Hashtags are one of the best ways to grow your Instagram account. It’s important to include hashtags in your posts if you want them to be discovered by users who don’t yet follow you. We share 7 useful tips below.
1. Don’t include all your hashtags in the caption
Instagram lets you include up to 30 hashtags per post but a long list looks cluttered. We recommend including a couple in your Instagram caption and the rest in a comment below your post. This is also useful if you share your Instagram posts to your Facebook page as hashtags are not widely used on Facebook and look out of place, by including them in a caption they won’t be shared across.
2. Avoid the most popular hashtags
It can be tempting to use some of the most popular hashtags within your Instagram posts. Hashtags such as #love, #Instagood and #Photooftheday have hundreds of millions of posts. It is unlikely however that your post will make it into the Top Posts section and they will very quickly disappear down the list of Recent Posts too. Using these hashtags won’t help a great deal with your account growth. Instead try using less popular but more specific hashtags that are more likely to drive engagement. If you have a fairly small following, hashtags with less than 50,000 results are more likely to be discovered.
3. Search for related hashtags in Instagram
If you need some hashtag inspiration, there is a really easy way to find new hashtags within the Instagram app. Go to the Discover tab by clicking the magnifying glass icon along the bottom, type a hashtag that you already use in the search bar at the top, Instagram will then bring up a list of hashtags. Click on the most relevant one and you will be taken to a page with the posts for that hashtag. But the bit we’re looking for is the small bar above the ‘Top Posts’ that says ‘Related’. Here you will find a list of related hashtags that you can swipe through. Do this for a few hashtags and hopefully you will find some new ones to try out on your posts.
4. Look at what hashtags are popular in your industry
Other ways of finding hashtags to use in your posts include researching your audience and target customers and looking at what they are using. You could also check out your competitors hashtags and look at what influencers in your industry such as bloggers are using too. The key is making sure all hashtags you use are relevant and are likely to be searched for by your target audience.
5. Save your most used hashtags
This is a useful tip for saving a little time when posting to Instagram. Why not save your most used hashtags in a note on your phone, so you can quickly and easily copy and paste into Instagram.
6. Avoid blocked or censored hashtags
Did you know that some hashtags are censored or blocked on Instagram and you should avoid using them in your posts? This is an attempt by Instagram to stop pornographic or unacceptable images appearing in our hashtag search streams. But some of the hashtags seem innocent enough!
Try searching for the classic #DogsofInstagram and you will find only 39 Top Posts rather than the 71 million that have actually been posted. The list of blocked hashtags is constantly changing but when posting we found the following hashtags were currently included:- #desk, #costumes, #easter, #eggplant, #humpday, #instamood, #mirrorphoto, #streetphoto, #sunbathing, #tgif, #todayImwearing, #womancrushwednesday and even just #woman.
7. Come up with a branded hashtag for your business
A branded hashtag is unique to your business and could simply be the name of your business, your tagline or even a particular product. Alternatively you could come up with a hashtag that doesn’t include your business name but gets across your brand ethos.
An example of a successful branded hashtag is Coca-Cola’s #ShareACoke. They encourage people to share images of themselves and friends enjoying the drink, using the hashtag.
Having a branded hashtag is a great way to encourage user generated content. These are photos or even videos created by your customers. They could be using your products or even at your venue or event. It’s important when coming up with a branded hashtag to keep it fairly short and easy to spell so it’s simple for people to remember.
We hope you found this post useful, if you have any further tips for using hashtags on Instagram please feel free to share them with us below.