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Did you know that you can boost your presence on Instagram by using hashtags? Here are ways to grow your business using hashtags on Instagram
If you've been on Instagram for a long time, then hashtags probably need no introduction. Hashtags were first used on Twitter in 2007 to help users search for content on the platform. And because there were millions of Twitter users, using hashtags became a thing. Eventually, other social media sites, as well as search engines like Google, began using hashtags for content search too.
A hashtag is a combination of words preceded by a hash sign, ex: #keyword or #keywordphrases. It's used to label social media captions to make it easier for users to see your content via hashtag search or find other relevant content.
For example, if you're selling beauty products, you might use hashtags that are relevant to the beauty industry and your brand, such as #yourbrand, #yourbrandskincare, #yourbrandcosmetic, #newproductlaunch, #newnightcream, and so on.
On Instagram, the hashtag is a huge part of growing a brand. So much that brands often come up with customized or branded hashtags to organize brand content, drum up attention, speed up follower growth, and find relevant content within seconds.
Over 95 million videos and photos are posted on IG, so standing out takes more effort, no matter how amazing your content is. That’s why even popular personalities and market leaders who have millions of followers on IG still use hashtags for brand marketing. It’s a great source of organic traffic. Adding a hashtag on your captions allows other people beyond your reach to see your content via related posts using the same hashtag.
No one knows how Instagram sorts out everyone’s posts, and its hashtag algorithm remains a mystery, but the platform always highlights good content and then hides the rest. It’s worth noting that Instagram’s Explore page depends heavily on hashtags to rate a content’s popularity.
Great content often makes its way to the top of the users’ feeds, and less popular ones are left at the bottom of the feeds. The more visible your content is via hashtags, the more popular the content gets. And when your content goes viral, you can use it to promote your brand and reach people you would otherwise not reach.
Hashtagging is no different from using your main keywords to strengthen your online presence. And relevance remains the most important thing to remember when creating hashtags for your IG profile. There are some free and paid tools that you can use to customize a set of hashtags for your business, but this is one marketing strategy that works best when you do it yourself. The method is more organic, and you can learn more about user behavior too.
Finding good hashtags for your brand is easy. Here are some tips to get started:
The simplest and easiest way to look for hashtags is to search for keywords on IG’s search field and see what the dropdown list suggests. You’ll get many good hashtags this way, so get your pen and paper ready and start listing as many as you can. Once you have a good list going, start filtering the ones with the strongest performance.
If you’re using a desktop PC on IG, always search using the hashtag sign: #[hashtag]. If you’re using your mobile phone, search via the “Tags” to remove accounts and locations from the search results.
Nothing wrong with checking out the competition and seeing what hashtags they use to make their business thrive! Go to your main competitors’ IG right now and see what hashtags they use for the captions. Use these hashtags for inspiration for new content.
Look for the top-performing hashtags and see which ones will be useful for your next marketing campaign. The chances of your content going viral is much, much higher if the said content is inspired by a popular hashtag!
Did you know that Instagram lets you check out what hashtags are being followed by your followers? If you have followers that often leave likes, comments on your content, those who are always watching your stories or following your hashtags, round them up in a list. Then, check each profile, click “Following,” and the hashtags they follow will be outlined at the top of the list.
Are you into beauty products, fashion, shoes, or bags? What is your content all about? What industries do your business belong to? Again, you need to use a set of relevant hashtags to improve your online presence and grow a following on Instagram. We’ve seen users spamming each caption with 30 to 50 hashtags, and the thing is, most of these hashtags are overused and irrelevant to the topic. A couple of relevant hashtags will consistently outperform a random 100. If you want to build a trusted brand, you need to use only a handful to gain more followers.
Just like traditional keyword researching, finding good hashtags includes checking for competition. Overused, overly broad, random, generic hashtags, etc., should be avoided like the plague because these won’t improve your following growth. It’s a good idea to focus on your niche to find the best keywords for your business and use relevant keywords but lower in competition.
Some people are using random or unrelated hashtags to get more followers, and the thing with this is that it’s making your business look bad. If you’re all about fitness and you are suddenly throwing in random hashtags like “#TheWitcher” or “#Fortnite” in hopes to appeal to new people, it’s like you’re tricking people into liking your brand, and this will only hurt your business.
Use your primary keywords to find relevant hashtags on Instagram. Use words that your target audience is likely to use for searching for your business on Instagram. If you’re selling makeup brushes, the obvious hashtag would be #makeupbrushes. But since millions of posts are related to makeup brushes on IG, you have to customize the hashtag to boost engagement sans the competition, such as #syntheticmakeupbrushes, #naturalmakeupbrushes, #makeupbrushset, #makeupbrushaddict, etc. The goal here is to appeal to people who are looking for specific products that you offer.
Certain trends and challenges go viral on Instagram, and you can join in on the fun and grow your following at the same time. A trendy topic will always generate a lot of interest, and if everyone’s doing it, it’ll be a shame if you don’t join in. Of course, trendy topics and challenges tend to have a short lifespan, so milk it for as long as it’s popular. Just make sure to avoid dangerous stunts, so you don’t send the wrong message, like eating tide pods is okay.
A customized brand-specific hashtag is a great way to receive and collect user-generated content. You can create a catchy hashtag using your brand name, business slogan, or a campaign that you’re running. The goal is to attract like-minded individuals using high-quality, branded content. For example, suppose you’re running a contest or launching an ad campaign for a new product. In that case, you can push several IG content optimized with a relevant hashtag so people could check out your content, search for it, and even follow the unique hashtags.
Not all hashtags are created equally; some could hurt your business. Avoid using hashtags like #follow4follow and #like4like because it makes your brand look desperate. You don’t want to be associated with people who only liked and followed your IG profile for a follow. To build a trusted brand, you have to grow your following organically.
Some hashtags are also banned by IG, although no reason is given for the ban. #beautyblogger, #adultlife, and #daddlylove are just some of the banned hashtags on IG. Using these hashtags might lead to a shadowban. A shadowban hides your posts from followers. It’s a form of punishment for users who abused IG’s terms.
Using hashtags will give every post more mileage. The effect is similar to traditional SEO; it boosts the searchability of your content on IG. Try it today and don’t forget to experiment, see what works for your business.
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