Instagram is one of my favorite social media platforms out there. And what’s the most important thing to remember when it comes to Instagram? Hashtags. At first, I didn’t utilize hashtags at all. Can you believe it? So today I want to go through why hashtags are so important and how you can find the best ones for your business. In order for you to see growth on Instagram, you need to use hashtags. Simple.
But I bet you’re thinking:
- Hashtags will annoy my followers
- They’re so time-consuming
- How do I even know which ones to use?
But if you use the right hashtags, you can rapidly grow your Instagram audience and engagement. The purpose of hashtags is that they allow you to categorize and organize your photos, which makes it easy for people to find them. So if you add a hashtag to a photo, each time someone searches for that keyword, your photo will appear.
Here are 5 strategies to help you find the best hashtags for your business.
1. Follow your competitors & influencers
Knowing the competitors in your niche will really help you as a business owner – and it’ll also help you on Instagram. They’re likely to have a similar target audience to you, so go follow them on Instagram and watch which hashtags they use. It’s not your goal to just copy them. You want to look at what they’re doing right. Bloggers and people with influence are also great places to search. Visit your favorite blogger’s account and see what hashtags they are using.
2. Use relevant hashtags
Hashtagging every other word is not the best strategy to use on Instagram. This will make people want to leave your feed immediately and it might also mean your photo is marked as spam, which could risk your whole account. Use hashtags that are most relevant to your business, industry, and audience. For instance, if you’re a vegan food blogger, you should be using hashtags like “vegan recipes”, “plant-based”, “vegan for life” and so on.
3. Research similar hashtags
One feature that’s really going to help you find new hashtags is the “related hashtags” search. You can search for a hashtag, then at the top, you’ll be able to scroll through a list of other suggested hashtags. This allows you to discover any others that are related to your brand. You can then repeat the process with each hashtag on your list.
4. Think about how you would describe your photo
The simplest way to research hashtags is to think about them descriptively. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to make sure that you’re getting the right people to see your content:
- Who? Who needs to see your photograph? Hashtag the people you are trying to reach as part of your main audience. Think about what they would search for.
- What? What is featured in the photo? Can you tag any brands? You can even tag other people in your photos too.
- Where? Where was the photo taken? Hashtag the location your photo was taken in, or if it was taken in your workspace, you can use hashtags such as #onmydesk.
- When? When was the photo taken? You can also use hashtags that relate to different days of the week, such as #MondayMotivation.
- Why? Why was the photo taken? Think about the reason for this and add hashtags that relate to that.
Finally, you can also add hashtags specifically related to your industry. You can use the “related hashtags” search to find more of these.
5. Create your own hashtag
Creating your own hashtag and encouraging your followers to use it is a great way to expand your reach on Instagram. It also helps to drive engagement and build a loyal community. This could be as simple as the name of your business, the name of your community or one of your products. Add your hashtag to each photo you post to create real brand awareness. Finding hashtags does take time and research – make sure you save them! Make a list of the ones you can use over and over again, so when it comes to using them, you can just copy and paste.
What hashtags will you be using for your business?