We all know using hashtags in Instagram posts can help boost visibility and reach, but far fewer businesses know how to effectively use them to get the results they want. Hashtags make your posts more discoverable, so it’s important to know which ones will help you reach the right audience and gain the desired reaction.
Instagram allows users to search for content using hashtags such that anyone who searches for a particular hashtag will see all the posts tagged with it. Users are also able to follow those that they’re interested in so that these posts pop up on their feed – adding to the importance of using the right ones to improve brand visibility.
The order in which posts appear on a hashtag page is not chronological. Instead, Instagram’s algorithm takes various factors into consideration when deciding what to display to users. Here are a few variables that help move your post to the top of the page:
- The more likes and comments on your post, the more popular it appears and the more likely your post will appear higher up.
- If your page has a strong level of audience engagement and adequate size, it will be more discoverable.
- Where your post appears for a specific hashtag also depends on how often the hashtag is used. However, take this with a grain a salt as spamming your posts will not get you the results you’re after either.
Businesses using hashtags have generous elbow room when it comes to targeting the best ones. Up to 30 hashtags can be included with Instagram posts, while Stories are limited to 10. With a business profile, brands can track the number of impressions each hashtag recieves. This means you would be able to analyse which are performing well and know how to improve your strategy.
Types of Hashtags
Some hashtags are mainstays of any Instagram feed as they can be used under a variety of contexts. As they are well-known by most users, mass appeal hashtags tend to receive very high search volumes. However, there is also high competition from businesses across many industries vying for users’ attention.
Join in on topical discussions with the Instagram community with hashtags that are trending at that moment. You can look to Twitter to see which ones are currently trending, then choose relevant conversations to take part in. Be mindful of the topics you take part in as your involvement ultimately impacts your brand image as well.
Aside from hashtags aimed at the general public, you also want to target your specific niche. These users form your target audience as they are genuinely interested in your industry or products. Using niche hashtags can help you gain more followers from your target audience, which can lead to more conversions in the future for e-commerce businesses.
Example: Kitkat’s #HaveABreak
Every business on Instagram should have a branded hashtag. If you don’t have one yet, consider creating one with your company name, location, area of expertise, or a combination of these details. It will help identify your business and also encourage users to tag your brand with that hashtag when they post something related to your products or services. When deciding on a brand hashtag, make sure to search up your proposed hashtag first to ensure other companies aren’t already using it.
Location-based hashtags help connect businesses to local audiences. Whether you are looking to attract customers to your restaurant or advertising your services to your local community, these hashtags help locals discover your brand.
Which Hashtags Should I Use?
We recommend using a combination of hashtags on your posts to maximise the range of users you can reach. Your branded hashtag should appear in all of your posts, but feel free to switch up other hashtags to see what works best for your business. Feel free to have a little fun with them! After all, your followers want to see your brand’s personality too.