Using the right Instagram hashtags can increase engagement with your posts and lead to more quality followers. So how do you find out which hashtags will work for your posts? Which hashtags will put your posts in front of the right audiences? To maximise their effectiveness, it’s important to pick hashtags that are not only relevant to your brand, but that are currently being used by your intended audience.
1. Find out what hashtags your audience is using. Throwing random hashtags at the end of your Instagram posts isn’t going to grow your audience. Instead, find out what hashtags your audience is using and see which ones fit the content that you’re publishing. Your hashtags should be relevant and contain keywords that users are actually searching for.
2. Find out what hashtags your competitors are using. It’s always smart to find out what hashtags your competitors are using. By doing so, you can determine which hashtags provide the most engagement. While it may not be your intention to compete on those hashtags, you could still end up figuring out what your potential customers are talking about and which hashtags they’re using. And maybe you’ll discover new hashtags to add to your repertoire!
3. Find out what hashtags influential people in your industry are using. One of the best ways to find hashtags you should be using is to follow “social influencers” that have the same (or similar) target audience as you. For the uninitiated, social influencers are basically the people that tend to perform exceptionally well on social media. Every industry has its respective key influencers. Find out who these people are in your niche and piggyback off their success. These people are already well established with your target audience, so why not learn from the best?
4. Find related hashtags. Surveying the landscape of trends that are relevant to your own hashtag is an easy and effective way to grow your community. Simply type your hashtag into the app’s search bar, and then select “tags” from the dropdown menu. You’ll then be able to see all of the top hashtags that are closely related to your own hashtag, revealing additional ways to reach, monitor, and engage with your community. You can also browse through posts containing a hashtag you’re already having success with. Do you see a trend of any other common hashtags that could be included in future posts? If yes, write them down.
5. Use Instagram’s search function. Type in a keyword that’s relevant to your brand into Instagram’s search bar then select the “tags” tab. Instagram will give you a list of all the hashtags with that keyword as well as a number of posts that are tagged with it. Remember that a large number may mean a large number of people following that hashtag, but it also means there’s a ton of content your post could get buried in. Experiment with a combination of popular and niche hashtags.
6. Don’t forget about popular hashtags! It’s super important to focus on Instagram hashtags that have an engaging community behind them and are specific to your audience, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore every popular Instagram hashtag trend. Tagged in over 330 million posts, #TBT (Throwback Thursday) is one of the most used hashtags on Instagram and a great marketing opportunity. If your brand has a past, use #TBT to share it. If your brand is brand new, you can use the hashtag to dig into the history of your products or industry. Keep in mind that hashtags are time sensitive — they reflect what’s trending right now. So it’s best to post at optimal times when lots of people are on Instagram. One of the best ways is to schedule your Instagram posts at optimal times when your community is most active.