Yes, yes, and YES! Instagram hashtags still work. In fact, they are powerful pieces of text when it comes to increasing engagement, attracting new followers and creating a recognisable brand.
If used right, hashtags can take your business to new heights (#goals). But if used without a strategy, you risk annoying potential new customers and even getting penalised by Instagram’s algorithm.
To ensure you’re using Instagram hashtags effectively and make the most out of your social media marketing, read on.
Here’s what we’ll discuss:
What is a Hashtag?
A hashtag can be either a word or short phrase (no more than three words usually) with the # symbol in front. They are used to sort posts by topic.
Importance of Hashtags
There are almost 100 million photos and videos published every single day. With so much content, it’s difficult for Instagram to show the right content to the right people.
That’s where Hashtags come into play. They are Instagram’s so-called organisers, because they categorise content and help users find content they’re most interested in.
Essentially, they can help you reach your target audience. This is important, because these people are most likely to interact with your content.
To show you the power of hashtags, have a look at the results of one of our clients:
Without hashtags this post would have only reached around 30 people. Understandable, because this client has only just started out on Instagram and still have a very humble follower base.
With the use of relevant hashtags, we reached about 1,000 users. That’s a 3233% increase (!!).
And that’s without post boost or any ad spend. Just using right hashtags in the right way.
See now why they are so important to include in your Instagram strategy?
Types of Hashtags
A hashtag isn’t just a hashtag (#omg). There are different types of them each with different abilities. For example, some can help you increase visibility and others can prompt user-generated content.
Let’s have a look at some of the most popular ones and how you can use them:
Most commonly used, a branded hashtag is specific to your business. It can be your brand name, slogan or something that represents your brand identity like #MarketingForTomorrow.
User-generated content hashtags
This type of hashtag is created for your audience to share their experience with your product or services. For example, #MadeWithCC or #ShotoniPhone. With an astonishing 93% of customers finding user-generated content helpful in their decision making, this hashtag is a must for anyone wanting to grow their business.
Very broad and general, industry hashtags describe the type of business such as #marketer or #videographer. They are great to place your brand on the Explore page, but keep in mind that this is not always the best.
A niche hashtag takes an industry hashtag and narrows it down more. For example, #DigitalMarketer or #StopMotion. This is a much better way of increasing visibility as your content is more likely to be discovered by people of high interest.
If you’re a service provider or local business, these hashtags are a must-have. These are great to reach a very targeted audience in your local area. They are made up as follows: Location + Business. For example, #GoldCoastHairStylist or #MelbourneCafe.
This type of hashtag is great to – well, build your community on Instagram. It’s particularly helpful if you’re looking to grow your followers and connect with people from the same industry. Community hashtag examples are #ElectriciansOfInstagram or #DogsOfInstagram.
3 Hashtag Do’s and Don’ts
There are a few rules when it comes to hashtagging. To make sure you do it right, here are three important do’s and don’ts.
Use them strategically — make sure every hashtag you use is relevant to the content displayed. Try always using a mix of hashtags. This ensures maximum visibility to relevant people
Track hashtag performance — regularly check your post’s data insights. These show you how many interactions a post gets or how many accounts it reached. It even shows you how much of that reach comes from your hashtag, allowing you to improve if needed
Benefit from trending hashtags — if there are trending hashtags on Instagram relevant to your content, take advantage of it!
Don’t overload — although 30 is the maximum hashtags you can use, Instagram recommends using three to five hashtags per post
Don’t repeat — you can be penalised if you continue to use the same hashtags. Using more specific hashtags will help you not repeat the same one over and over again
Don’t make it complicated — if you’re using a hashtag with more than one word, make sure it can be easily read. You can use capital letters for this
And no, it doesn’t matter where you add hashtags. Instagram recognises them both in the caption and comment section.
Trending Hashtags Right Now
Now that you know about the power of hashtags and best practices to use them, here are the top 25 hashtags for Instagram right now: