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Understanding Hashtags for Instagram

Instagram LogoHashtags are king in the Instagram world.

Hashtags are one of the best ways to grow your Instagram following and build relationships with other businesses. Using the right combinations of hashtags can not only expose your business to a much larger and targeted audience, they attract more followers, increase your double taps and get your engagement shooting through the roof. With more and more clients and potential contracts depending on your social media footprint (ie. your number of followers and activity on social media platforms), it’s  becoming increasingly important to choose the right hashtags to get your product, service or personal brand out in the market you are targeting.

So how do you build your Instagram hashtag strategy?
And how do you know you’re doing it right?

Follow these guidelines for the most effective hashtag game plan to boost the reach of your social media campaigns.

  • Know Your Market Hashtags
  • Understanding Community and Branded Hashtags
  • Have A Hashtag System
  • Don’t Go Generic
  • Research Everybody

Know Your Markets Hashtags

Know Your Markets HashtagsHashtags help people who do or like the same things you do to find your posts. The hashtags help organise photos and video content, putting them into categories that help followers looking for things that interest them to discover your feed. You need to make them relevant.

There’s no point in including a bunch of vegan hashtags on a post about a recipe featuring beef mince and scrambled eggs, or a #fitspo series on a photo that laments the lazy life. Look at your photo or video content and think of every single word you could relate to it and to your target market. Ask yourself “what are they looking for?” and hashtag it! Post things that are relevant to your business and what your customers like.

Understanding Community and Branded Hashtags

Community hashtags bring together like-minded followers around a specific subject. They are a great way of joining a ‘group’ online and building followers. To find the best community-oriented hashtags for your account, see what your audience and favourite accounts are using, or enter your interest in the search function. Community hashtags are designed to increase the reach of your message.

Branded hashtags are usually inspired from your own personal branding and can be your business name, tagline, a name of a product or even just something that is highly recognisable as affiliated with your brand. They are designed to connect themes between you and your audience and can be beneficial in promoting a campaign.

Have A Hashtag System

Have A Hashtag SystemDo you have your hashtags organised relevant to your posts? Or are they simply a big clump of copy and paste words you attach to every post? The higher your reach and the more engagement you get, the less Instagram will ‘allow’ you to just post the same 30 hashtags every time. And yes, a post all  30 hashtags, EVERY TIME, so think about your hashtags ahead of time. The best strategy is to have several collections of hashtags to attach to different posts. For example, your post about kids cooking should not contain #grownupfood or #dogsofig, but there are hundreds of hashtags you can come up with to describe kids cooking. Save these collections on your phone in Notes or Memos (as you can only use Instagram from a mobile device) and mix up your hashtags for each post.  Save multiple groups of hashtags.

Don’t Go Generic

Whilst easy words like #love or #yum are undeniably the most popular on Instagram, you don’t want to use more than 5 in your hashtag collection. They may get you a few likes but they aren’t great for growth. It’s best to use audience specific tags with strong engagement and community following behind them. Find out what your audience, competitors and industry leaders are using and include them as well as being creative and a little fun with new, niche hashtags of your own.

Research Everybody

Do your researchDo your research, stalk everybody’s account and make notes. Have a look at your target audience and find the ones that fit your content. Check out your competitors and see which hashtags are getting them the results you want. Whilst it’s not professional to simply copy a competitor’s hashtag collection, it also shows you have no imagination or creativity yourself, so just pick up a few and spice them up to fit your own brand. And don’t forget the social influencers! These people do exceptionally well on Instagram for whatever reason in their own industry. Learn from the best in your industry and have a good look around their well-established following.

Who Can Help Me With My Instagram Hashtags?

With all the confusion surrounding Instagram ever-changing algorithms and strategies to get ‘trending posts’ and ‘niche hashtags’, you can be forgiven for thinking it’s all too hard. Cathy Smith can not only assist you with your socials media platforms and followings, she is a qualified web and graphic designer with over 19 years’ experience in the industry. Call the team at CATCO Enterprises today on 08 9797 0889