Instagram as one of the best social media platforms to build your Brand’s image, engaged with your community, and reach new potential customers. As awesome as Instagram is it can also be confusing as to how to reach new people and boost engagement on your posts. One of the best ways to do that is by using hashtags.
But not all hashtags are made equal, so how do you know which ones to use? In this hashtag guide we are going to walk through how to figure out which hashtags your target clients are using and which ones will draw them in and entice them to interact with your posts.
What are hashtags?
Hashtags are simply tags that you use to categorize your content. Using hashtags helps to keep your content organized, and it will be so much easier for your target client to find your content.
Think of hashtags like keywords. If you put that keyword on your Instagram post, anytime someone searches for that keyword your post will show up in the search results. Of course that depends on how many other posts are in that category as well – that is why it’s so important to do your research and find the best hashtags to use.
What makes a “good” hashtag?
To maximize the viewing potential of each post it’s important to pay attention to the types of hashtags you’re using. The best hashtags will be niche specific, post specific, not overused, and relevant to your audience. The sweet spot for hashtag popularity is somewhere between 5,000 and 500,000 posts. If you’re hashtag is too popular yours will be swamped out and pushed down and out of sight within seconds
One of the biggest mistakes I see with Instagram accounts is that people use hashtags being used by their competitors, not their target audience. Chances are you have some competitors who are highly visible, so you want to make sure you’re using hashtags that will make you stand out among them.
How to research hashtags.
So how do you get your Instagram posts more visible? The key is to research the hashtags that influencers in your niche are using. Search for one of those general, widely used hashtags and click on a popular post.
What kind of engagement do they have? How many likes & comments are on that post? Which hashtags are they using? Chances are the influencer is using a mix of widely used hashtags (one mil or more posts) and smaller, niche specific tags.
If you’re looking for hashtags being used by your target market, the process for that is fairly similar. Find one of those top niche influencers like before and click on a recent post. Check out the profiles that have left comments. Do you see anyone who would be a target client? Visit their profile and see what hashtags they’re using. Search some of those hashtags to see what other types of profiles are using them also. If you can figure out what your target market is searching for you can tailor your hashtags to be put right in front of them.
Are there “bad” hashtags?
The only hashtag I would categorize as “bad” would be one that attracts the type of people you don’t want on your Instagram. Some profiles on Instagram only exist to spam relentlessly. The wrong hashtags can attract these bot accounts that spam your posts with smiley faces, “follow us to get 100k followers back” comments, and DM’s with offers and pitches that make you want to cringe. Some hashtags that have this effect are things like #happy, #instagood, and #followme. One easy way to recognize these hashtags is if they have over 100,000,000 posts.
It’s always a good idea to research the hashtags you’re planning on using to see what type of content pops up. This is the best way to make sure you aren’t using hashtags that generate spammy content.
How many hashtags should I use?
There are all kinds of opinions and expert advice out there for how many hashtags to use per post. Personally, I use all 30 of them. I use 20 of the same hashtags for just about every post that are niche specific, and 10 hashtags that are post specific. This gives me the most opportunity to get my post in front of my target audience and draw in engaged followers.
Experiment. Makes mistakes. Allow yourself to fail. Document your strategies and how your content is performing. If you’re not getting the engagement or results you’re looking for, try switching up your strategy. Your followers are fluid, not stagnant, and it’s important to make sure your profile operates the same way.
Angela is a creative virtual assistant and social media manager with a passion for working with female entrepreneurs to streamline their workflow and find more freedom in their business. She’s a small town country girl, determined to break out of the conformity of the 9-5 and build a legacy for her children to be ambitious and to walk in faith. Visit her website at www.contentstudio.site.