Instagram hashtags and how to use them

Carys

Social Media Executive

If you are using Instagram to promote your business or products then ensuring you are harnessing the power of hashtags is important.

The sheer volume of posts on a platform like Instagram mean that hashtags are essential for categorising, sorting and locating posts.

Using the right hashtags will help you reach your target audience, gain followers and shares. Sounds straightforward but simply using a few hashtags won’t magically increase engagement or win you followers.  There are so many questions that we hear about hashtags and how to use them.  Which are the right hashtags?  How do you pick them?  How many should you use?

Well as always that depends.  Looking at popular hashtags can be a great place to start.  However, piggybacking on popular hashtags isn’t always a sure-fire route to Instagram success.

Probably the single most important thing is to ensure the hashtags you use are relevant.  Popular hashtags, such as #fashion and #travel, are incredibly broad. Gaining a high ranking for a popular hashtag such as #fashion will certainly yield results but the likelihood is you’ll simply be lost amongst thousands and thousands of other posts.

Instead look for related hashtags. Niche hashtags which are very specific will often result in reaching a more targeted audience and higher levels of interaction.  When considering and choosing hashtags Instagram will provide you with suggestions in the scroll-down menu appearing in the search bar so this is a great place to start.

Another suggestion is to take a good look at what your competitors are doing and how they are using hashtags.  Take a look at your followers too and spend some time understanding what interests them.  Knowing your audience and understanding what they engage with is key.

Consider a branded hashtag to ensure your followers can follow your posts and don’t be afraid to invite people to follow your unique hashtag.

Test and experiment with different hashtags.  Analyse your posts, use insights to see how your posts are performing.  Keep track of which posts generate the most engagement.   Views are important but it’s worth remembering that Instagram rewards you with higher visibility whenever a smaller number of views results in more interactions.