Instagram hashtags are one of the effective ways to attract website traffic. They help in building a brand’s image. Hashtags help in promoting a business and its products. They improve user engagement. Hashtags organize content and tell Instagram what the content is all about. They filter several contents posted on a platform and help the user to find relevant posts.
What is a hashtag?
A hashtag is a word or title or a short phrase with a pound/ a number sign (#) upfront. It is a combination of letters, numbers and emojis proceeded by a symbol (#). Social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. use them. They help the user narrow down his search to find the most relevant post. Hashtags help increase engagement, attract subscribers to a particular niche, etc.
Importance of hashtags:
- Competition- It is very important to know who your competitors are and how they have established themselves in the market. You can get an insight into your competitor by researching hashtags they use. You may visit your Instagram account and go to the search bar to look for your competitor and discover their popular hashtags. With the changing trends, hashtags also keep changing. So a business needs to keep a track of the latest news and market trends. There are many best Instagram tools are available in the market, which can help you to find the low competitive hashtag using
- Brand visibility- Branding and visibility are the two most important uses of hashtags. For a new business, hashtags improve visibility and expand the audience base. For an existing business, hashtags help establish the brand and promote its products and services. Creating your hashtag will help you build authority in your niche. You can take the help of various marketing tools for startups in order to increase brand visibility.
- Promotion- Hashtags have emerged as a useful tool for marketers because they help create targeted ad campaigns. Hashtags can sometimes be used as an element for the word-of-mouth method. They create visibility and widen the audience base for a campaign. Thus, hashtags are useful for promoting a brand within its reach. During a campaign, you can add a photo contest. In that, visitors can upload their images using a designated hashtag to win prizes.
- Campaigner-In this digital world, we are free to access news from any part of the globe. Many social activities create public movements for a cause. They use hashtags to promote their events. For example, hashtags like #social good, #cause, and #4change are some popular hashtags used to promote a social cause.
- Exponential reach- Hashtag campaigns help improve SEO and webpage ranking. This, in turn, improves user engagement and the reachability of the brand.
- Localizing-some marketers use geographical tags in their Instagram posts. Such geotags help the marketer reach local, national and international audiences. Local hashtags mainly promote brick-and-mortar businesses.
- Help generate sales- Hashtags used in ad campaigns generate more leads and sales. It also generates better ROIs.
Tips to choose a hashtag:
Before deciding hashtag for your campaigns, always follow the dos and don’ts. Let us look at some important tips to follow while selecting a hashtag for your ad campaigns:
- The originality of the hashtag is very essential. Your hashtags should not coincide with the ones used by your competitors.
- Hashtags should be easy to understand. The reader should be able to co-relate your hashtag with the ad campaign created by you.
- In the hashtag, use words not more than 3-4 together.
- Try to mention the hashtag in the title case. This will help the user to understand it well.
- Try not to sound offensive or self-promotional. This would make the audience resistant and reduce engagement.
- Try to use trending topics to make the hashtag catchy.
- Review your hashtag by reading them again before posting.
- Take the help of market research tools to spy on competitor data.
Tips to avoid while selecting a hashtag:
Let us now see some tips to avoid while creating a hashtag for your campaigns:
- Do not miss out on the planning stage. If you don’t plan well before creating your campaign, then chances are that the campaign might not succeed.
- Don’t only rely on paid or promotional content. Rather focus on generating more organic traffic.
- Avoid long and complicated hashtags to improve user readability.
- Do not miss out on cross-checking your content before you post them on various platforms.
- Do not promise the user to provide something which you can’t. Analyze your resources and find out your target audience, before you post your campaigns on the social media platforms.
- Choose your influencers by looking at their expertise and domain.
Tips to use hashtags on Instagram:
- Instagram posts- Use up to 30 hashtags. To increase the chances of getting featured on other pages, tag up to 20 accounts.
- To improve Google ranking, add Instagram alt text to your images.
- To get a higher reach, try to get more likes and comments as you can in the initial hours of posting. This also increases the number of followers.
- Instagram stories- Use up to 10 hashtags. Mention not more than 10 accounts in a story. You may tag 1 product and include location, queries, donations, stickers, or GIFs. The more stories you add, the more engagement you receive.
- IGTV- Use up to 30 hashtags and add clickable links into your captions. Add a cover pic and share IGTV videos into your Instagram Feed. Such videos should be at least 1minute long. It should last no more than 15 minutes, if posted through mobile and not more than 60minutes, if posted through the website.
