If you use Instagram for business, you should be making sure every post has some hashtags to go along with it. Otherwise, you’re missing out when it comes to your social media marketing results. That’s because when you use hashtags the right way, you
can boost engagement
, reach, and brand loyalty, since hashtags make it easy for people to discover your Instagram posts. So what’s the right way to use hashtags? Take a look at these tips on creating the best Instagram hashtag strategy before you make your next post on social media.
What Kinds of Hashtags Should You Use?
Maybe now you see the value in hashtags, but you just don’t know which ones to use. I get it. When you’re completely new to hashtags, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start! But you can narrow down the process by first focusing on what the main types of hashtags are, and which ones might be best for your brand.
First, get to know a little about branded hashtags. These literally represent your brand, meaning they’re pretty specific to your company. Major companies can get away with simply using their name as a hashtag. For example, Disney uses #Disney for many of its social media posts. It does the same for its movies and shows, like #Aladdin. Of course, smaller companies don’t have this luxury. But you can still create a branded hashtag by coming up with a phrase that’s specific to your company. Create a motto that you think represents your brand and will resonate with your audience, and then encourage your Instagram followers to use it on their own posts!
Another Instagram hashtag strategy tip is to use hashtags that are specific to the community you’re trying to appeal to. For instance, if you want Phoenix residents to take note of your posts, make sure you use #Phoenix or #PhoenixAZ. If you want to appeal to people who eat a paleo diet, use #paleo or #paleolifestyle. Just make sure your posts actually have something to do with those communities or would be of interest to those audiences. Nobody likes to feel misled by brands on Instagram!
One of the best ways to get seen on social media is to make sure your Instagram hashtag strategy incorporates trending tags. After all, that’s the kind of hashtag everyone is looking at today, which means they’re more likely to click on your post if they see a trending hashtag that interests them. So if it’s St. Patrick’s Day, put up a post in honor of it, and add as many related hashtags you can think of! Those might include #stpatricksday, #stpaddysday, #stpatricksday2019, #luckoftheirish, etc. The same goes for other holidays or just major events that most people are paying attention to, such as the Super Bowl, the Oscars, or recent news stories that everyone is talking about.
Hashtags for Each Campaign
Some hashtags you use will be temporary, because they’re specific to one campaign. So if you’re running a contest or leading up to a big event, create a hashtag for any posts related to it. For example, if you’re trying to increase the buzz around a contest you’re hosting in a month, make a hashtag that includes your brand’s name and the name of the contest, plus the year. Think of how Coca-Cola used #ShareACoke for a while, and Always used #LikeAGirl on its social media posts for a short period of time. These were campaign-based hashtags, and your Instagram hashtag strategy should include this type of tag!
Where to Look for Hashtags to Use for Your Brand
Now you know the main types of hashtags you should be using. But maybe you’re still struggling to find the right tags for your posts on Instagram. Fortunately, you can get inspiration from a few sources. The easiest source is your competition.
That’s right; your first step should be to check out how your competitors are using Instagram. Which hashtags do they use regularly? Some of them might apply to you. After all, you’re probably targeting the same community, so you’ll want to use any community hashtags they already use. This should give you a good start as you perfect your Instagram hashtag strategy.
Next, find Instagram influencers in your industry, and check out which hashtags they use. Just by virtue of being an influencer, you know they’re pretty successful at social media, so feel free to take a page from their book as you get started with hashtags.
You can also use Instagram’s search bar to find hashtags that would work for your posts. Just put in a keyword that relates to your post, and you’ll see hashtags that are associated with it.
Now that you have these tips in mind, you should be ready to start working on your Instagram hashtag strategy! And if you discover any tips of your own along the way, feel free to comment below to let us know.
Other sources on Instagram and hashtags:
Using Instagram Stories the Right Way
How to Use Hashtags to Improve Your Brand’s Social Media PresenceHow to Research Keywords for Social Media Marketing
The original version of this article was first published on The Marketing Scope.