Instagram is a powerhouse among social networks. It’s currently the fastest growing platform, jumping from 600 million to 800 million monthly active users in just the year 2017 – and according to Mediakix growth projections, Instagram is expected to hit 1 billion users by January 5, 2018.
So how do you reach those people? With hashtags.
Someone may have just a few dozen followers, but by optimizing their post with targeted hashtags, they can get their images in front of thousands – even millions – of potential viewers, all of whom scroll through the app each day for their daily dose of photo media.
An Instagram post with at least one hashtag averages 12.6% more engagement than a post with no hashtags.
Hashtags are beasts, and with Instagram’s new ability to follow hashtags, it is more important than ever to make sure that you are utilizing them to make the most of your opportunities on the platform.
Here are some tips on using hashtags:
1. Make sure your hashtags are specific and relevant.
Instagram’s algorithm favors posts that include trending and timely hashtags. This could include momentary hashtag trends or holiday posts, but it doesn’t mean you should participate in every trending event. Instead, choose the ones that are relevant and applicable to your brand.
2. Create a branded hashtag.
Seven out of 10 hashtags on Instagram are branded. Crafting a compelling branded hashtag that’s unique to your company can help you connect with customers, find user-generated content, and build relationships with influencers. A branded hashtag can be as simple as the name of your company, a product or a related topic.
3. Use a good mix of other hashtags.
The best way to reach a diversified number of people on Instagram is to use a good mix of Instagram hashtags. The different types of hashtags include industry, niche, branded, community, location, event and celebration. We will cover each of these types individually in our next blog on hashtags.
4. Switch up your hashtags on every post
Don’t just copy and paste the exact same list of hashtags on each post and call it a day. This could make Instagram view your post as spam, which would affect your post’s visibility. Coming up with a new list of hashtags may seem daunting – that’s why we suggest tip No. 5.
5. Create an organized spreadsheet of relevant hashtags.
Thinking of your audience and your brand, create a list of categories that describe your account, your business and your target market(s). Then research hashtags applicable to those categories.
6. Track your hashtag success with post insights.
Instagram Business profiles have the ability to analyze how individual posts are performing and compare the specific results from each. This allows you to see exactly how effective your posts are and which hashtags have the most impressions. These insights allow you to continuously improve your hashtag strategy.