When it comes to social media marketing, ‘Content is King’. That’s one thing well sorted out and widely acknowledged. It applies very well when it comes to Instagram for social media marketing but what’s more important is the use of hashtags. If the content is the king then hashtags are the kingmaker or the Queen of social media marketing on Instagram.
This guide will prepare you to become a master of using hashtags on Instagram for your social media marketing needs to promote your business. You will learn why you need to use hashtags, how and when to use them and also learn about which ones can help you achieve your goals.
What’s an Instagram Hashtag?
First off, let’s learn about what Instagram hashtags are. Whenever a pound sign (#) is followed by a phrase, numbers, words or even emojis, it is referred to as a hashtag. Sound simple enough?
What do they do? Hashtags are essentially something that can categorize the content you see on Instagram. When you click on a particular hashtag on Instagram, you will be able to see all of the posts that have used the same hashtag. Similarly, when you use a hashtag for a particular post, that post will be discoverable to anybody who is searching for that particular hashtag. The chances of your post being seen because of a hashtag depend on the popularity of the hashtag, your post and the popularity of your profile on Instagram.
So Why Should You Use Hashtags?
Well, hashtags are essential for users who are looking for new content and for new accounts on Instagram to follow. The right kind of hashtags can provide you with the eminence you’re looking for in a broader audience. Hashtags make it easier for you to be discovered on Instagram. They give you a stronger chance of growing the number of followers you have and increase user engagement with your profile and your posts. Instagram accounts that make use of hashtags are more likely to get user engagement than those who do not use hashtags.
Adding Hashtags to a Post
This is actually quite a simple process. You can tag posts with hashtags from the captions and the comments section of your Instagram posts. It goes without saying that your Instagram account should be a public account for hashtags to work their magic. If you want to tag your post with a hashtag in the caption, here’s how you go about it:
- Upload a photo/video
- When you’re done sorting out the editing of your image, go to the caption field and then type the symbol # followed by the word, phrase, number or emoji you want to use as a hashtag (#thisisahashtag)
- You’ve done that? Great! Now you can click on OK and then you can Share the new Instagram
Congratulations. You just learned how to use a hashtag for your Instagram post. Yes, it’s that simple.
If you’re looking to add more hashtags to a post you’ve already uploaded, you can tap on the Edit button when you open the post on your profile. Simply edit the caption and add the hashtags to your old posts.
If you don’t feel like adding the hashtag in your caption, you can still tag a post with a hashtag by adding the hashtag in the comments section.
What you have to remember is that you have the option of tagging words, phrases, numbers and emojis in hashtags. What you cannot add as a hashtag are words with spaces and symbols. You can only use hashtags to tag the posts you’ve made and also you can only add up to 30 hashtags on your posts.
Choosing the Right Hashtags for Your Brand
Now that you have an idea about what hashtags are, what they do, why your brand needs them AND how to tag your posts with hashtags, you will learn about how you can choose the right kind of hashtags for your brand.
It’s all about the relevant hashtags for the kind of content you post on your Instagram feed. For instance, consider that you are the social media marketing manager for a camping supply company. There are so many popular hashtags that you can make use of #instatravel, #travelgram, #wanderlust – there are so many. Using hashtags like these will get you a few more likes on your post.
If you’re really looking to get a lot more interaction with Instagram users, use more hashtags – something specific might do you well. Hashtags that specify new locations and the hashtags that specify your company’s brand and maybe the kind of equipment you offer.
If you’re not sure about what exactly are the hashtags that will increase user engagement on your Instagram, you can try out these tips.
Tips to Find Ideal Hashtags
- Instagram Search: In the search option you have on Instagram, type in a keyword that defines your brand and then searches in the tags What you will see is the complete list of all the posts that have been tagged with that particular keyword and the posts which have that keyword in their hashtags.
One important thing to note about this is that if a particular hashtag with your desired keyword in it is too popular, you might now want to use it since you risk the chances of having your own post being buried under the mountain of content already tagged with that hashtag. It’s not just about using popular hashtags, it’s about visibility. Try not to use hashtags that will get your post lost in the clutter.
- Scope out your Competition: Check out the hashtags being used by your competitors who have a popular following on Instagram. You might just learn about new hashtags for your own posts that you didn’t think of before.
Choosing the right hashtags only has one rule – Make sure the hashtags you’re using are relevant to the content that you’re posting. Using popular hashtags that are irrelevant to your brand will end up showing your content to the wrong audience and all you will be doing is essentially spamming them.
Number of Hashtags You Should Use in a Post
Instagram posts that have hashtags are likelier to get more interaction than posts that do not have any hashtags. That does not mean all your posts should be chock full of the maximum 30 hashtags that Instagram allows you to add to every post. Yes, you should use a right combination of hashtags that consist of popular hashtags, hashtags that are specific to the content you’re posting and the branded hashtags you may have.
Adding any more hashtag that is not relevant might increase the number of followers you have but the followers will not be the right kind of followers. You will also probably end up muddling the message you’re trying to convey if you have too many hashtags talking about different things. You do not want to seem desperate. Just use 10 to 20 hashtags that are relevant to the content you’re posting.
Branded hashtags are hashtags that are unique to your own brand. It can be quite simple. Just the name of your company will do it. If you’re running a hashtag campaign, the name of the campaign can also be sufficient.
How to Use Branded Hashtags
If your brand is running an Instagram campaign, having a hashtag that’s specific for that campaign will boost the user engagement and it will allow you to see all of the posts made by users participating in your hashtag campaign. It’s perfect for when you’re running a hashtag campaign for contests you’re having using your Instagram account.
A Review of Hashtag Usage
Let’s review what we’ve gone over about hashtags plus a few more things to remember for using hashtag on your Instagram:
- Use Relevant Hashtags: The fact that Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags in a single post does not mean you should make it a point to use all 30 if you don’t have to. Just use the hashtags that are relevant to what you’re posting combined with a good combination of the popular hashtag. You don’t want to be considered a spammer or someone desperate for likes.
- Use Specific Hashtags: You have better chances of reaching a more specific target audience if you make use of hashtags that are specific. The audience which will be engaging with your content through specific hashtags will be more relevant to what you’ve posted. For instance, if your post has something to do with Corvette lovers, you’d have better chances of reaching out to relevant Instagram users using #corvette_lovers than with something like #sportscars.
Popular hashtags: Lastly, remember to use popular hashtags in your posts But only those relevant to the content you’re putting up.