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How to Use Instagram Hashtags Effectively

Discover how to use Instagram hashtags effectively for growth, engagement and inspiration. 

Looking to grow your followers and generate better engagement on Instagram? Then here are some top tips and tricks to get you started. 

What are Hashtags?

Hashtags use the hash symbol (#) proceeded by a keyword search e.g #affiliatemarketing. They are designed to help you reach audiences that are interested in specific topics. They help to categorize content to make it easily searchable. Instagram and other social media sites allow people to search using hashtags to find relevant content. 

Hashtags help people assign keywords to their content so that they can place their posts in front of relevant audiences. This can help you to find organic traffic and boost your number of followers. 

Instagram Hashtags

Instagram typically allows you to use up to 30 hashtags for each post and if you go over this number they will notify you. You also have a character limit of 2,200 for your captions and hashtags combined. Therefore, if you have too long a caption, the number of hashtags you can use may be reduced. To avoid this, simply place your hashtags in your first comment after publication. 

How to Use Hashtags Effectively

Using hashtags effectively is much trickier than it might seem. It might be tempting to go for the most popular hashtags, as these are the ones that are likely to be seen by the most people. However, one major issue with this is that the more a hashtag is used, the more competition you will have to get your post seen. 

Another thing to consider is how people use hashtags. While a lot of people might use popular hashtags on their posts, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a lot of people are searching for them. This is the case for a lot of vague hashtags. For example, you might use seasonal hashtags such as #winter (156,307,189 posts) or #christmas (166,355,761 posts) next to festive posts. But how many times have you actually searched for those things? This is where relevance becomes important. 

When it comes to using hashtags, you need to find the niche in your content that people are actually looking for. Therefore, instead of just tagging random words which seem relevant, try to find elements in your post that might interest people. For example, if you post a picture of a Christmas tree, you could use hashtags such as #christmascrafts (482,906 posts) or #christmasdecorations (5,359,051 posts) etc. 

You’ll notice that these have far fewer posts linked to them but still decent sized audiences. By narrowing your audience size down, you should find you gain more engagement and you can start to pinpoint an active audience who connect with your content. 

Follow Relevant Hashtags

Is there a specific market you’re trying o break into or an audience you want to engage with? Then you should find the relevant hashtags for your intended niche and follow them. 

Following relevant hashtags will help you find what’s trending and what kinds of posts work best. You can then use this information for inspiration. However, you shouldn’t copy content from other influencers. It might be tempting to but, besides being unethical it also won’t help you achieve your goals, especially in the long term. In order to be successful, you need to be original. Find what works and then make it better! That’s the key to success. 

Another benefit of following relevant hashtags is that you can also discover who your competitors are and your potential collaborators. 

If you find other creators who are in your niche, but who are not in direct competition with you, then it’s worth engaging with their content. You can also reach out to them for potential partnerships, where you can showcase each other’s content to reach a wider audience. 

Create Your Own Hashtags

Another benefit of using hashtags is that you can also create your own. This can help you to sort through your posts and also allows you to see if people are talking about you. If you have your own hashtag, then you can start promoting it and your business. You’ll be able to see every post where it’s used which will allow you to interact with your audience and customers. 

The Bottom Line

Hashtags are a great tool and can help you boost your organic reach. However, they are not a guarantee for success. You’ll need relevant content and awareness to be able to use them effectively. Practice makes perfect, and the more engaged you are with trends and popular posts, the more you will be able to tap into what works. 

When it comes to using hashtags, look at your stats over time and experiment. Some things will work and some things won’t, but eventually, you’ll have a set of hashtags that you know will hit the audience you want to target.

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