When it comes to Instagram, you have those who are proficient and those who want to be. The same can be said for hashtags. Some people love them, others hate them and many just don’t know how to use them. As with any other social media platform, there is more to know than could be possibly detailed in a short post.
However, a starters’ guide for those who have been overshadowed by the behemoth called social media is a welcome beginning. Instagram and its hashtags don’t have to be complicated and it can be fun. Most of all, it can be very beneficial to those business owners who know how to use it.
What Are Hashtags?
A hashtag is basically a group of numbers and letters preceded by the pound (#) sign. There are no spaces in hashtags and capital letters don’t really matter. Hashtags are used to help organize and categorize content on Instagram. For instance, someone who is into healthy foods can upload a photo of a recipe and use a hashtag such as #superfoods or #healthyeating to make that image discoverable to others who may be interested.
Types Of Hashtags
There are different types of hashtags, with the three primaries being branded hashtags, community hashtags and trending hashtags. A branded hashtag is a hashtag that is unique to a business. It can be as simple as the company name, company tagline, or even something related to the brand identity. Community hashtags are used to categorize most content from the audience. They help increase the reach of user’s content and connect like-minded people. Trending hashtags are a little more complicated. They are the most popular hashtags related to a specific subject at the moment.
When using hashtags, you want to keep them short and concise. Don’t string too many words together. It is best to research your audience and see what hashtags they are using. Incorporate keywords if you can do it naturally. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags, but you really don’t want to use that many. Shoot for three to five at a time. The best strategy is to combine a highly popular hashtag with one that is more specific such as #superfoods and #eatmygreens. If you own a business, then include your brand hashtag. To avoid a spammy connotation, it is best to place hashtags as the first comment on your post. You don’t want to place them where they are visible. Of course, make sure your account is public otherwise hashtags will do no good.
Use Instagram To Find Hashtags
One very common but powerful strategy to finding great hashtags is on Instagram itself. This method should be used in conjunction to research your target audience and your competitors. Touch the magnifying glass at the bottom of the screen on Instagram and type in a keyword relevant to your niche. It will bring up a list of relevant hashtags, along with the number of times they have been used. If you select one of these hashtags, the list becomes more specific.
Instagram’s algorithm rewards the posts with the most engagement and the fastest engagement. So, the best way to get more exposure is to get a lot of engagement fast. This will, in turn, get you more exposure. The best way to do this is to post when your target market is most active. It will take some research, again, but it is well worth the effort for the exposure you get. On Instagram, the top post is the top post no matter what country you are in, so exposure can be massive.