Hashtags: Everything You Need To Know
Understand the power of a Hashtag on Instagram, a tool to categorize content, increase discoverability, and connect with like-minded users.
What is a Hashtag on Instagram?
On Instagram, a hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#) used to categorize content and make it more discoverable. When users click on a hashtag, they're taken to a page that aggregates all the posts with that hashtag. This feature allows users to find posts related to specific topics or interests. Hashtags can be a powerful tool for influencers to increase the reach of their content, engage with their audience, and join trending conversations.
Examples of popular hashtags include #ThrowbackThursday, where users post nostalgic content, or #OOTD (Outfit Of The Day), popular among fashion influencers. Hashtags can be broad or niche, allowing for targeted audience engagement.
How do you effectively use hashtags on Instagram?
Effectively using hashtags on Instagram involves a combination of popular, trending, and specific tags that relate to the post's content. Influencers often use a mix of general hashtags to reach a wide audience and niche-specific hashtags to attract a more targeted group. It's also important to use relevant hashtags to maintain authenticity and engagement. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post, but using around 5 to 10 relevant hashtags is generally recommended for optimal engagement.
For example, a food influencer might use #Foodie, #InstaFood, and #Eats along with more specific tags like #VeganRecipes or #ComfortFood to attract viewers interested in those particular topics.
Can hashtags help you gain more followers on Instagram?
Yes, strategically using hashtags can help you gain more followers on Instagram. By making your content discoverable to a broader audience, hashtags increase the chances of engagement from users who aren't already following you. When these users find your content valuable or interesting, they are more likely to follow your account for more. However, the quality of content and consistency in posting are also crucial factors in growing your follower base.
An influencer might notice a surge in followers after participating in a viral hashtag challenge or by consistently using a branded hashtag that becomes popular within a community. This showcases the importance of understanding and engaging with current trends and the interests of your target audience.
Dos and Don'ts of Hashtag Usage
- Do use relevant hashtags that are specific to the content you are posting to reach your target audience effectively.
- Do research trending hashtags within your niche to increase the visibility of your posts.
- Do limit the number of hashtags you use to avoid looking spammy; a good rule of thumb is to use no more than 10 hashtags per post.
- Don't use overly generic or popular hashtags that can cause your content to get lost in a sea of posts.
- Don't use irrelevant hashtags just to jump on a trend, as this can disappoint your followers and reduce engagement.
- Don't use banned or spammy hashtags as this can lead to your content being shadowbanned or your account penalized by the platform.
How to Use Hashtags Effectively on Instagram
1. Research Trending Hashtags
Find out what hashtags are currently popular and relevant to your content. This will help increase your visibility and reach a wider audience.
2. Use Relevant Hashtags
Choose hashtags that are directly related to your post and target audience. This will help attract the right audience and increase engagement.
3. Mix Popular and Niche Hashtags
Include a combination of popular hashtags with a large number of posts and niche hashtags that are more specific to your content. This will help you reach a wider audience while also targeting a specific niche.
4. Limit the Number of Hashtags
While it's important to use hashtags, avoid overloading your posts with too many. Stick to a reasonable number, such as 5-10 relevant hashtags per post, to maintain a clean and focused appearance.
5. Create Branded Hashtags
Consider creating your own unique hashtag that represents your brand or campaign. Encourage your followers to use it in their posts to increase brand awareness and user-generated content.
6. Engage with Hashtags
Don't just use hashtags, actively engage with them. Like and comment on posts that use the same hashtags as you to increase your visibility and build connections with other users.
7. Analyze Hashtag Performance
Regularly monitor and analyze the performance of the hashtags you use. Identify which ones are generating the most engagement and adjust your hashtag strategy accordingly.
What Are Ideas for Using Hashtags on Instagram?
1. Trending Hashtags
One idea for using hashtags on Instagram is to use trending hashtags. These are hashtags that are currently popular and being used by a large number of users. By using trending hashtags, your posts have a higher chance of being discovered by a wider audience.
2. Niche Hashtags
Another idea is to use niche hashtags that are specific to your content or industry. These hashtags may have a smaller audience but are more targeted, meaning that the people who discover your posts through these hashtags are more likely to be interested in your content.
3. Branded Hashtags
Branded hashtags are hashtags that are unique to your brand or business. Using branded hashtags can help create a sense of community and encourage your followers to engage with your content. It also makes it easier for you to track user-generated content related to your brand.
4. Location-Based Hashtags
If you have a local business or are targeting a specific location, using location-based hashtags can help you reach a relevant audience in that area. These hashtags can include the name of the city, neighborhood, or popular landmarks.
5. Hashtags for Special Events
Lastly, using hashtags for special events or holidays can help you join conversations and increase your visibility during those times. These hashtags can be related to specific holidays, industry events, or even popular cultural events.