If marketing on Instagram was taking place in the Middle Ages, the social media pro you are would be a worthy knight and hashtag his faithful sword.Demonstrate skill in conquering new territories (or developing brand awareness) and thus strengthening your magnificent kingdom (also called “business”).
This guide will allow you to become as skillful in handling hashtags on Instagram as Lancelot with his sword. You will find out why you should use hashtags, how to use them, and how to choose the ones that will help you achieve your goals on social media.
If you need help understanding this platform for sharing photos and videos beyond the simple use of hashtags, check out our blog posts, guides and resources dedicated to marketing on Instagram here.
Ready to get started?
1. What is a hashtag on Instagram?
2. Why use hashtags on Instagram?
3. How to add a hashtag to an Instagram publication?
4. How to choose the right hashtags on Instagram?
5. How many hashtags to use on Instagram?
6. Using branded hashtags on Instagram
7. Instagram tips and good practices related to hashtags
# 1 – What is a hashtag on Instagram?
On Instagram, a hashtag is a word or phrase that includes letters, numbers, and / or emoticons, and precedes the symbol with the sweet name cross (#).
The hashtags allow to classify the content. Simply click on one of them to browse all the publications that use it. Thus, by associating a hashtag with your photos and videos, you allow all the people seeking this hashtag to discover your publications. The likelihood that your content will be discovered by other users depends on the frequency of use of the hashtag, the popularity of your publication (is it already associated with a lot of likes and comments?) And The size of your subscriber base.
# 2 – Why use hashtags on Instagram?
The hashtags allow Instagram users to discover content and accounts to follow. By using the appropriate hashtag (s), you will make your brand known to an audience that is both extensive and focused. Not only will you be easier to find, but you will also increase your chances of attracting new subscribers, multiplying the likes and strengthening entries. Indeed, according to a study by Simply Measured, publications with at least one hashtag generate, on average, a commitment 12.6% higher than publications that do not.
# 3 – How to add a hashtag to an Instagram publication?
You can add hashtags to your publications as a caption or comment. If your account is public, your publication will be accessible on the corresponding hashtag page . To add a hashtag in the legend of a publication:
- Take or upload a photo.
- Choose a filter (and / or use the other editing tools provided by Instagram) and enter the # sign in the legend field , followed by a text or an emoticon.
- Press OK at the top of the screen.
- Then share
To add hashtags to an already online publication, tap the three-point icon in the upper-right corner and click Edit . You can also tap the bubble icon below the photo to enter your hashtags as a comment.
As we saw earlier, numbers and emoticons are allowed in hashtags. This is not the case for spaces and special characters like & and $ . Two other key points:
- You can only add hashtags to your posts: photos and videos of other users are not affected.
- You can use up to 30 hashtags per publication. Beyond that, your comment will not be displayed.
# 4 – How to choose the right hashtags on Instagram for your brand?
The hashtags to use depend on the market in which your company operates.
Let’s say you’re the social media manager for a travel agency. Many hashtags are popular with frequent travelers. Use them to win some I love. However, if you really want to strengthen commitment and seduce quality subscribers, be more specific. If you are publishing a photo of a travel destination, add the name of the place in question and the name of the hotel, if applicable.
What are the hashtags followed by your target audience? There are several strategies to know.
4 tips for finding the ultimate hashtags
1. Take a look at the hashtags used by your competitors . You will be able to borrow some of them or, on the contrary, ban them to avoid any frontal competition and then opt for alternatives.
2. Choose hashtags used by opinion leaders in your sector . These people already have a high weight with your target audience, tap into their expertise!
3. Do not neglect similar hashtags . Browse through publications containing a hashtag that you already use successfully. Perhaps you will discover a trend or other common hashtags that you might include in your upcoming publications.
4. Use the Instagram search function . Enter a keyword related to your brand in the search bar, then select the # tab . Instagram will give you a list of all hashtags containing that keyword, as well as the number of publications associated with each hashtag. Remember that a high number may mean that many people follow this hashtag, but also that your publication may end up being drowned in tons of content. Test a mix of popular and more specific hashtags.
