No Instagram marketing strategy is complete without hashtags. However, the fact that you need to include hashtags for a successful marketing strategy on Instagram doesn’t mean that you can use any hashtag you want. Using the wrong set of hashtags can be disastrous. On the other hand, if you select the right hashtag, it can go a long way towards guaranteeing success for your marketing strategy, and an increase in Instagram followers.
In this article, we’ll give you all the information you could want about the use of hashtags on Instagram. From understanding how hashtags work on Insta to actually using them for your strategy – we’ll cover it all here. So, read on!
Insta hashtags – what are they and why you should use them
Hashtags on Insta work just like they work anywhere else, and their purpose is simple – to make content more easily discoverable by categorizing it. All hashtags start with the # symbol, which is followed by letters and/or numbers. For e.g. #photooftheday. All hashtags are clickable, and once you click on a hashtag, it will show you all the posts where the hashtag has been used.
In terms of why you should be using hashtags across all your Instagram posts, the reason is greater reach and the expansion of your audience on Instagram. A lot of Insta users primarily follow hashtags. So if you use a hashtag in a post and someone who’s not your follower follows that hashtag, your post will be visible to that Insta user. You can also use hashtags on Instagram Stories.
The use of hashtags consistently will help you build an identity for your brand and a community around it, which will motivate others to engage with it as well. Ultimately, correct use of hashtags will lead to more free Instagram followers, which will cement your brand’s place on the platform.
Using popular hashtags – is it a good idea?
#love and #instagood are two of Insta’s most popular hashtags. Using these hashtags is a double-edged sword. On one hand, these hashtags are the most followed and searched for. So, including them in your Insta posts might seem like a good way to get found by new audiences. On the other hand, because they are searched for the most, it’s quite possible that your post will be like a drop in an ocean.
Ideally, you should include a mix of hashtags – some popular and some niche. This combination will increase the chances of your posts being seen not just by a wider audience, but also by your target audience specific to your niche.
How many hashtags should you use per post?
Instagram allows users to add up to 30 hashtags per post. If you’re posting a story, you can include up to 10 hashtags in it. However, just because you can include 30 hashtags doesn’t mean that it’s a great idea to use all 30. If you observe the handles of some of the world’s most well-known brands, you’ll typically see that for every post, the number of hashtags range from 3 – 11.
Ultimately, it’s all down to the identity of your brand that you’re trying to build. You should also ensure that you’re using hashtags that are relevant to your business. For example, just because #love is the most popular Instagram hashtag doesn’t mean that you should include it in your posts, especially if your business has absolutely nothing to do with love.
In recent years, Insta’s moderators have become quite strict, and pages using an excess of irrelevant hashtags have been punished through ‘shadow bans’. So, it’s essential that you use relevant hashtags only and don’t resort to using too many hashtags just for the sake of expanding the reach of your posts. Insta moderators also tend to take a tough stance on hashtags like #like4like and #follow4follow – hashtags that are simply meant for garnering more Instagram likes and follows.
Finding the most trending Insta hashtags
When it comes to finding out what the most trending hashtags are, Twitter offers users a list of the latest hashtags that are trending. However, Instagram doesn’t do that. If you want to find out what the most trending hashtags on Insta are, here’s what you need to do:
- On your mobile device, enter the hashtag you want to search for and tap the ‘Tags’ option. If you’re accessing Insta from your desktop, go to the search box and enter the hashtag. For both mobile and desktop, you must enter the # symbol before anything else.
- Once you hit the search button, Instagram will show you the most trending hashtags, which will keep changing from one moment to the next.
While it’s definitely quite tempting to include a trending Instagram hashtag, you should stick to the ‘use-it-only-if-it’s-relevant’ policy.
Types of hashtags on Instagram
All in all, there are 9 different types of hashtags that you can use on Instagram. Let’s take a closer look at them in this section.
- Service or product hashtags: These are the most basic types of hashtags you can use on Instagram. Including these hashtags are vital, particularly if you have a product or service to sell. For example, #smartphone and #laptop.
- Insta community hashtags: Insta community hashtags allow users to become part of hashtag communities. For example, #artistsofinstagram and #musiciansofinstagram. If you want your posts to be found by a wider audience, this is the type of hashtag that you must use.
- Niche hashtags: Niche hashtags are probably the most important hashtags to use on Instagram. By using these hashtags, you can help users understand the niche you operate in. For example, #foodblogger and #travelvlogger.
- Location hashtags: Location hashtags aren’t all that important to include in your Insta posts, especially if you’ve already geo-tagged them. However, if people are searching for location-specific hashtags, these hashtags will make it significantly easier for your posts to be found. For example, #londoneats and #incredibleindia.
- Seasonal or special event hashtags: If your post is dedicated to a particular season or a special event, using these hashtags would be a great idea. For example, #worldmusicday and #winterdays.
- Relevant phrase hashtags: Relevant phrase hashtags typically feature a combination of niche, community, and product hashtags. People tend to use these hashtags for joining existing Insta communities.
- Daily hashtags: If you’re posting content daily on Instagram, using daily hashtags such as #FridayNightFever or #SaturdayBlues would be a great idea.
- Emoji hashtags: Emoji hashtags don’t really serve a major purpose. People mostly create them and make them trend for fun.
- Acronym hashtags: Acronym hashtags such as #YOLO (you only live once) and #TBT (throwback Thursday) have been quite popular in Insta circles since the use of hashtags on the platform became a norm.
Tips to find hashtags relevant for your brand
Now that you’ve taken in a lot of information about Instagram hashtags, it’s time we told you about some tips and tricks to find relevant hashtags that make sense for your brand.
- Monitor your target audience’s hashtag usage: If a particular hashtag is all the rage among your target audience, then it’s quite likely that many others are using it as well. You should make a note of the hashtags that are most commonly used by your target audience and use them across all your posts. This will allow your posts to be visible in front of large Instagram communities, which is good for finding people who may be interested in the products and/or services that you have to offer.
- Create alternative hashtags to stand out from the competition: No matter what your niche is, there’s a high chance that your competitors are using a few common hashtags. If the competition is already well-established and you’re only starting out, the best idea would be to slightly spice up those existing hashtags and create something alternative – something of your own. This would help your brand both belong to an Instagram community and stand out from the rest of the competition.
- Branded hashtags are the best for raising brand awareness: If you want people to be aware of your brand through hashtags, then you have no option but to create a branded hashtag. This branded hashtag would be consistently used across all your posts. Over time, this would lead to people developing awareness of your brand, which is vital if you want your Instagram presence to expand in the long run.
- Turn to the Related Hashtags feature for targeting specific audiences: On an Instagram hashtag page, you’ll see two tabs – ‘Top’ and ‘Recent’. Above these tabs, you will see a few related hashtags, which you can explore if you swipe left. These related hashtags are slightly more niche compared to regular keyword-based hashtags. However, these work wonders when it comes to reaching out to a particular audience. These hashtags also tend to have low competition.
So, there you have it – all the information you could want to know about the use of hashtags on Insta. Before we conclude this article, we’d like to tell you about Mr. Insta and its services. At Mr. Insta, you can buy Instagram followers, views, and likes for the rapid growth of your Instagram page.