Hashtags should be a part of your social media strategy. Instagram and Twitter in particular implement hashtags as a tool for searchability.
Hashtags can help maximise your reach to new audiences, and not just any audience, the right kind of audience. Using relevant hashtags will bring higher converting traffic to your posts and profile, and remember, social media traffic is all about quality not quantity.
WHY ARE HASHTAGS SO IMPORTANT?
To start with, Instagram will let you use up to 30 hashtags. That is a lot of hashtags, so should you use them all? The answer is simple…YES!
Every hashtag is an opportunity to be discovered. Why would you only give yourself, say 5 chances to be discovered, when you can have 30?
I recommend having around 20 regular hashtags that are most relevant to your industry and business saved in your notes, so that you can easily copy and paste when creating a post. That leaves you with around 10 hashtags to add which should be more apt to the post you are publishing.
The hashtags you use should be a mixture of popular and less popular hashtags. They should also be a mixture of niche (targeted) and general hashtags.
Niche hashtags will bring higher quality visitors to your profile. They have a lot less competition and so are easier to rank for. Most importantly, they are extremely effective at attracting your ideal followers. You can also ask your followers to use your niche hashtag when posting something about your brand, product, or service. This will help your brand get even more exposure to a wider audience.
You can see how many times a certain hashtag has been used by typing # then the word into the search tool of Instagram. You should avoid using the most popular hashtags with over 1 million uses, as the odds of your post getting in front of people before ‘bigger’ brands who are spending thousands to boost their posts with Facebook/Instagram are slim.
Hashtags are NOT case sensitive, but using capital letters at the beginning of a word when adding them to your posts makes them easier to read. For example, #ThisGirlCan is a lot easier to read than #thisgirlcan.
BUT WHAT HASHTAGS SHOULD YOU USE?
Here are 10 types of Instagram hashtags to consider when looking for ideas of what hashtags to post:
- Branded – Specific to your business (Niche) (E.g. #CoreSocial)
- Event – Promote events, happenings and holidays (E.g. #LondonMarathon)
- Location – For local followers (E.g. #Cheshire)
- Campaign – Unique to a marketing initiative (E.g. #ThisGirCan)
- Descriptive – Clarify the topic of content (E.g. #SocialMediaTips)
- UGC (User Generated Content) – Designed for followers to use (E.g. #Instagrammer)
- Industry – Explains your field of work (E.g. #SocialMediaMarketing)
- Phrase – Message or inspirational statement (E.g. #SuccessMindset)
- Daily – Reflects certain daily themes (E.g. #ThrowbackThursday)
- Community – Share information and amplify voices (E.g. #DogsOfInstagram)
Experiment with your hashtags. Make sure you switch them up depending on your post. You can even turn very popular hashtags into less popular but still relevant hashtags (E.g. Instead of #InteriorDesign use #InteriorDesignTips).
Search for the hashtags you want to use and see what type of content is being posted against those hashtags. This will not only it will also give you an idea of who is using those hashtags, but it will also give you plenty of content ideas. Take a look at which hashtags your competitors are using.
You can also FOLLOW certain hashtags that you think you will regularly use. Any posts using these hashtags will show up in your home feed.
Hashtags are simple really, there are no rules (except for the maximum number of hashtags in one post!). Start trialling and testing certain hashtags out and keep an eye on your insights as to how posts perform!