Instagram hashtags: Love them or hate them, your Instagram photos need to be filled with strategic hashtags. Hashtags, when used correctly, can work miracles when it comes to helping your post and page’s reach, engagement, and overall growth. Check out this guide for creating and implementing a Instagram hashtag to increase your page’s engagement and visibility.

Importance of Instagram Hashtags

  1. Discoverability: Having a great Instagram hashtag strategy can help your page become more discoverable to users and potential followers. What do I mean by this? When you include a relevant hashtag on your photo, there’s a good chance a user will see your photo and engage with it. Using the right hashtags also increases the likelihood of gaining new followers (and potentially new customers) on your page. Instagram recently released a “hashtag follow” feature for users. With this feature, users can follow specific hashtags and allow photos that include those hashtags to appear in their feed. This is a great way for you to be seen by other Instagram users and for you to find other accounts to engage with as well.
  2. Community engagementUsing Instagram hashtags can help you engage with your community and promote user generated content (UGC). Asking your followers to use a specific hashtag when mentioning your brand is a great way to obtain future content for your social media websites and spark a conversation around your brand.

Where to Use Instagram Hashtags

  1. In your photos: 99.9% of your hashtags will be posted with your pictures. You can include up to 30 hashtags before it stops you from adding any more. Many brands choose to add hashtags at the end of their captions, but you can also add your hashtags as the first comment on your picture. It’s up to you where you post your hashtags — If you want people to see which ones you’re using, post them at the end of your caption. If you want to hide your hashtags or don’t care if people see them or not, then include them in your comments section
  2. In bio section: If you have a “branded” hashtag (more on that later), you can add it to your Instagram bio to make followers aware of your hashtag and give them an easy way to access it.
  3. On Instagram stories: You also have the option to add hashtags in your Instagram stories (sorry, there’s a 10 hashtag max). You can add your hashtag two ways: The first way is by simply typing it as the text in your photo. The second way is by using the #Hashtag sticker option. I personally prefer using the sticker option (like in the picture above), but it depends on what you’re hashtagging and the look you are going for.

Types of Hashtags

  1. Branded hashtags: Branded hashtags are exactly what they sound like: hashtags that are made specific for your brand. Whether you’re launching a new product, have an event, or just want customers to use a specific hashtag when mentioning your business, branded hashtags are the way to go. For example, we use #BadRhinoSocialMedia with every picture we post. When someone visits our office and snaps a pic, they can use the #BadRhinoSocialMedia hashtag to let us know they’re joining the conversation. Branded hashtags are also great to use when your company has an upcoming event. You can create a hashtag related to your event and use it with every photo you post leading up to day. At the beginning of the event (and throughout the day), you can ask attendees to use this hashtag if they post any photos. This is a great way to start the buzz and create a conversation.
  2. Trending hashtags: Using trending hashtags is the best way to get your post noticed. You can find popular hashtags organically by doing a quick search of industry influencers to see which ones they’re using. You can also find them by typing in your keyword and seeing which popular results pop up that include that same keyword (see photo above). If you’re too impatient to do your own digging, there are websites out there to show you which hashtags are trending. Sites like RiteTag gives you hashtag suggestions based on real time hashtag engagement of your target audience.
  3. Relevant hashtags: No matter what, do not use irrelevant hashtags. All of your hashtags should be somewhat related to your photo, your brand, and the industry your company is in. It makes no sense to waste a hashtag if it has nothing in the world to do with what you’re posting. You’ll see the best results when your photos are being seen by your target audience, so make sure to use hashtags that are related your community, brand, and so on.

Tracking an Instagram Hashtag

Want to see how effective your hashtag strategy is? When you have an Instagram business profile, you can measure hashtags under “view insights”. This will give you a good idea of how many photo engagements are coming in from users searching your hashtag.

We’d love to hear your Instagram hashtag strategy success stories! Let us know how you use hashtags on your business profile in the comments below. Want some help developing your own Instagram strategy? Contact us to get started.