Why Hashtags Matter And How To Use Them
Are you using hashtags effectively? If you answered no, do you know that posts with hashtags get twice as much engagement as posts without hashtags? Yes, DOUBLE! We understand that social media isn’t just about vanity metrics and gaining more followers, but what if you could reach more people and build a stronger community by utilizing hashtags?
Instagram has seen a lot of changes since it started in 2010, but hashtags are one tactic that still holds immense importance. By utilizing hashtags (on posts and stories) you can reach new audiences beyond who already follow you. Hashtags work to organize your post into the categories and when you’re using relevant hashtags, you’ll be able to reach an audience of like-minded individuals who may not have connected with you before. See below:
Add a selection of hashtags to the end of
your copy (or as the first comment below
your post) that are relevant to your post and
Your insights will show you how many
people saw your post because of
your hashtags. You can see they work!
Here’s how to utilize hashtags effectively and strategically:
Create a hashtag library: Most scheduling tools (like Later & Planoly) have a feature that allows you to save hashtags, but you can also just save your relevant hashtags in a notebook app on your phone. This allows you to save time while creating your post (hello copy and paste)! Our big tip with hashtag libraries = organization. If you can organize your hashtags into categories it will allow you to quickly choose groups of hashtags relevant to your specific post.
Add hashtags to your stories: You can use up to 10 hashtags in your stories and the best part? You can hide them, so they don’t draw away from your story or busy up your image/video. Our big tip with story hashtags = don’t make the tags too small, otherwise Instagram won’t use them.
Create a branded hashtag: Branded hashtags are great because they’re specific to you and help drive more brand awareness. You can use them to run hashtag based campaigns and promotions (increasing your reach). Once you’ve created a branded hashtag, encourage followers to follow the specific tag, this will allow you to potentially be in their feed twice: once under your profile and once under the branded hashtag. Win, win! Our big tip with branded hashtags = add your branded hashtag into your Instagram bio. This will make your bio more clickable and likely lead to more website visits.
Analyze Insights: It’s important to keep a pulse on your efforts and see what’s working well, what isn’t and adjust accordingly. Our big tip with analyzing = not all hashtags are going to be successful, so ditch the ones that aren’t working and swap them for different ones.
Use the “right” amount of hashtags: This is a highly debated topic. Some people say you should use the maximum amount of hashtags you’re allowed with each post (30), while others say 5-10. You can trial what works for you and find your “Goldilocks number” (which might be different for the type of post). Our big tip with quantity = Use relevant hashtags it truly is quality over quantity. Don’t just throw in a hashtag for the sake of trying to get more views on your post as that will just drive down your engagement. Be strategic, don’t just blanket each post with the same hashtags.
You don’t have to overcomplicate your hashtag strategy, but by trialing and implementing some of the tips above we can guarantee you’ll be able to increase your reach and continue building your Instagram community. Not sure if your hashtag strategy (or lack thereof) is working? Book a free audit with us to find out!