- Instagram Reels- Use up to 30 hashtags and tag up to 30 products. Also, share your Instagram Reel video in your stories or Insta Feed.
Types of Instagram hashtags:
- Branded hashtags- They are company-specific and get listed within the company profile in the bio section. They help build brand awareness and attract new followers. You should use only one or two branded hashtags per post. Most businesses have their hashtags. Such personalized hashtags help the merchant find potential brand ambassadors/ affiliates. Some examples are #LiftUpTheGirls, #shwoodshop, #swlfamily, #ORIGINALis:Adidas, etc.
- Industry hashtags- They are very competitive as many people use them regularly. They get tagged on many posts. They help increase the visibility of a post. Some examples are #blogger, #weddingphotographer, etc.
- Location hashtags- A merchant can use these hashtags if he sells products that are appealing to the local audiences. You may tag posts based on location to reach a target audience of a particular area. Examples of such hashtags are #NewYorkDrinks, #FloridaLife, etc.
- Community hashtags- Instagram is all about community and people. They are more particular than brand or industry hashtags. You can use 3-5 community hashtags along with other hashtags in your Instagram posts. To select a relevant community hashtag, you can research the web to see relevant hashtags used in your niche. Also, look for hashtags used by your influencers. Use these community hashtags in your posts. Some examples of such hashtags are #streetetiquette, #mytravelgram, etc.
- Entertainment hashtags- These hashtags help in building a relationship with your existing audience. These hashtags focus on a particular situation while getting used in the post. Some examples are #shopitlikeithot, #getitgirl, etc.
- Trending hashtags- They are hashtags that people use at popular times for some purpose. These hashtags would not yield the best results always but can provide meaningful returns when used at right time.
- Acronym hashtags- Some of the popular acronym hashtags are #TBT, #OOTD, #FBF, etc.
You may use up to 30 hashtags on a post and up to 10 hashtags on a story. Your comment or caption will not get posted if you try to add more hashtags than the given limit. Instagram does not provide a proper list of hashtags. When you search for a particular hashtag on Instagram, you will see how many posts use that hashtag.
How to select the most relevant hashtags for your Instagram account?
Avoid using popular tags on every post as your posts will then be less discoverable. You should rather focus on the trending hashtags related to your target audience. Let us look at some tips to select hashtags:
- Browse similar Instagram accounts and analyze their content.
- Jot down the industry-specific hashtags which your competitors are using.
- Find out the most searched Instagram hashtag related to your niche.
- Search for influencers of your niche and find out the most relevant hashtags.
- Social media platforms use hashtags and also provide tools to see the trending hashtags. You can check on such hashtags and think of using them in your campaigns.
- You can find the list of trending hashtags on free and paid sites. Such analytic tools help one discover appropriate hashtags relevant to the brand. The hashtags aggregator tool helps to find the right hashtags.
- The hashtag you want to use should be able to find the type of conversation you want.
- Choose a unique and catchy tagline that would attract your target audience. You may use a third-party analytic tool to see whether a hashtag is already used or not.
- The hashtag you select should have a clear message. It should be relevant to the campaign or event created by you.
- There are popular hashtag generator apps that help one to search and find a relevant hashtag. Some of the apps are “All Hashtag”, “Display Purposes”, “Photerloo”, etc.
- Experts suggest using hashtags that are short and straight to the point. Such a hashtag is easy to understand. The hashtag should have less than 10 characters and use one hashtag for one campaign.
- There are some apps like Planoly, Later which help you to schedule your posts and stories. Such apps help categorize Instagram hashtags.
- Avoid using the same hashtags for all your posts. Repetitive hashtags give a spammy look to your social media account. It also increases the chances of your content getting shadowbanned/ blocked.
- A relevant hashtag will help widen your customer base. The hashtag you use should relate to the products and services your brand provides.
- Promote your hashtags to attract more website traffic. Use your hashtags in your posts, ads, and wherever possible.
Hashtags are a pivotal part of promoting your products and services. Hashtags can boost your brand’s visibility and widen your customer base. So, if you have not used hashtags till now, then it’s high time you should include them in your campaigns.
Author Name: Suraj Kr. Prakash
Suraj Kr. Prakash is a Trainer, Growth Hacker, SEO Specialist, and WordPress Website Developer…who is empowering 10000+ readers through the “Dhandho Karo” platform in various niches such as business & marketing.