Hashtags, when used correctly are a powerful tool. An effective hashtag strategy is one of the best ways to get your posts discovered by new audiences on the platform — and depending on how targeted your hashtags are, this can mean more engagement, more followers, and more customers.
The Different Types of Hashtags
A branded hashtag is one that is unique to your brand or campaign. It could be as simple as your business name, tagline, or a name of a product. It could also represent what your brand stands for. If you’re running an Instagram campaign, having a brand hashtag will help drive participation and engagement. It will also organize all the posts that are tagged with it on a hashtag page.
Community hashtags are hashtags that connect like-minded users around a specific subject, such as #healthyeating or #catsofinstagram. They’re a great way to connect with others, improve the SEO of your posts, gain followers, and grow your own community.
Variety is key
For an effective hashtag strategy, you need to use a variety of different hashtags. This mix should consist of your brand hashtags, community hashtags and content specific hashtags. As well as this you want to be using a mix of popular hashtags and niche ones. The advantage of the popular hashtags is that they are seen by more people; however, your content can be lost amongst the mass of Instagram posts using the same hashtag. (70% of all Instagram posts aren’t even seen!) With more niche hashtags your posts may not be seen by as many people, but those who do see them may have a stronger affiliation to your brand. They are also more likely to engage with your brand.
While community hashtags are meant to increase the reach of your message, branded hashtags are designed to connect themes for you and your audience. Using trending community hashtags can get your posts noticed, but they need to be relevant and used sparingly. Used too much in one post can make it look spammy and inauthentic.
How to Find the Best Instagram Hashtags for Your Account
In order to be successful with hashtags, it’s important to be strategic about the hashtags you use.
While the most “popular” Instagram hashtags have been used millions and millions of times, that doesn’t mean you’re going to get a ton of likes and comments simply by adding #instagood or #love to your post.
Instead of using the most popular Instagram hashtags, it’s better to use the top Instagram hashtags that have an engaging community behind them and are specific to your audience or industry.
Don’t Clutter Your Content
Keep the reader focused on what’s important. Leave at least two spaces before you type your hashtags, so they aren’t visible in the feed. This way post copy is the focus.
Measuring the effectiveness of your hashtags
By tracking this data you can begin to figure out which hashtags are most effective for improving reach.
- Select the post you want data on and tap View Insights below the post on the left.
- Swipe up to see all the insights for that post, including the number of impressions from hashtags.
Follow your own brand hashtag
If you follow your own brand hashtag, you can you can find anyone who talks about you and connect with them.
Use Emoji hashtags #😋
Experiment with emoji hashtags. They are eye-catching and keep your hashtags short
How many hashtags should you use in your posts?
The optimum number of hashtags you should use in your posts is between 7 and 11. Use a mix of your brand hashtags, content hashtags and trending hashtags.
Mix it up
Don’t just use the same bunch of hashtags in each of your posts, mix it up a little, make your posts more interesting.
Add your hashtags in the caption, not in the comments
If you wait the second or two to post your hashtags as a comment, you’ve already left it too late for them to do their work.
Top Instagram Hashtags 2018
- #tbt — throwback thursday
Top Trending Instagram Hashtags
- #followforfollow *
- #likeforlike *
*Using these might get you more followers and likes but they’ll likely be the wrong kind — spammers or people looking to inflate their own follower count. These people will not engage with your brand.