A golden rule applies to choosing hashtags on Instagram: only use hashtags in connection with your brand, your sector and your target audience . #Love is one of the most popular hashtags on Instagram: it appears in no less than 893 million publications. However, your brand will not attract the audience to this hashtag by using it on a picture of a lifeless conference room. By constantly associating your photos with popular hashtags but unrelated to their content, you might even be reported as a spammer.
# 5 – How many hashtags to use on Instagram?
Instagrameurs get tired of hashtags less easily than Facebook and Twitter users. In a TrackMaven study of Instagram accounts with a maximum of 1,000 subscribers , publications containing 4 or 5 hashtags received an average of 22 interactions, compared with only 14 for publications without hashtags. Even publications with 11 or more hashtags generate, on average, a greater number of interactions than publications without hashtags.
However, this does not mean that you must add 30 hashtags (maximum allowed) to each of your publications. By using the most popular hashtags on your photos and videos, you will probably gain subscribers, but they will probably be spammers or people who simply want to be followed in their turn. Moreover, the multiplication of hashtags can weaken your message and make you seem ready for anything for a little attention.
Use the content of the publication to determine the number and type of hashtags to use.
# 6 – Using branded hashtags on Instagram
What is a brand hashtag?
A brand hashtag is a hashtag specific to your business or campaign. This may be your company name, slogan, or the name of one of your products. It can also be the name of an Instagram contest you organize.
Herschel Supply Co. uses several branded hashtags, including #herschelsupply and #welltraveled . The latter was created as part of a campaign to encourage brand customers to share their travel photos on which Herschel products appear. Today used in more than 1.15 million publications, it is often considered to be the most popular travel hashtag of Instagram.
How to use branded hashtags?
Like Herschel, you can create a brand hashtag for a specific campaign or simply to highlight your company’s culture, products or services.
If you are running a campaign on Instagram, be aware that a brand hashtag will increase participation and commitment. It will also make it possible to gather all the publications that contain it on a specific page. This feature may be useful for collecting entries in a promotional offer or a contest.
Hootsuite followed this method for #IWorkFromHere , in which we asked participants to upload a photo of their workspace on Instagram (or Twitter) using our mobile app.
All the contributions to be associated with the hashtag #IWorkFromHere , they could be classified automatically and collected on a page of hashtag . Outside the framework of specific campaigns, we use the hashtag #HootsuiteLife to showcase the culture of our business or #Hootdogs devoted to the dogs of our employees, also work companions!
# 7 – Tips and good practices related to hashtags on Instagram
Summary of the points addressed and strategies enabling you to reach your goals on Instagram:
1. Do not use hashtags unrelated to your content and exercise restraint . It is true that Instagram allows you to add no less than 30 hashtags per publication. For all that, trying to slip a popular hashtag unrelated to your content in your publication, you blur your message and may be perceived as a spammer. Instead, use a dozen hashtags to reinforce the commitment, but only if they all correspond to the publication with which they are associated.
2. Use specific hashtags or niche . The more specific the hashtag, the more targeted the audience is, which translates into greater chances of achieving quality commitment. As we explained in our previous post, Hashtags: to do and (absolutely) avoid , if you target Volkswagen fans, the hashtag #vwvan will allow you to attract more subscribers among them than the hashtag # Van .
3. Do not neglect popular hashtags . As long as they are related to the content and used sparingly, they can help you extend your reach without making you look desperate.
4. Consider checking that the hashtag you have in mind means what you think . You may unwittingly associate your brand with a negative or doubtful campaign. By combining two or three words, you can form new ones that would be best avoided. Before using a hashtag, browse its page to make sure that the content associated with it is what you think.
5. Choose brand hashtags that are short, simple and easy to write . So your fans and customers will remember it easily. It is recommended to be specific, but a hashtag like #SanFranciscoLuxuryCarEnthusiasts for a high-end car show has a big chance of making a flop because of its length. #SFCarLovers seems more indicated.
6. Hide your hashtags . If you want to keep legends sober, you can “hide” your hashtags in two ways.
– Include them in the comments section under the publication. Once other people have left comments, hashtags will be invisible unless the user presses the option to display all comments.
– You can also separate your hashtags from the caption by inserting dots and line breaks. In the caption or comment box, press the 123 key on the keyboard, then touch Back, and enter a period. Repeat this procedure at least 5 times. Instagram truncates legends of more than three lines. Users will not see hashtags unless they press the option
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