.
Create a set of five or more hashtags to use in each subsequent post and add new, low-trending hashtags to the mix. That way, multiple posts on your page will have the same hashtags, and you will be able to determine why people are or aren’t coming. Changing your hashtags sporadically and from post to post will have the opposite effect.
Pair your hashtags with original writing
Your Instagram bio and captions on each post are just as important as the hashtags you include. Think of it this way: hashtags will bring users to your page, but captions will retain their interest in your brand.
Once you’ve written a set of hashtags for your post, take time to write captions that will expand on the image or video you posted. If you need help writing caption content for social media posts or want to spell check and proofread each one, you can also use Supreme Dissertations. There’s nothing worse than having captions riddled with grammar mistakes and a poor, robotic writing style. The same applies to your bio, which should be written professionally and provide users with all the info they’d expect to see there.
External links, contact info, and a short description of your brand or personality are welcome. Since Instagram bios have limited writing space, you should use short links for any external links you want to include. Short links are your best bet if you want to link your website, eCommerce store, or YouTube channel to Instagram, and they can include individual captions alongside hashtags.
What to avoid with Instagram hashtags
With all that said, there are several things you should avoid doing when it comes to Instagram hashtags. Just as with any other type of digital marketing, you will need to plan your Instagram marketing strategy to make good use of it. Avoid the following mistakes and try to rectify them if they crop up on your Instagram page:
- Always search for several posts or pages which are using a certain hashtag. Using hashtags from a single post won’t give you enough information on “why” that post is as popular as it is.
- Don’t copy/paste hashtags verbatim and instead mix them with your tags and captions. It’s best to mix hashtags from several popular pages and reorder them to create an original set of tags.
- Make sure to spell-check each hashtag before you publish a post. Even a single missing letter or symbol will dramatically affect the hashtag’s performance on Instagram.
- Failing to use local hashtags related to your location. No matter what you sell or promote, adding location and industry-related tags to your posts will help bring the right audience to your page.
- Not reviewing past posts and their performance with different hashtags. You can use A/B testing to change your hashtag lineup slightly from post to post and create the perfect mix for your page.
Using Instagram hashtags to your advantage is all about testing and consistency. You have to commit to publishing at least 3-5 posts on Instagram each week with the proper selection of hashtags for your brand. With millions of accounts posting content each second, fighting for the spotlight will take some effort. However, once you hit the nail on the head and start attracting a new audience, you will be able to keep your momentum going long-term.