It’s 2022 and hashtags are still effective for getting likes and increasing engagement. Since its introduction, hashtags have proven to boost brands’ reach and following. And if you use a great hashtag strategy, you too can build the brand of your dreams on Instagram.
At the same time, hashtags, done wrongly, can tear you down. For example, if you’re just getting started with hashtags, it may appear that more is better, but this isn’t always the case. These days, a few tags could be all you need to get results. It all boils down to your strategy.
Luckily for you, that’s exactly what today’s post is about—building a foolproof hashtag Strategy to reach your target audience on Instagram. If that sounds interesting to you, keep reading.
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Hashtags are a blend of words, letters, numbers, or emojis with the number sign in front e.g #hashtag, #friyay. Hashtags do not only categorize content, they also make them easily searchable.
Also, hashtags are clickable. On Instagram, tapping on a hashtag will lead you to a page with a variety of posts that have used the hashtag.
Why You Need A Instagram Hashtag Strategy
The Instagram Algorithm uses hashtags to classify posts and deliver them to the right timelines. This means that when you use the right hashtags in your posts, Instagram can easily position your posts in the feeds of those Interested in your content.
Besides, people can follow a hashtag. And by doing this, they get posts related to the hashtag they follow immediately after they’re uploaded. So, people who follow your hashtag will see your post even if they are not following you. This is sure to boost your reach and draw more followers.
Also, if you have a well-planned hashtag strategy in place, choosing the best hashtags for your brand will be easier. Consequently, your posts will be recognized by the Instagram algorithm. Plus, your engagement will increase and attract more Instagram followers.
While it may appear that using the most popular hashtags is a great idea, it is not. Your post will get lost in the shuffle and won’t get the attention it deserves.
Still, you should become familiar with the most used hashtags so that you can use them sparingly. According to Later, here are the top 50 hashtags of 2022:
GIF from Giphy
There are 9 different types of hashtags as listed by Instagram:
- Product or service hashtags: these are hashtags that relate to the products or services you offer e.g #flowershop.
- Niche hashtags: they specify your niche or industry e.g #chef, #weddingphotographer.
- Instagram community hashtags: these hashtags are for niche communities e.g #writersofinstagram.
- Special events or seasonal hashtags: they are for special occasions e.g #independenceday, #autumntimex.
- Location hashtags: they indicate places e.g #paris, #pastynyc.
- Daily hashtags: these hashtags reveal routines or rituals specific to certain days e.g #mancrushmonday, #throwbackthursday.
- Hashtags with relevant phrases: they are hashtags relevant to your work e.g #foodtruck, #barbershop.
- Acronym hashtags: e.g #ootd (outfit of the day).
- Emoji hashtags: e.g #roses🌹
- Branded Hashtags: these hashtags are specific to a particular brand. You can use branded hashtags to set yourself apart from the crowd and build a loyal community. E.g #nike, #cocacola.
How To Choose The Right Hashtags
It may be convenient to pick a hashtag right out of your head, but there’s more to hashtag selection than meets the eye. Your chosen hashtags must be relevant to your niche. They also need to be simple and user-friendly.
Here are tips that’ll guide you in choosing the right hashtags:
- Check Out Top Brands In Your Niche
There’s a lot to learn from brands that are at the top of their game. It’s always a good idea to check what hashtags your competitors are using on Instagram. Observe which of the hashtags are effective and which aren’t. This way, you get inspiration on which hashtags to use and which to avoid.
- Search For Hashtag Trends In Your Niche
This is an amazing way to know what hashtags are currently common and effective in your industry. You’ll surely find hashtags that will link your posts to the right people to potentially make them your new followers on Instagram
To do this, type in a niche-related hashtag on the search bar e.g #photography. A list of relevant hashtags will appear with the number of posts that have used them.
Image source: Instagram
- Study Your Audience
Hashtags will do wonders for you when it comes to Instagram marketing. But first, you must understand what your target audience is looking for and the hashtags they use in their posts. Most people make posts and put in hashtags that reflect what they want to achieve. An audience that is intentional about body fitness may use hashtags like #gym, #healthylifestyle, #fitfam
Image source: Instagram| @tiziana__ga
study your audience, know the hashtags they use, and use them too.
- Use A Hashtag Suggestion Tool
There are many hashtag suggestion tools that could help you out. These tools will suggest hashtags related to the content of your posts and niche. Some of these hashtag suggestion tools will even show you the popularity of certain hashtags. They could also analyze the tag’s performances. A few of these suggestion tools are:
- Invast hashtag generator
GIF from Giphy
1. Use Just Enough Hashtags
Instagram allows users to put up to 30 hashtags in a single post. But because you can add that many tags doesn’t mean you should. If you do, know that your post will look spammy.
Instagram recommends that we keep the number of hashtags between 3-5 and warns that 10-20 hashtags won’t help with additional discoverability.
Tip: Put hashtags in the comment section to prevent your post from looking spammy.
2. Use Hashtags In Your Instagram Stories
Though hashtags are most popularly used in captions, you can use them in other places as well. The story, for example, is another place where branded hashtags are effective. Your branded hashtag should be simple and easy to remember or spell. Avoid acronyms because some other brand could be using them. Also, make sure the tag is unique and not in use by any other brand.
3. Optimize Bio With Branded Hashtag
Your bio should carry a branded hashtag as it is a way to lead visitors to your hashtag feed. It will aid in brand recognition. Ask your followers to follow your unique branded hashtag so that they can see your content.
4. Stay Away From Banned Hashtags
Instagram sometimes bans reported hashtags, especially when the tags don’t comply with the community’s guidelines. If you use banned hashtags, your posts will not be visible to your audience.
Though there’s no list of banned hashtags from Instagram, you can find them out. To do this, type in the hashtag in the search bar and click on it. If a message reveals that the hashtag has been reported and doesn’t meet community guidelines then you know it’s banned. You can also use hashtag checker tools to know if a hashtag is under a ban.
5. Avoid Repetitive and Irrelevant Hashtags
The Instagram community guidelines warn against repetitive content and that includes hashtags. Posting repetitive hashtags will paint your post as spam. Nobody wants that.
Make sure that the hashtags you use are suitable for your content. Relevant hashtags will get your posts to the right people, which is what you want.
Analyze Your Hashtag Strategy
As you employ the aforementioned tips, it’s important to measure how well your hashtag strategy is going. How good your hashtag strategy is will show in the impressions.
Instagram insight can give you an analysis of your hashtag performance.
To use Instagram insight, ensure that your account is a business profile.
- Go to the post you want to analyze
- Tap on View insights below the post
- Swipe up to get data about the post. Under Impressions, you will see From Hashtags. The number next to it tells you how often people found your profile via hashtags.
Hashtags will build your engagements and boost your following when they reach the right people.
It’s not enough to just randomly choose hashtags for a post. You need a strategy and this article has given you one. Follow these tips and walk your way up the ladder of Instagram success.