Hashtag Optimisation Guide
Hashtags are paramount in getting your Instagram account out there in front of new audiences. It is such a simple concept yet it is tricky to get right.
Join us as we dive into our guide for using Instagram hashtags to get new followers.
What Are Hashtags?
Before getting stuck in and trying to maximise the effectiveness of your hashtags, it is important to understand what they are and how they work.
Instagram hashtags are essentially just a system of categorising content on Instagram. It’s as simple as that.
It allows all of Instagram’s subcultures within the platform to appeal to their target niche, rather than being lost amongst a sea of various users.
Foodies Case Example
Food blogs have become a massive part of Instagram, with full-time foodies and bloggers reaching millions of people with recipes, food ideas and more.
The healthy eating trend has also accelerated this interest in food and drink on Instagram, with popular hashtags like #vegan gaining 82 million posts.
This means if a food account posts a picture with #vegan in the caption, it will appear in the search results for this hashtag.
This gives small accounts as well as big accounts the same even playing field for reaching out to new audiences.
Instagram Introduces Follow Hashtags
One recent improvement rolled out by Instagram is the addition of the ability to follow hashtags.
This lets users keep track of popular and trending posts within a certain hashtags, meaning that accounts should be maximising their use of hashtags and how they are used.
How To Maximise Use of Hashtags
Ok so we know what hashtags are and what they do, but in order to use the hashtag system to its full potential, we have to dive a little deeper.
1. Start Hashtag Research and Analysis
The first port of call should be researching the hashtags in your specific niche and compiling a list of successful tags.
There are plenty of third-party tools like Keyhole and Hashtracking that offer in-depth analysis of hashtags and other social media metrics.
Hashtracking lets you tap into the audience that is engaging with these tags based on users, geographic location, buzzwords, other related hashtags and even the time and day that sees the biggest level of engagement.
Keyhole is another great tool that lets you see posts within a certain time frame using your target hashtag.
It allows you to see the level of engagement the post has seen, as well as the caption with other hashtags used.
You can also click through and view the post and the user to gain insights as to how they manage their Instagram content.
2. Follow The Popular Hashtags
Now that you have some idea of the best hashtags to use, start following them using the new hashtag follow function on Instagram.
This will allow you to stay connected with the community based on how they are using content and hashtags together.
It will also allow you to find and connect with key community players, which can lead to partnerships and networking opportunities.
The following hashtag tool is a new development on the platform and Instagram has said that there will be further developments in this area.
3. Start Using Branded Hashtags
A branded hashtag is one that is unique to your business and is the perfect way to diversify your online marketing techniques. A branded hashtag could quite simply be your brand name, tagline or the name of a product.
View this post on Instagram
If you haven’t already guessed, I LOVE @cocacola! I don’t drink it often. It is more like a special treat or celebration drink. But it is my absolute FAVORITE! What is your favorite drink? • • PHOTO by @collettebonapartephoto ♥️✨ HAIR by @briellehair ♥️✨ STYLED by @chaminajjanpsych in @vansgirls @vans @americaneagle ♥️✨ REPRESENTED by @newyorkmodelskids • • #cocacola #shareacoke #modellife #protectivestyles #blackgirlsrock #brooklynstyle #mixedkids #WhereBrooklynAat #NYMMKids Edit by the #mamarazzi
Coca-Cola’s branded hashtag campaign is #ShareACoke which features 650,000 posts.
The key is to generate excitement around the hashtag and get your followers using the hashtag as well. If you can do this then you are using hashtags in a communal way where customers are involved in the campaign as well.
4. Use Hashtags in Your Bio
Not everyone knows that you can actually use clickable hashtags in your Instagram account bio. This great feature makes your biography even more functional as you can showcase your current campaigns and branded content right from your bio.
When someone clicks on your account and sees your bio, they for a snap judgement on your account based on what they see.
The more interactive you can make your bio the more likely they are to explore your account and content and a clickable hashtag makes this much easier.
5. Start Using Hashtags
This seems obvious but you have to just start using them to the fullest. Use around 10 or so hashtags at a time and rotate them so as not to appear spammy.
Use them on posts, stories, comments, everywhere you can! Your goal should be to get them seen by as many people as possible.
You want to get maximum engagement in your post and within a quick timeframe, in order to gain traction on your hashtags.
Hashtags are no longer just a way of filling up captions with generic hashtags that get lost amongst a sea of other users.
They can now be utilised on various levels to better reach customers and generate real engagement with the Instagram community.
Try using a few of our techniques on your brand and start tailoring your social media campaigns to fit around you.
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