Want to learn how to use hashtags on Instagram and how to make your strategy work?
Looking for easy-to-understand information you can put into action to get your business noticed for free?
Well, you’ve come to the right place!
We’ve written a complete guide on how to create a hashtag strategy for your business, even if you’ve never done it before!
You’ll also learn how to choose the most appropriate hashtags for your company and how to use them to attract more customers!
Then let’s see what you’ll learn from this article:
- What does hashtag mean?
- Why is it important to use hashtags on Instagram?
- How to create a hashtag strategy on Instagram in 5 steps
- How you should use hashtags on Instagram: helpful tips
- BONUS: Instagram hashtags strategy that will make your life easier
Shall we get started? 🙂
What does hashtag mean?
A hashtag is a combination of letters, numbers and/or emoji by which people classify and tag content posted on various platforms such as Instagram or Twitter.
Each hashtag begins with the # symbol and refers to a specific topic.
For example, a real estate agency may use the hashtags #real estate and #homedevelopment every time they post a property on their Instagram profile.
As a result, users can follow these hashtags and discover new businesses, products or services, including your business.
Pretty cool, huh?
Now let’s see why it’s important to have a hashtag strategy on Instagram!
Why is it important to use hashtags on Instagram?
As you know, hashtags are extremely useful and popular.
They can help you reach the right people who are interested in your products or services.
Also, through hashtags…
You can get users to interact with your business.
And it’s not just us saying it.
Statistics show that posts that contain at least one hashtag on Instagram have, on average, 12.6% more interactions (engagement) from users than posts that don’t contain hashtags.
And that’s not all.
In the meantime, hashtags on Instagram help you:
- Get your business noticed and grow your following
Well, on Instagram…
People can discover your business when they follow or search for certain hashtags.
For example, if you use the hashtag #pizzanapoletana, users who follow or search for that hashtag… will be able to see your post, even if they haven’t followed you.
Also, if a user on Instagram clicks on a hashtag, they can see all posts that include that hashtag, including your posts.
As a result, when you use hashtags that are relatable to your target audience, you get your business noticed and increase your following.
- Attract the right customers
One of the biggest advantages you have when you use hashtags on Instagram is that you reach the right people.
A user who isn’t interested in a particular topic, product or service won’t follow a hashtag about it.
On the contrary…
People follow hashtags that relate to things they like, things they’re looking for, or things they’re passionate about.
For example, if you sell perfume and make posts on Instagram that include popular hashtags like #perfume, #perfume, #fragrance or #eaudeparfum…
You know that people who follow these hashtags are interested or even passionate about perfume and that they can see your posts right away!
- You create viral campaigns and/or events
Last but not least, with hashtags, you can create viral events and campaigns!
Well, on Instagram you can create custom hashtags for your brand, campaign or events that users can use further.
For example, Cheerios created a contest encouraging people to buy their products, find the cereal with a heart inside and post pictures of it on social media using the hashtag #CheeriosHeartHuntSweepstakes.
In this way, customers had the opportunity to win various prizes and Cheerios enjoyed more sales and publicity built around this simple and effective campaign.
By the way.
If you want to learn promotional strategies that get your customers’ attention, here’s an article that will give you some useful tips!
Now that we’ve seen why it’s important to use hashtags on Instagram, let’s see how you can create a strategy for your business!
How to create a hashtag strategy on Instagram in 5 steps
- Do some research
The first thing you need to do to create a hashtag strategy on Instagram is to conduct research.
Specifically, check what the most popular hashtags in your field are and how they’re being used.
Our advice is to follow the accounts of influencers relevant to your business and your competitors on Instagram.
Then, note the hashtags you see and how they use them (in the story, in the post description, in comments, etc.).
When you’re done, grab your phone and go to the search bar on Instagram.
Here, enter various words relevant to your business and select the “Tags” tab.
For example, if you have a company that organizes tours and you type the word “travel” into the search bar, you’ll discover popular hashtags that people use, such as: #traveltheworld, #travelandleisure and so on.
Now, try searching for relevant hashtags using different words and write down the hashtags you find.
These will give you new ideas and help you access popular hashtags in various categories.
When you’re done, go to the next step!
- Choose hashtags relevant to your business and make a list
The second thing you need to do is determine which hashtags are relevant to your business from the ones you found in the previous step.
Well, before you make posts and try to reach your potential customers, you need to know what hashtags to use.
Here, our advice is to make a list that includes:
Popular hashtags are the ones that are used most often, within Instagram posts.
For example, the most popular hashtags on Instagram in 2021 were:
- #love (1,835B)
- #instagood (1.150B)
- #fashion (812.7M)
- #photooftheday (797.3M)
- #beautiful (661.0M)
- #art (649.9M)
- #photography (583.1M)
- #happy (578.8M)
- #picoftheday (570.8M)
- #cute (569.1M)
Now, select the most popular hashtags in your domain and let’s go to the next point.
Unlike the popular hashtags that everyone uses…
Niche hashtags are specific and have a smaller number of posts in which they are used.
However, they can help you reach users interested in your business directly.
- Custom hashtags
Custom hashtags are new hashtags that you can create for your business and for different campaigns or events.
Here, our advice is to create 2-3 general hashtags to promote your brand, which you can use together with popular and niche ones.
Then, when you organize a big event or a promotional campaign, you can create a custom hashtag for each one.
By local hashtags we mean hashtags in Romanian or in the language of the country where you sell your business products or services, as well as hashtags for cities.
