6 Best Practices for Instagram Hashtags
Did you know that an Instagram post with just one hashtag will average 12.6% more engagement than a post with zero hashtags? So if you thought you didn’t need hashtags or brushed them off, you’re missing out on engagement. That’s why we’re bringing you our top 6 best practices for Instagram hashtags to help you get the most out of this platform.
It’s important to remember that while numbers are great, it’s quality engagement that really matters on social media. What good are thousands of likes if none of them turn into paying customers? Let’s talk more about our 6 best practices for Instagram hashtags so that your engagement actually converts to income.
01 USE HASHTAGS
Pretty simple, right? Just start using hashtags. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post (including hashtags you post in your comments), but don’t feel pressured to maximize your hashtag limit. It is more effective to use a few well-researched and relevant hashtags than to overload your caption or comments with random hashtags with too many users.
02 RESEARCH YOUR HASHTAGS
We do not recommend simply thinking of a hashtag that sounds fun for your post. Spend time researching which hashtags will work the most for you. For small to medium sized businesses, look for hashtags that are location-specific, industry-specific, relevant to your post, and have less than 200,000 users. For example, a hair salon wanting to attract new clients should not use a hashtag like #hairsalon (which currently has 10.3 million posts), because realistically, their posts won’t be seen. Instead use hashtags like #hairsalonnearme (11.7k posts), #sanfranciscohair (51.1k posts), #sanfranciscohairstylist (39.6k posts), #vividhaircolor (138k posts), or #realhairextensions (7.2k posts).
03 ENGAGE WITH YOUR HASHTAGS
Don’t post hashtags in your caption and then expect people to just find you. You have to put in a little bit of effort to show up and engage with the hashtags you want to be a part of. After posting to Instagram, try clicking on each hashtag you used and like or comment (at least 4 words) up to 10 recent posts that also used that hashtag. This shows Instagram you’re not a robot, and it shows other users that you are active and engaging.
04 INCLUDE HASHTAGS IN YOUR BIO
Do you have a brand-specific hashtag? Show users your brand’s community by including a brand-specific hashtag in your bio. Encourage people to use the hashtag to be featured on your page or your story. This creates a thriving community and gets your profile in front of more potential customers. For example, our local tourism department, Visit Gilroy, created the hashtag #visitgilroy. Visit Gilroy invites Instagram users to post their photos using their hashtag which allows Visit Gilroy to like and comment on those photos (engagement) or re-post or share to stories.
05 CONSIDER HASHTAGS YOUR POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS USE
Think outside the box. While it may be instinctive to only use hashtags that are industry-specific, consider including hashtags that your potential customers might be using in their posts. For example, our local winery should be using hashtags like #gilroywinery or #californiawinery, but they should also use hashtags their target audience is using like #sippinwine or #winerylovers.
06 AVOID BANNED HASHTAGS
Instagram frequently bans hashtags that are being used in spam and with content that is completely irrelevant to the post. It is important that you are aware of which hashtags are currently banned because using a banned hashtag could automatically “shadow ban” your account. That means your posts will not appear in your followers’ feeds let alone potential new followers who are finding you in hashtags. For more information and a complete list of 2020 banned hashtags, check out our friends at Social Insider who go into more detail.
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BAY AREA SOCIAL MEDIA AND GRAPHIC DESIGN
We have been working with our clients to develop social media strategies for years. Articulate Solutions is a Bay Area marketing agency that offers social media management, graphic design, strategic marketing plans and more. Hashtags are an important part of our social media strategies, and we highly recommend you invest time into learning how to use them well. Would you rather we do the hard work for you? We’re open for business! Contact us today to get started.
Posted on June 21, 2020