When you are using Instagram as a marketing platform for your business, choosing the right hashtags can make a huge difference on your success. And when I say success, I particularly mean the amount of people seeing your posts, both current followers and new followers, and the amount of engagement you receive on your posts.
However you don’t just want hundreds of random views of your posts, you want people to see your posts that are your potential clients or customers. So your posts need to also be of interest to this audience – those that are likely to purchase from you in the future.
But first, lets take a step back.
What are hashtags?
Hashtags are a word (or phrase with no spaces) following a hash sign (#) and are used on most social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Hashtags can consist of letters, numbers and emoji’s.
Hashtags are a way of searching for related posts and categorising all content together that use a particular hashtag. They help Instagram users discover content and accounts to follow. The right hashtags will expose your business to large, targeted audiences.
On Instagram, each hashtag has its own feed. When you search for a particular hashtag it will show you the posts that have used that hashtag. For example, this image shows the feed for #femaleentrepreneurs
You will see the top posts for that hashtag at the top and then all posts in chronological order below them.
Using Hashtags On Your Posts
On Instagram you can use up to 30 hashtags per post. I highly recommend using the full 30 hashtags allowed. You increase your reach and visibility for each hashtag you use if you use relevant hashtags that people are searching for.
You can insert the hashtags either in the caption with the image or you can insert the hashtags in the comments section after you post the image. I have tested both options and the results don’t seem to better for one way over the other. However, it does look more visually appealing if you post the hashtags in the comments section. You don’t particularly want the full 30 hashtags visible to people viewing your posts as it can look promotional and inauthentic. You just want them there so that you show up in the hashtag feed when people are searching that hashtag that you have used.
Another trick is to include 5 full stops, each on a new line, before pasting in your hashtags in the comment on your post. This way the actual hashtags aren’t visible unless someone expands the comment.
Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when using hashtags on Instagram:
- Be specific with your hashtag usage. Don’t use broad hashtags as you will only attract spammers and random viewers. You want to be specific to your business industry, your audience and what you offer so that you attract your ideal customers or clients.
- Don’t use hashtags that are too popular unless you already have a huge following. Feeds of hashtags that are very popular move very quickly so your post will move down the chronological order very quickly and won’t get a lot of views.
- Use hashtags that your ideal clients would use in order to find what you offer.
- Use the full 30 hashtags on every post. Each hashtag gives you the opportunity to get in front of a different audience.
- Do your research on hashtags using the hashtag search function on Instagram. Make sure the hashtag means what you think it means. Examine the images already using that hashtag and ensure it aligns with you and your business and it is something you want to be associated with.
Would you like more tips and tricks on using hashtags on Instagram? Download this free guide to keep as a handy reference when you are choosing the hashtags to use on your Instagram posts.
About Jayne Day
Jayne is an online marketing strategist and success coach for female entrepreneurs who are ready to take action for massive results in their business. She offers complete online marketing strategies and solutions to female entrepreneurs and business owners so they can be found online by their ideal clients by implementing a range of strategies that all work together and are customised for each client's business.