These can help you attract the right customers in a particular area, like this example from Timisoara:
If you have a local business and sell products only in Romania, our advice is to search for hashtags in your domain using the procedures above and make a list in Romanian.
This way, you increase your chances of reaching your potential customers and getting them to buy.
When you’re done, on to the next point.
- Select the appropriate number of hashtags and decide how you will use them, as appropriate
Here you will need to decide how many hashtags you will use and where.
As you already know, you have several options:
- In the description of your posts;
- In the comments of your posts;
- In stories;
- In bio.
Let’s take them one at a time.
As for post descriptions, the right decision would be to include your set of hashtags, in this form:
When you use a few dots between the text of your post and the hashtags you add, you ensure that users’ attention is directed to the text and what you have to say…
And not on the hashtags.
They are only here to attract potential customers and get your business known. It doesn’t do you any good if people sit and read every single hashtag.
Then you have the option of adding hashtags in the form of a comment to each post.
Our advice is to test this option as well.
In many cases, user interactions with posts from brands that have done this have increased.
And last but not least… you can use hashtags within stories and in your page description (bio), including your brand’s hashtags.
These can help you attract the attention of people who follow you and promote the products or services you sell.
So, use them every chance you get.
Regarding the number of hashtags you should use on each post, studies say the optimal number is 11 hashtags per post, even though Instagram allows you to use as many as 30.
Well, it’s important to stick to hashtags relevant to your business and not add more just to fill that available space.
This way, you increase your chances of getting more interactions and gaining more visibility on this platform.
On the other hand, when posting for campaigns or events, use a single custom hashtag.
This will help users understand what your campaign is about and recognise it straight away!
Now, in the case of the stories you publish daily, you can add up to 10 hashtags. Try to choose the most important ones and be as specific as possible.
Last but not least, in the bio section 1, maximum 2 hashtags of your brand are enough, given the limited number of characters (150) you can enter.
Write these things down and let’s get to the last points in this section!
- Make sure your business profile is public
Before you create your first post, make sure your company profile is public.
Well, this way, you make sure that people who don’t follow your business profile can see the posts you publish… from anywhere, anytime.
To do this, go to the settings section of your business account.
Then click on “Privacy and Security” and make sure the first option, “Private Account”, is NOT checked.
That was it!
- Create your first post
The last thing you need to do to get your strategy in place is to create your first post by following the steps above.
Implement everything you’ve learned and use popular hashtags as well as niche or local hashtags relevant to your target audience.
Now, we have some tips and practices that will help you get your business noticed and attract more customers on Instagram.
We won’t keep you much longer…
So let’s see what this is all about!
How you should use hashtags on Instagram: helpful tips
If you want to make effective posts that get your business noticed…
Read these helpful tips you should consider every time you make posts for Instagram:
- Check the hashtags you use
Specifically, track the hashtags on your list and see how many posts there are for each and how popular they are.
Type the name of each hashtag on your list into Instagram’s search bar and click on it.
You’ll see the “Follow” button.
Click it and start following that hashtag and the posts it’s included in.
Then, look at how competitors are using the hashtags on your list.
This will help you understand what people are reacting to and how you should include each hashtag in your strategy.
- Test different sets of hashtags and see how they work
Here, the idea is not to use the same set of hashtags in every post, but to test different sets and variations.
This way, you can see what works best for your business and help people discover the content you post.
- Visit the statistics section to see how your hashtag strategy is working
If you log into your Instagram business account, you’ll see that every post has a stats section, right below the image posted.
To see how your hashtags are performing, click on the stats button and track the number of views you’ve gotten.
This way, you’ll see the impact of the hashtags you use and how many people found your posts as a result of using them.
- Avoid banned hashtags or those reported as spam
Last but not least, if you want to attract potential customers and enjoy their trust…
Avoid hashtags that are marked as banned or that have been reported as spam by other users.
Well, before you add them to your list, check them out.
Search for each hashtag individually and see if Instagram displays this post:
If you see it, remove that hashtag from your list. It can decrease the reach of your posts and hurt your account in the long run.
That’s about it.
Now… we’ve got a bonus section for you, which includes an Instagram hashtags strategy that will tidy up your posts and help you get more customers!
Let’s see what it’s about!
BONUS: Instagram hashtags strategy that will make your life easier
If you don’t know where to start and how to create sets of hashtags for your posts…
We have an Instagram hashtags strategy that will help you get more exposure and reach as many customers as possible!
Basically, it’s simple. For every post:
- Choose 3-5 popular hashtags. Popular hashtags have between 300,000 and 1 million posts. Those that exceed 1 million are generally irrelevant to you, because there is so much content that includes them that the only thing you’ll attract are… bots.
- Select 3-5 moderately popular hashtags. These are the hashtags that are included in 80,000-300,000 posts.
- Choose 3-5 local and/or niche hashtags related to the industry your company is in, what people are looking for, and your products or services;
- Include 1-2 custom hashtags, if applicable.
Follow this formula and you’ll be posting effectively in no time!
A hashtag strategy on Instagram can help you grow your business and get more sales without spending hours in front of a screen trying to make ads that attract customers.
And no, we’re not saying ads wouldn’t be useful.
But by using effective hashtags, people can very easily discover the products or services you’re selling for free.
Then your interactions with your customers can change.
With a little work, people’s trust in your business will grow.
And in the end…
You’ll just have to enjoy the results!
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