The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Hashtags in 2017
When it comes to using Instagram hashtags, it can be a bit of a touchy subject; some people hate them, and some people love them a little too much. But did you know that posts with at least one Instagram hashtag average 12.6% more engagement than posts without a hashtag?
The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Hashtags in 2017 will help you understand everything you need to know about using Instagram hashtags to gain followers and increase likes. Learn how to use Instagram hashtags strategically, and what steps you need to take to implement an effective hashtag strategy that boosts the reach of your Instagram marketing campaigns! Ready? Let’s go:
1. Why You Should Use Instagram Hashtags
Instagram hashtags are one of the best ways to grow your Instagram account. Using the right hashtag (or combination of hashtags) can help you expose your brand to large and targeted audiences. In fact, your chances of attracting new followers, getting more likes, and increasing engagement are vastly increased by the use of hashtags!
How Instagram Hashtags Work
Every Instagram post you create can be accompanied by a short message or caption and a few hashtags. The hashtags help organize and categorize photos and video content, which aids the process of content discovery and optimization.
For example, a food blogger might post a picture of a gorgeous smoothie bowl, and then use the hashtags #superfoods, #cleaneating, and #vegansofig when it’s uploaded to Instagram.
By using these three hashtags, the image is cataloged so other Instagram users who enjoy healthy foods can find it.
The Different Types of Instagram Hashtags
Understanding the different types of hashtags and their corresponding audiences can help you develop a more effective Instagram hashtag strategy:
A branded hashtag is a hashtag that’s unique to your business. It can be as simple as your company name, tagline, or the name of one of your products or campaigns. Or it can be a hashtag that has nothing to do with your brand name, but has everything to do with your brand identity.
While community hashtags are meant to increase the reach of your message, branded hashtags are designed to connect themes for you and your audience. They can be used to promote a campaign or aggregate user-generated content (UGC).
Community hashtags are hashtags that connect like-minded users around a specific subject, such as #ihavethisthingwithfloors or #fromwhereistand. They’re a great way to connect with others, improve the SEO of your posts, gain followers, and grow your own community.
The best way to find these community-oriented hashtags is by looking to see which hashtags your audience, or favorite accounts, are already using. The narrower the scope of the hashtag, the more engaged the users are.
How to Organize Your Instagram Hashtags
Do you have a system for organizing your hashtags? If you don’t or if your current system leaves much to be desired, you’re probably wasting a lot of time and effort. If you’re trying to capitalize on your Instagram and get more likes and engagement engagement with every post, you should have a system in place!
One of the simplest ways to organize your hashtags is by posting them into Google Sheets. The reason we recommend Google Sheets is because Instagram requires you post from a mobile device, and Google Sheets is infinitely more mobile-friendly than Excel.
Start by creating a new spreadsheet and adding the following headers: hashtags, category, # of posts, date, and comments.
2. How to Find the Best Instagram Hashtags for Your Account
In order to be successful with hashtags, it’s important to be strategic about your hashtag usage. The “most popular” Instagram hashtags are just simple words, and while tagging #love, #happy, and #dog may get you a few more likes, it’s not going to do much for your growth in the long run. Instead of using the most popular Instagram hashtags, it’s better to use the top Instagram hashtags that have an engaging community behind them and are specific to your audience.
So, how are you supposed to find these cool, creative, and community-oriented hashtags? The best way is to look and see what Instagram hashtags your audience, competitors, and industry leaders are already using. The narrower the scope of the hashtag, the more engaged the users are. You’ll be shocked and surprised by just how niche hashtags can get!
For example, let’s say you’re going to post a photo of a French Bulldog. Instead of just tagging #dogstagram (over 15 million posts), you could also tag #frenchie(over 5 million posts) and #squishyfacecrew (over 1.3 million posts) to reach a more targeted audience of people who really love French Bulldogs. This is the best way to get a lot of targeted engagement on your posts!