The word “hashtag” was added to the Oxford Dictionary in 2014. It’s rapid increasing use is a train to jump on board! In case you don’t know what a hashtag is, it’s a word or phrase preceded by a pound sign that is used to identify specific posts, conversations or topics on social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram. Hashtags are essential on high-discovery, visual platforms such as Instagram. Businesses and Brands are able to post content and hashtag to group it with relevant topics and will expand the post’s visibility. However, some brands tend to abuse this strategy by adding a whole slew of hashtags. To avoid a big blunder, I’ve compiled a few pieces of advice to live by when using Instagram hashtags for your brand:
Less Is More!
Instagram allows you to add up to 30 hashtags each post. This has become more of a faux pas for social media enthusiasts and marketers. Adding numerous hashtags can look spammy to some users and personally, I scroll right on by why I see a bunch even if the image is compelling. Try to avoid using bulk hashtags because they can overload the caption and completely diminish the quality of the post. Sticking with 5-10 hashtags per post is a little sweet-spot, making sure your hashtags are relevant. If you have a larger ‘fan base’ on Instagram (1,000+ followers), avoid using more than 5 relevant hashtags. If you are still growing your brand’s followers, you have more wiggle room for hashtag usage numbers, but round them to about 10 or 11.
Research Relevant Tags
Recently, Instagram updated its app to include more detailed explore and search feature. Simply hit the Search bar and you can lookup specific users, hashtags and/or places. The Explore feature also will show you trending hashtags and some most popular posts featuring those hashtags right on your homepage. If the trending hashtags are relevant to your content, it will be beneficial and wise to use them when you post your photos or videos.
If you’re looking for more specific topics, start using the Search bar! Instagram will create a grouped result- from related hashtags to users you might be interested in following. It also tells you how many people are using that hashtag. The more people using the hashtag, the more chance of it being seen! Using the Explore feature is key in determining which hashtags brands should be used to gain more exposure.
Hashtags as a Tool for User Discovery
As just explained, Hashtags promote discover and can be used to cope out influential users. Popular users (highly engaged follower base and a lot of followers) typically show up at the top f the hashtag feed designated section. If you’re looking for a brand ambassador or blogger that will promote your and review your products, Instagram can be a huge help! Simple find your most relevant hashtag through searching and take a look at some of the top posters. If you find a user profile that embodies your brand, you can DM (direct message) or comment on the post to contact them to talk more. Don’t forget to follow them, of course!
Popular All-Encompassing Hashtags
Its in your best interest to participate in weekly, daily or even monthly conversations that are open to all users. Typically, these hashtags have a very active follower base and can get your posts more engagement. Some of these include:
#MotivationMonday – 1,245,722 posts
#Motivation – 62,118,571 posts
#TipTuesday – 36,972 posts
#WayBackWednesday – 887,058 posts
#WBW (Way Back Wednesday) – 464,963 posts
#ThrowbackThursday – 36,038,137 posts
#TBT (Throwback Thursday) – 348,379,400 posts
#POTD (Pic of the Day) – 20,184,735 posts
#Inspo (Inspiration) – 3,810,650 posts
#FlashbackFriday – 9,623,835 posts
#FBF (Flashback Friday) – 12,313,439 posts
#SundayFunday – 18,354,244 posts
#WorkLife – 1,266,401 posts
Now that you have a hashtag handbook, think you can put the knowledge to the test? You can’t go wrong! If you have any comments, questions, thoughts or ideas, don’t hesitate to comment below!