How to use Hashtags effectively on Instagram

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#Hashtags are a powerful tool that allow you to increase awareness of your content. By simply adding a pound sign followed by a unique phrase, you broaden your exposure to a larger market.

More specifically, Instagram marketing relies heavily upon effectively utilizing hashtags to reach target audiences. The purpose of hashtags is to allow users to swiftly discover topics of interests through specific phrases. Therefore, if you are looking to optimize your Instagram marketing strategy, hashtags are going to be a vital component. In this blog, we are going to share a few strategies that will enrich your Instagram marketing strategy.

Strategy 1: Research

This strategy is almost obvious but in order to engage with your target audience, you need to do some research. Do a quick scan of the hashtags that your current followers and competitors are utilizing. More importantly, look at the pages of current influencers and leaders in your market. This will give you an idea of the hashtags you should be using. The website Hashtagify provides data regarding the most popular hashtags on Instagram.

Strategy 2: Campaign hashtags

To engage with your existing customer base campaign hashtags are the perfect strategy. The versatility of this strategy lies in the fact that it allows you to simultaneously position your brand while creating awareness. Not only are you authentically branding your product/service but you are increasing awareness as well.

For example, Hershey is currently holding a contest where customers have the opportunity to win free gold in specially marked packages of their Hershey’s Gold bar. For this promotion, they are utilizing hashtags #Wingold and #HersheysGold.

Strategy 3: Don’t always use the most popular hashtags

It may be hard to believe, but thrusting yourself into an already saturated pool of marketers may not be the wisest decision. Due to the high saturation of content, it may be more difficult for prospects to discover your content. Therefore, it may be a wiser decision to seek hashtags that aren’t the most popular.

Strategy 4: Use an appropriate amount of hashtags

It can be tempting to spam your posts with hashtags, however, this is not the most effective method. Often times, your post may come off as spam or attract the wrong audience. According to research conducted by TrackMaven, the most effective amount of hashtags to use is about 9. The hashtags you implement should be relevant to your brand and the audiences you are desiring to attract.

Strategy 5: Add hashtags to your Instagram Story

Instagram has recently added a feature that allows your story to be seen on the search and explore page through specific hashtags. If you were to implement #valentinesday on a story, it would be easily accessible to anyone searching the specific hashtag. This is a useful tool to increase awareness and attract more customers.

Strategy 6: Niche hashtags

If your product/service can cater to a niche audience, do not be afraid to tap into this market. If you are offering a service to a specific city, do not hesitate to hashtag it. For example, if you are offering a promotion in Boston for your photography business, utilize #boston and #bostonphotography to attract your desired audience.

Strategy 7: Follow hashtags

Instagram allows users to follow specific hashtags. To stay updated on the style of content being posted in your desired market, it is important to follow the hashtag. By following the hashtag you can gain creative inspiration and potentially connect with new people.

Strategy 8: Focus on quality, not quantity

What is going to differentiate your brand from your competitors is the quality of your posts. If you focus on posting and utilizing as many photos and hashtags as possible, users are going to feel vexed. Therefore, to avoid coming off as a desperate marketer, focus on engaging with your audience and providing high-quality photos and information. Give your audience value, whether it’s aesthetic or informative.

Strategy 9: Place hashtags in the comments section

To avoid your post from being perceived as spam, Instagram allows you to place hashtags in the comment section. This makes your post’s caption look clean and allows you to utilize a larger volume of hashtags. It is important to note that Instagram places a cap at about 30 hashtags per post.

Strategy 10: Keep track of analytics

In the preview app, you will be able to track the effectiveness of your hashtags. This tool provides analytics regarding the effectiveness of your posts. You will be able to see which posts gain the largest amount of likes, comments, and overall engagement. Once you find which hashtags are the most successful, continue to utilize it and search for more closely related hashtags.

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