If you’ve seen hashtags on a variety of Instagram posts and are wondering what it’s all about, this article is for you. It will also be a help to those who are already using them but don’t truly know why. Believe it or not, they are an immensely powerful tool when it comes to making the most of social media marketing. Using a hashtag in front of a word or phrase when posting on social media turns the term into a clickable link. If readers choose to click on that link, and many of them will, they get taken to another page where all posts using that hashtag are displayed. Let’s look at the reasons why that’s a good thing.
Why You Should Use Hashtags on Instagram
There are several valid reasons to start using hashtags when posting on Instagram. By using hashtags, you are making it much easier for potential customers to stumble across your business. It is a great way of growing your audience, because a post of yours might be seen when a person is looking at different hashtags. Using them will also mean your posts get far more engagement.
Research conducted just a few years ago showed that using a minimum of one hashtag means an increase of more than 12% in visibility. What’s more, another great reason why you should use hashtags is because of their simplicity – use a common and relevant phrase which brings in traction, and you’ll improve your online visibility immensely.
It’s already been mentioned that they are easy to use. However, there are a few rules you need to consider. Let’s share them with you, so that you’re on the right track. Including hashtags in your Instagram bio will not be clickable, unless a reader is using the web version of Instagram. Via the app, they will be visible but won’t be interactive. You’ll be fine if you want to use numbers when creating a hashtag, but spaces and special characters don’t work. As a general guideline, when it comes to creating them, keep it simple. A golden rule is to use hashtags that are relevant and not to spam your content with far too many.
Tips on Choosing Your Hashtags
The first place to start is to look at what your competitors are doing. Are they using certain hashtags more frequently than others? That’s not to say you should copy what they’re doing. Simply use it as inspiration.
Influencers in your industry are also a good resource worth checking out. For instance, if you’re a retail business who sells women’s clothing, then see what the most popular Instagram stars are using – #ootd, #instafasion and #fashionblogger are all well used hashtags people scroll through.
If you’re wondering how many you can use, then 11 or more have been found to work best. You can use up to 30, but be wary, as too many can have a negative impact.
Remember, don’t use the most popular ones as your content will be lost in a feed almost instantly. You want to find the balance between popular hashtags, and ones that are niche enough to allow you to be seen. Proper research will need to be conducted.
One final word of advice is to check whether a particular hashtag has inappropriate content linked to it. You be surprised how much explicit content is attached to the most innocent of hashtags. These are the ones you don’t want to be linked with in any way.