With so much content posted each day on Instagram, it can be hard for your posts to beat the competition and reach your target audience. If you’re using Instagram for a business/brand account then your goal is for a large, engaged audience to view your content. If you have a targeted audience, then your opportunity for quality engagement on your post is increased. The following Instagram Hashtag Tips and Tricks will help you understand more about hashtags. Implementing these tips will assist you to strategically grow your Instagram likes, engagement and follows.
is a Hashtag?
Hashtags categorise content and make that content discoverable to anyone who clicks on or searches for that hashtag within the Instagram app. Tapping on a hashtag or typing it into the search bar will show all of the public posts that use that hashtag. Hashtags start with a # symbol and can also include emojis, eg) #wine and #wine🍷 are separate hashtags and will contain different content .
Why should I use hashtags?
Strategic use of hashtags on your posts will enable greater reach (more views/impressions) and increased engagement levels (more users liking, commenting on and sharing your content). Instagram posts that use at least one hashtag average at least 12% more engagement than those without any hashtags.
Tip: When selecting your Instagram hashtags, remember to only use hashtags that are relevant to your brand, industry/niche, and audience.
Using relevant hashtags on your Instagram posts and Reels is a great way for new audiences to discover your content and account. This can lead to more engagement, more followers, and customers.
Instagram Hashtag Tips and Tricks
How many Hashtags can I use
Hashtags in a post or Reel – you can include up to 30 hashtags on a Instagram post or Reel. It is recommended that your hashtags are included in a post caption, however, they can also be added as an additional comment on the post.
Hashtags in your bio – using a brand hashtag in your your account bio/profile is an opportunity to let your users know about your products/services eg) #ChookapeckBackgrounds and #ChookapeckPresets, and to encourage them to use the hashtag in their posts.
Saving your Hashtags
If you have a set of hashtags that you regularly use, you can save them into the Notes app on your phone and then copy and paste them into your caption or comment of your post. This saves you retyping and also eliminates the risk of typos.
Tip: always use a variety of hashtag types and don’t repeatedly use the same hashtags.
If your Instagram Account Settings are marked ‘Private’, your posts (even those with hashtags) will only be visible to your approved followers. If you want a wider audience for your posts, or for it to potentially be regrammed by brand accounts, then your Instagram settings must be ‘Public’.
What kind of Hashtag should I use?
To maximise your post’s potential audience, it is beneficial to use a mix of high competition hashtags (those with high levels of usage on Instagram), and hashtags with mid to low competition (hashtags that are active, but with
Using popular hashtags like #pretty #love #instagood may attract a few more likes to your post, but they are unlikely to attract an engaged audience. Using hashtags that are more relevant to your post such as location or industry/niche tags will both increase your post reach and engagement.
Types of Hashtags
The more specific or relevant the hashtags are that you use, the more targeted your post and account audience will be. If you have a targeted audience, the opportunity for quality engagement is increased.
Industry-specific hashtags will make it easier for your target audience to find you and your products. These hashtags will also connect you with other users in your industry or niche.
Examples of Industry hashtags are #Photographer #Wine.
Niche Hashtags are a refinement of more general hashtags. Using them on your Instagram posts will attract a more highly engaged audience. Often, the more niche the content/hashtag is, the higher the engagement can be, as you are communicating with a highly targeted audience.
Using refined hashtags such as #WeddingPhotographer or #PortraitPhotographer will attract engaged users who are seeking your niche content.
Custom brand hashtags can help people to engage with your brand/products and be a valuable asset in your marketing toolkit. Encouraging your audience to use it can grow your online community and increase brand loyalty.
Examples of brand hashtags are #YourCompanyNamePhotography #Chookapeck #Canon.
Tip: add your brand hashtag to every Instagram post and also to any touchpoints and collateral (website, packaging, receipt etc).
Brand hashtags can help to drive engagement and participation for campaigns that your brand operates through your Instagram account. All of the posts that use the brand hashtag will be collated to the hashtag page where you can easily assess and collate campaign submissions. Campaigns using your brand hashtag are often used by accounts to source User Generated Content (UGC).
If you have a brand hashtag your Instagram account manager should regularly check the tag and engage with the tag’s users. It’s also an opportunity to curate UGC for use in your own marketing and communications. Engaging with users in this way is an excellent way to gain new followers.
Tip: Invite your followers to follow your branded hashtag. Doing this potentially doubles your chance of engagement as followers can see your content in their feed through your account or through your hashtag.
Community Hashtags are those that identify the post content as belonging to a particular community. If you’re a photographer and use Canon equipment, you could use #CanonAustralia or #FemalePhotographers. These tags signify you are part of that particular community.
By actively engaging with others using the community hashtag you can create meaningful engagement. This can lead to an increase in overall engagement and followers.
Location hashtags are an excellent way of raising your profile in your immediate geographic area. Using a location hashtag can also attract users who are planning to be in, or are currently visiting your location.
Examples of location hashtags are #Barossa #Melbourne etc.
Tip: merge your location and industry/niche tags to help people find you and your services eg) #BarossaPhotographer #MelbournePortraitPhotographer.
Other hashtag types include specific campaign, event and holiday hashtags. These hashtags have a shorter lifespan as they are usually for a one-off or seasonal event eg) #AFLGrandFinal2021 #Christmas2022 #YourNewProductLaunch etc.
Tip: when creating a custom hashtag for your business or event, do a search prior to using it to ensure that your hashtag is unique and will not send people to irrelevant or inappropriate content.
Instagram users can now follow particular hashtags that are of interest to them eg) #CottageGarden or #VeganBaking.
When a user follows a hashtag, top posts that use that tag will be shown in both their Instagram feed and in the stories bar.
Followers of a hashtag do not have to follow an account to see the content, however, if they are regularly seeing and liking your tagged content, that often leads to them following your account.
If your Instagram account is a business profile (rather than a personal profile) you can access Insights. These statistics are available for every image you post and can tell you how many impressions each post received from hashtags. You can then evaluate this data to see if the content and hashtag bought you new users, more engagement or more followers.
To see your insights:
- select the Instagram post that you requite insights for
- tap ‘view insights’ which is underneath the post on the left side
- swipe through the data to see insights for that post, including Interactions, Follows, Reach and how many impressions from hashtags.
How to find great Hashtags for your content
What are others using?
Check out what hashtags your competitors or others in your niche are using. This can be a great way to discover new tags are relevant to your content and audience.
Research what hashtags industry leaders in your niche are using. Using the same or similar hashtags and aligning your content with them may increase your engagement.
Tap into Instagram’s search function and enter a keyword that is relevant to your content eg) WellnessRetreat.
Tap the Tags tab.
The search results will be a list of all the hashtags that use that keyword and also the number of posts that also use that hashtag. The results will also show variations of the hashtag that may be more suitable for your location or niche.
Researching related tags is an excellent way to find relevant niche hashtags. Using hashtags that you find are related to your primary hashtag will serve up your content to a more targeted audience.
Content using these related tags is often less in number to the primary tags, so your post will have less content to compete with.
If you tap and go into any Instagram hashtag page you will see a list of related hashtags.
You can scroll through these tags by swiping left.
Tapping on any of the related tags will take you to the search results for that tag.
Like to learn a little more about Instagram Hashtag Tips and Tricks?
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Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts that dive deeper into hashtags, especially those relevant for Weekend and Travel content. The blog posts will give you loads of hashtags to use and more useful Instagram Hashtag Tips and Tricks.
Do you have any questions? Feel free to drop me a line here.