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How to use Instagram hashtags

Instagram hashtags are powerful. When used properly, they can skyrocket your account’s reach and engagement. But knowing how to implement the correct hashtag strategy can be challenging. Contrary to common belief, it goes beyond just using generic ones such as #throwbackthursday, and actually delving deeper into your target market’s search habits. In saying this, it doesn’t have to be rocket science either. In reality, using the correct hashtags is a simple process, which is why we’ve written this how-to guide that you can easily use for your own account!

Why are hashtags useful?

First things first, let’s address why you should be using hashtags on every single one of your posts. Put simply, Instagram has very limited search capabilities. That’s where hashtags come in: they allow you to come up in what your target market is specifically searching for.

To view hashtags, tap on the magnifying glass in the search bar and go to ‘tags’. When you enter a search term, posts that have used this hashtag will be featured and sorted into two tabs: ‘Top’ and ‘Recent’. All the posts in the ‘Top’ tab are algorithmically sorted based on your interests and what type of content you interact with. People can also follow a particular hashtag, and once they do that, the content will show up on their feed.

Now that you know how to view them, let’s get into using them properly.

How to use Instagram hashtags on feed posts

A lot of emphasis is put on the number of hashtags used, and whilst this is still important, you should also focus on the quality of the search terms you’re including. Instagram will let you use up to 30 hashtags, and if you can use these well, then go for it! Otherwise, try to include at least 15-20 top quality ones.

The most important thing to remember is to use hashtags that your target audience are searching for. Keep them relevant and focus on the solution you’re trying to solve. For example, if you’re a car mechanic, then you can use broad ones such as #carmechanic and #carservice. However, your target market will also be looking for things such #oilchange #newcar and #carproblems, and that’s where you want to be showing up!

To make this process easier, here’s a little hashtag recipe that you can follow:

  • Use approximately 3 popular hashtags that have around 300,000 to 900,000 posts. These can often help propel your content to non-followers, but it won’t last for long. That’s why you shouldn’t use them too often.
  • Select around 5 moderately popular hashtags that are still relevant to you. These will help keep your content active in front of non-followers for a longer amount of time. Aim for those hashtags with 80,000 to 300,000 posts.
  • Pick 10 niche hashtags that are super-targeted to what your audience is looking for and the problem you’re trying to solve. You can also include your geographic area in these ones.
  • Include 1 to 2 branded hashtags.

Instagram hashtags play a big role in the success of your content strategy, especially if you’re a local business. They help your content get in front of the eyes of people you want to target. Following a specific hashtag strategy will not only increase your account’s reach, but it will also simplify the process for you. If you have any questions about how to grow your Instagram account, get in touch with our social media experts today.

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