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How to Use Hashtags on Instagram

Hashtags make or break your Instagram campaign. Without them, your audience will not see your posts. The right tags also help shape your brand image on the platform.

The Power of the Instagram Hashtag

Hashtags are a crucial component of Instagram’s categorization system. They create the content streams that people use to find content.

Instagram hashtags are clickable, so people can see them on another person’s post, and click a tag to find your content elsewhere. Plus, users can choose to follow hashtags, giving you yet another method of discovery.

Types of Instagram Hashtags

The best Instagram posts usually contain about 11 tags that are one or more of the following types:

  • Basic words that describe the service or product
  • Specialty area or industry
  • Event tags
  • Location tags
  • Day of the week themes like #MotivationMonday
  • Branded hashtags specifically designed for the business

Use Hashtags Wisely

Develop a list of the hashtags that are best to use with your content. Don’t just make them up – research what is in use and double check the meaning of any hashtag before you use it.

Find tags by looking at related content and what’s trending on the platform. You can also use a hashtag generator to suggest hashtags based on the words and phrases already associated with your business.

Where to Use Hashtags

Hashtags should be used everywhere on Instagram: stories, videos, reels, captions and your bio.

Assess Hashtag Performance

The easiest way to discover which tags are working best for you is to use the Instagram Insights feature in your Business profile. The data will show you impressions and engagement.

Under the Discovery section, Instagram will tell you how many of your impressions came from hashtags, compared to the number coming from your profile or the Instagram home page.

Social Media Connects Brands and Customers

More pandemic research confirms that online touches – and social media in particular – are important tools for connecting and engaging customers. Salesforce​ surveyed over 3,500 consumers worldwide to learn how consumers engage with brands. Social media emerges as the most influential channel for communicating with consumers.

Social media was found to be the  the most interesting and most noticed channel across all demographics when asked to compare social, television and email. 54% of consumers say they notice brand content on social media always or frequently — a higher figure than any other channel.

The survey findings highlight three trends.

  1. Consumers value organizational models and use of technology that provide differentiated, digital-first customer engagement.
  2. Customers value personalized, empathetic engagement and expect messages that resonate with their individual needs.
  3. Metrics like customer satisfaction and digital engagement can be used to optimize online outreach.

Advice for Brands

The results also offered some advice for brands.

  • 59% of consumers believe the frequency of messages should be decreased
  • 58% say the variety of messages should increase
  • 73% want messages to focus on products rather than brand messages

Is Instagram Right for Your Brand?

Instagram is a social media platform with a strong focus on sharing visual content. It is used by over a billion users worldwide. Is the platform a good place to market your business?

Instagram by the Numbers

While Instagram continues to rise in popularity, its daily login is still second to Facebook. 63% of Instagram users login at least daily, while 74% of Facebook users login at least daily.

According to Statista, demographics break down as follows:

  • 43% of women, 31% men
  • 75%  age18–24
  • 57% age 25–30
  • 47% age 30–49
  • 23% age 50–64
  • 8% age 65+

Is Instagram the platform for you?

Instagram is generally considered to be a great platform for:

  • Businesses that have great photography to share
  • Businesses that sell physical products
  • Businesses that are community-oriented or that have an informal approach to their marketing

Instagram is an informal platform with a strong focus on visual content. To succeed you need to have original visual content to share.

Setting up Instagram for Your Business

  1. Download the app from the App Store or Google Play.
  2. Open the app and click on ‘Sign up’ to enter your information.
  3. To let Instagram know that this account is for your business, go to Settings in the app. (Find Settings under the icon shaped like a person in the bottom right corner of your screen.) Click on the hamburger menu in the top right corner. In Settings, go to Account and click ‘Switch to Professional account.’
  4. When you’ve switched to a business account, make sure to add information about your business to your account.

Getting Started

The best way to engage on Instagram is to start posting. Try different ideas and see what connects you with your target audience.

A great source of ideas is to look at the feed of similar businesses to see what they’re posting. You can also research best practices in your industry or field.

Let people know that you have a new account on Instagram. Add a link to your website and email signature. Mention it on your other social channels. Follow customers and people in your target audience for the hope of getting a follow in return.

Content Tips

Take some time to define the story you want to tell. Can you photograph people using or wearing your product? Can you use your posts to introduce the people working at your business? This is a great platform to help people see inside your business and to get to know you and your mission better.

Be consistent in how much you post and the overall look and tone of your posts. People who connect with you will expect consistency.

Research and use relevant hashtags. Adding the right hashtags will help people see your post. Research to discover the hashtags you can use to reach the right people. Use the hashtags that are most relevant to each post.