Instagram hashtags are an easy and effective way to increase your engagements and get your posts seen by more users. According to Instagram, a post with at least one hashtag, on average, increases engagement by 12.6%! Creating a few hashtags is one thing, but implementing a hashtag strategy is a great way to grow your followers, increase brand awareness, boost your engagement rates and more.
Module Outline and Objectives:
What are Instagram hashtags and how do they work
Why you should be using them to increase your engagement
How to track and measure the effectiveness of your hashtags
How to follow hashtags to connect with new users
Adding a clickable hashtag in your bio to increase profile views
How to find the best hashtags to use
How do hashtags work?
Similar to other social media platforms, hashtags organize and categorize your content on Instagram.
Every post (up to 30) or story (up to 10) can include hashtags, and each one allows you to be seen by your current and future followers.
For example, a real estate professional might post a picture of an impeccable estate and then use the hashtags #luxuryresidential, #luxuryrealestate, and #luxuryliving. Once used, the picture is cataloged for other Instagram users who want to see luxury real estate.
Again, this is a simple method, however, a hashtag instantly gets your posts into the hands of the audience looking for that content.
Instagram knows the effectiveness of hashtags and has recently released new features and tracking methods for your hashtags.
Why should you use Instagram hashtags?
There have been many changes to Instagram, from IGTV to new stickers, however, one feature has stood the test of time, hashtags.
When you use a relevant hashtag on your posts or stories, you increase the odds of being discovered by more people on Instagram. A hashtag, when used correctly, increases engagements, grows your amount of followers and drives more potential clients to you business.
Tracking your hashtags with insights
If you still haven’t done so, here’s another reason to use an Instagram business profile. You know have the ability to track the effectiveness of your hashtags on your posts, which allows you to make necessary adjustments to reach an even larger audience.
To view this data, open any post and click View Insights in the bottom left corner.
Then, Swipe Up and you’ll see all of the data for that post, including profile visits, website clicks, calls, follows, reach, and a breakdown of how your post was discovered, among other stats.
Under the Discovery section, look for the From Hashtags area. This number tells you the additional people that discovered your post due to the hashtags you used.
How to follow hashtags
Released in 2018, Instagram added the ability to follow hashtags, giving you the ability to monitor various topics that are related to your business and interests.
Following a hashtag works the same way as following a profile. When you locate a hashtag that you want to follow, click on the hashtag to open up its page and click the follow button. Alternatively, you can use the search field to find a tag and follow it.
This is a great way for you to connect with more users and increase your own engagement.
By following a hashtag referencing a city, park, community, beach, etc. you can see more user content. If you engage with that post and they engage back, according to the Instagram Algorithm, you’re increasing your engagements rate which will get your future posts seen by more people.
You can even create a branded hashtag like #WhoYouHireTrulyMatters, and encourage others to follow it (like you should) in order to potentially appear twice in a user’s feed — once seeing your post, and once again seeing your post because they follow the branded hashtag.
Action Item: If you haven’t already done so, create a branded hashtag, like #WhoYouHireTrulyMatters (feel free to use this one as well) , and encourage your clients, sphere, etc. to follow it.
Adding a clickable hashtag to your bio
Another updated feature Instagram recently released was the ability to add a clickable hashtag to your Instagram bio. This is just one of the ways to optimize your profile on Instagram.
Get creative with this feature! You can use use hashtags for everything from promoting your community to highlighting a listing and even covering a client appreciate event.
Just add the # sign before any word in your bio to automatically make it a clickable link.
Adding hashtags to your stories
Although this isn’t a new feature, it’s one that many users don’t utilize effectively. Adding hashtags to your Instagram Stories gives users yet another way for their content to be seen by more people. You are allowed up to 10 hashtags in your stories.
You can type your hashtags out onto your story with the text tool, or you can use the hashtag sticker to add a colorful hashtag of your choice.
Just like adding a hashtag to a post, adding one or more hashtags on your stories will allow that story to be found through the search and explore pages. This means that any user searching for that hashtags, or interested in hashtags that are similar, will now be able to view your story. Cha-ching!
Word of advice: If you have the time, use hashtags on your stories and then hide them. This is a cool trick and allows you to share a post to your story, then adding hashtags and dragging the post over them. Now, your content could be discovered in 3 ways (on your profile, through the hashtags on your post and through the hashtags on your story).
Organizing your hashtags for easy access
Let’s be real, typing out 30 additional hashtags onto every post is, well… let’s just say we don’t recommend that. Instead, adding the hashtags that are relevant to your brand or business on a spreadsheet, like Google sheets, is one way to organize your hashtags. Alternatively, you can keep them on a “note” on your phone.
Finding the best hashtags to use
We’ve solidified that hashtags can help you increase your engagements, grow your reach, and attract the clients that have the same interests as you.
In order to create a successful hashtag strategy, you should be strategic about what hashtags you use.
In 2018, the most popular hashtag on Instagram was #love. However, although it was used millions of times, don’t jump to the conclusion that you should now add #love to all of your posts.
Rather than only using the most popular hashtags, it is more effective to find and use complimentary hashtags that are based on a niche relevant to your industry and community.
For example, rather than just using #YourCity, add complimentary hashtags based on your interests that are relevant to the post: #YourCityYoga, #YourCityFood, #YourCityMoms, #YourCityFitness.
Again, you want to ATTRACT the type of people you want to work with, and Instagram hashtags allow you to do so.
When should you use hashtags?
In short, as much as possible, when relevant and applicable. Whether you’re sharing a post or a story, if your goal is to get that piece of content see by the highest amount of people, you must be using hashtags.
If you’re sharing something sensitive, personal, etc. sometimes hashtags should be left off. You don’t want to “rub” people the wrong way.
Also, you don’t want to use “spammy” hashtags. Meaning, only use hashtags relevant to that post.
Check on Knowledge
What is the maximum number of hashtags you can use on an Instagram post?
True or False: Adding at least one hashtag to your post increases the engagement, on average, by 12.6%.
How many hashtags can you use in an Instagram story?
D. None of the above
Check on Knowledge Answers: 1 | D 2 | A 3 | B