As the fastest growing social media platform online today, Instagram gets a lot of attention when it comes to marketing, launching, and growing personal brands. While the site itself has exploded in popularity, it is the quest for more individual followers that pushes people to try new things. Hashtags, which have been in use for a long time on all social media sites, help you grow your following on Instagram as well. In order to get the most benefits, however, you really have to know how to use them properly.
What Do IG Hashtags Do For You?
Hashtags anywhere including on Instagram are like keywords or keyword phrases added to any type of content. They start with a # and consists of one or more words with no spaces between them. Anyone who has been on social media in the past 10 years sees and uses them regularly.
If you want to specifically grow your following on the IG platform, you can use hashtags in both regular posts and stories. They allow other people to find your post or even follow your account. Three general types of hashtags exist.
Branded – These are ones you create yourself pacifically for you or your brand. They made include a company name, username, or short motto. When people see these, they know it is you.
Community – These are commonly used for different interests or types of posts. For example, people who share vacation photos on Instagram frequently use #welltraveled. These become well-known across the community and are used outside of Instagram, too.
Campaign – For brands who market on social media, campaign-specific hashtags can help attract attention for a limited time. These are used only for promotion or special offer and then disappear after the marketing campaign is done.
Claim Your Own Hashtag and Use It Everywhere
If you want to increase your followers and get more attention to your posts and stories, create your own hashtag and take it off Instagram, too. Since this social media platform is the fastest-growing one in the world right now, it makes sense to market specifically to get more followers. Hashtags help you do this by boosting brand recognition on other sites like Facebook and Twitter, too.
Once you come up with a memorable and brand-specific hashtag for IG, add it to your profile, use it in all your posts and stories, and use it in off-site marketing and content. The more cross-promotion you do, the more likely people in your target audience will take notice and start following you to learn more.
Research and Use the Most Popular and Trending Hashtags
Instagram itself and many other sites tell you what hashtags are trending at any given time. If you discover the hottest ones that align with your account’s focus, you have the perfect opportunity to get in on that high traffic and boost your followers.
How Do You Find Popular Hashtags?
While there are both free and premium tools out there that can help you research Instagram hashtags, the main methods you can use regularly include:
- See what hashtags are used by Instagram influencers and people with high follower counts who post content related to your subject matter.
- Use Instagram’s Explorer feature to search for tags that have to do with your content or are currently trending. This lets you know how many posts use each tag.
- Check out your competitors. If someone is more popular than you, it makes sense that their hashtags may be a great choice to boost your own follower numbers.
Remember, just because something is very popular for a moment does not mean it is right for your audience. If the people that come across your posts or stories, or the people who follow your Instagram already, see nothing but random trendy pictures, it will not get the quality content they want from you, and they will probably unfollow and disappear.
Use popular community hashtags that make sense for your posts and story. Also, visit popular posts that use the same hashtags and respond to them with comments of your own. Do not spam ads for your profile. Do not simply ask for followers. Give quality information that gently points back to the type of content that you create. This has a higher chance of impressing people so they check out your IG profile and followed you, too.
Use a LOT of Hashtags With Each Post
There is a very good reason that most Instagram posts include a huge block of blue hashtags below the picture. You are allowed to use up to 30, but is it really a good idea to stuff that many hashtags into each post? On stories, you can only use 10, which is still quite a lot for an individual picture.
In the Instagram marketing world, many people repeat the idea that you should use at least 11 hashtags if you want to increase your follower base. From a practical standpoint, it makes sense to use as many as possible as long as they pertain to the type of pictures you post and your target audience’s interests.
Business Profile? Track Your Hashtags
Whether you actually own a company or have your sights set on being the next Instagram influencer with your personal brand, tracking hashtags helps you boost your follower rate. In order to do this on IG itself, you need a business profile that gives you access to the View Insights section.
Why is it so important to track hashtags, and how could this increase your follower rate? Ultimately, hashtags are marketing tools used very much like keywords in search engine optimization. If you do not track the results you get with a particular term, you have no idea if it is helping you gain followers or not. Using a hashtag that does not engage the interest of your target audience is a waste of time and can even work against you.
In your quest to grow your following on Instagram and get the attention your company or personal brand deserves, research and use hashtags wisely. These tips will help you expand your reach and exceed on this incredibly popular social media platform.