Vanity metrics don’t get you anywhere except put some pretty numbers on a page. That’s why being intentional with every post you put out and having an effective Instagram hashtags strategy in place is crucial for the success of your business. And an important part of that strategy is to understand how hashtags work in bringing you better visibility and engagement.
Give More Thought to Which Instagram Hashtags You Use
The first thing you need to figure out is who you’re targeting and which Instagram hashtags they’re using to find their content. In other words, put yourself in the minds of your target audience. What keywords would they be typing into the search bar to find what they’re looking for?
By being able to think like them, it will help you figure out a list of hyper-relevant hashtags your ideal audience is searching for. Sure, #happy, #skincare, or #photooftheday may get you a few extra likes but they aren’t going to help you grow a targeted following on Instagram who actually cares about your content.
Know Exactly Who Your Customers Are
Use Instagram hashtags that are smaller, more niche, and have an engaged audience that’s relevant to your industry. Look for hashtags that describe your business, target market, and products or services. This is the best way for you to build genuine engagement (and followers, too!).
Having niche hashtags are the best way for you to improve the searchability of your posts, grow your following, and attract like-minded people around your brand. The best way to find relevant hashtags is through researching what other industry leaders, competitors and your audience are already using.
Create Your Own Branded Hashtag
There are certain strategies behind creating your own branded hashtag. For one, doing so will help to encourage your followers to produce content around your brand (also known as ‘user-generated content’ or UGC) and also help you to source new content. Add your branded hashtag to your Instagram bio to get your followers into the habit of posting with it and implement it as part of your strategy to build a close community around your brand.
Use Non-Competitive Hashtags & Pay Attention to Analytics
Boost your discoverability by focusing on Instagram hashtags that have less competition instead of the highly popular ones that will drown out your post in seconds. The key to attracting an audience that will actually see your post is by using small, highly-targeted hashtags. Experiment with a combination of different hashtag volumes and make sure to pay attention to your post analytics to see which combinations are working best for you. This will help you map out a better strategy for future posts.
Use Hashtags In Your Instagram Stories
Implementing hashtags into your stories are another great way for you to get discovered by new audiences and get on the Explore page. When people search for hashtags on Instagram, they’ll be able to see posts as well as real-time stories directly on the hashtag’s page.
You may use up to 10 hashtags per story and hide it in a way where your aesthetic won’t get compromised. One way of doing this is by typing out your hashtags, pinching them to make them smaller (not too small though otherwise Instagram won’t register them!) and hiding them under animated GIFs or stickers. Another way is to blend your hashtag by selecting the color tool from the text option and choosing a color that perfectly blends into the background of your Instagram stories.