The ultimate guide to Instagram hashtags
If you're new to social media lingo, an Instagram hashtag is a word, or series of words with a # symbol attached that looks like this #hashtag. These hashtags help Instagram to organise and categorise its content into groups or topics of interest. If you've been active on social media, you have most likely seen and even used hashtags yourself. Go you!
For businesses, hashtags present a fantastic opportunity for brand exposure and to connect with the multitude of linked communities residing under relevant hashtags. We have used hashtags to help our clients connect with quality, engaged customers that went from previously having no idea no idea their business existed to being loyal and frequent shoppers, and evangelists for their brand.
Instagram hashtags can also help your business:
Gain More Likes: Instagram users who are interested in a particular topic such as the "the best places to eat in Brisbane" could search for options under hashtags like #brisbanefood #brisbanefoodies #brisbanerestaurants etc and exploring the content posted by users. Adding the right Instagram hashtags to your posts allows for similar exposure within your field, giving the global Instagram community a chance to connect with your content.
Gain More Followers: If an Instagram user is interested in your particular niche and find your business is posting great content on their topic of interest, they’re likely to follow your account. This is fantastic news for business owners, as you’ll be able to promote your product, services and your brand to users who are already engaged.
Make More Sales: Instagram hashtags aren’t just about growing followers, you can use them to drive more sales. The key is in knowing how to convert your follower into customers, but that's another topic for another post.
So which hashtags should I use?
We often get asked which hashtags people should use for their business. It all depends on your objectives. If your objectives is to simply get a plethora of likes, you can try the most trending hashtags that can be found on websites like TagBlender and HashTagsForLikes. The question you have to ask yourself however is do you want hundreds of likes or a handful of potential leads that could turn into lifetime customers.
If you're after quality rather than quantity likes, then there are a few rules you should follow:
Use the or lose them
Did you know that you have 30 hashtags to use per Instagram post? We recommend that in the initial phases of trying to grow your business following that you use every one of those opportunities to its fullest potential.
Do your research
Research your hashtags, start typing in your desired hashtag into your instagram post and you will get a pop up of all related hashtags, look at the numbers next to that hashtag to see how many posts are within that hashtag group. Having low numbers doesn't mean that it's a bad hashtag, you could be servicing a very limited niche.
Avoid getting shadowbanned
Shadow what? In a war against spam, Instagram created the shadowban to stop inappropriate and irrelevant content clogging up hashtag searches. A shadowban will completely kill your engagement, and stop your photos from showing up in hashtags. To avoid getting shadownbaned by Instagrm make sure you do not use the same hashtags over and over again on every post.
To avoid the shadowban, and to save you time, create a variety of hashtag blocks and save them as templates in your notes section of your phone. Then when you need them simply copy and paste them into the relevant post. We like to organise our blocks into different categories that we tend to post about the most such Business, Wellness, Fashion, Weddings etc
Say no to spam
Avoid spammy hashtags #love #girl #smile #followforfollow they will attract fake accounts, and spammy posts that do nothing for your brand.
Think outside the square
Do not limit yourself to just industry related hashtags, use hashtags relevant to your audience as well. For example if your product is suited to mums look at hashtags like #mumpreneur #brisbanemum #motherofboys #candidchildhood #3rdtrimester etc.
Don't be too literal
Avoid using hashtags to literally describe your picture - you’re wasting an opportunity to grow. We get it though, sometimes you just need to do it.
Like for like
Don't be a hashtag pest. Take a little, then give a little. From time to time, spend a few minutes browsing the hashtags you're using and sending a little love to a few posts. We have met some pretty amazing people this way, and discovered other great businesses to partner with.