If you’re wondering how to use hashtags on Instagram, you’ve come to the right place. Hashtags are one of the most powerful tools available to you if you’re marketing your brand on Instagram. While they won’t make up for bad content, they will help your good content to be found by the people who are most likely to be interested in it.
When you’re learning how to use hashtags for Instagram, the main thing you need to remember is that it’s both an art and a science. You can use tools to identify how many people are using a potential hashtag, but you’ll need to be creative in terms of the way that you use it and the content that it’s coupled with.
Hashtags can tell stories, add humour or simply help to categorise what your posts are about. And if your content is good and you know how to use hashtags for Instagram, you’re almost guaranteed success on the platform. Here’s what you need to know.
How to Use Hashtags on Instagram?
Identify whether they’re actually in use
One of the biggest mistakes that people make is that they fail to check whether anyone’s actually using the hashtags that they decide to include. If you’re using obscure hashtags that aren’t receiving any traffic, you’re wasting valuable real estate in your post’s captions.
Avoid using multiple words
People like to make #LongHashtagsLikeThis, but the truth is that every extra word reduces the number of people who are actively using it and searching for it. Instead of using, for example, #ILoveMyCats, split it up into #love and #cats. When you’re learning how to use hashtags for Instagram, simple is better.
Be careful when using your own hashtags
There’s been no shortage of embarrassing faux pas when it comes to branded hashtags, either on Twitter or Instagram, which is why it’s more important than ever to be smart when creating them. On top of that, branded hashtags are effectively useless unless other people take them up and start using them, so you need to make your followers aware of it and incentivise them to use it. Otherwise, it just becomes a dead hashtag.
Use tools to suggest new hashtags
No list of tips on how to use hashtags for Instagram would be complete without a mention of tools like Hashtagify or Display Purposes which allow you to discover new hashtags. It’s a good idea to jot down as many hashtags as you can think of and then to feed each of those tags into these tools to receive further suggestions.
Track them over time
There’s no shortage of tools out there to help you to track the performance of a hashtag over time, and it’s a good idea to try out a few different tools and to stick with the ones that work for you. Create a dashboard in which you monitor both your most successful hashtags and a few of the up-and-comers that you’ve got your eye on for the future. That will allow you to adapt and react to changes in popularity over time.
Check your insights
Instagram’s inbuilt analytical tools allow you to see some serious insights into the content that you’re posting and the way it’s performing. Keep your eyes peeled for hashtags that keep on appearing in your most popular posts and test them out to see whether it’s the hashtags or the content which is picking up the interaction.
Keep it natural
This one’s potentially the most difficult thing to do of all because it’s a little intangible, but it essentially boils down to trying to use hashtags in the same way that you would if you were posting from a personal account. If you’re not sure whether to include a hashtag or if you think you’re using too many, listen to your instincts. The key to learning how to use hashtags for Instagram is learning when to stop.
Remember that learning how to use hashtags on Instagram will only get you so far if you’re only adding them to your posts. For best results, take the time to browse through some of the hashtags you’re using and to interact with the other people who are using them. You’ll be taking the first steps towards joining the community and it’ll also help you to identify the key influencers in the space so you can reach out to them and start to work together.
The good news is that using the right hashtags is a great place to start, and while the optimum number of hashtags is 11 per post, you can use up to thirty per post if you need to. Hashtags help to increase the reach of your posts and to pull in more eyes, but that’s not going to mean much unless the content is good enough for them to interact with it.
Instagram is all about building relationships and developing a community, and while it can be super useful to help you to sell your products and to promote your brand, that will happen as a by-product if you focus on just adding some value and using the right hashtags to help your content to get found. Good luck.
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