Instagram hashtags are a powerful tool to discover your brand, attract new followers, increase engagement and create a fine-tuned branding strategy. In this guide developed by Nerdweb , we’ll talk about how to make the best use of hashtags to leverage your digital presence.
With over 8 million active business profiles and approximately 95 million photo uploads daily, you need to refine and optimize content to find the right audience. And with the latest features launched by Instagram, you can now follow hashtags and even put them in your profile biography, further increasing the importance of thinking about this strategy.
What is a hashtag?
Anyone who has surfed, for even a short time, on any social network has probably come across at least one hashtag. But, just for the avoidance of doubt, they are words or phrases (provided without the use of spaces) preceded by that symbol similar to the old ticker (#).
The explanation is simple, but the extent of their use is immense. Memes, campaigns and even offline actions (such as print magazines) have already adopted the element.
But within social networks, the “#” is no longer just a symbol and becomes a resource: compiling content, tagging posts and creating links between publications. In other words, hashtags are used to create tags.
Everything can become a hashtag, so knowing how to choose which ones to use is essential for content to be found more easily, gain relevance and, of course, be linked to the right themes.
For this, the thematic analysis and construction is indispensable. In other words:
- Identify the central theme of the publication;
- Use tools that indicate the most relevant related hashtags;
- Bet on broad and specific hashtags.
Another important tip is to research the purpose of each hashtag before including it in the post. Often, hashtags become campaigns and have well-defined goals behind them. Using them unknowingly can tag your content to messages you don’t intend to pass.
Why use hashtags on Instagram?
The goal of every publication, whether on Instagram or other platforms, is to reach the interested audience, generate engagement and increase conversion. Using hashtags can be an ally at this time, so there is a greater possibility of getting followers and more likes.
Since hashtags are post linkers, they function as thematic tags. That way, when people click or search for any of them, they can browse the results and more easily find posts, brands and companies that are relevant to their interests.
Of course the feature doesn’t work alone. For this, good content practices always apply. In other words, there must be harmony and integration between the strategies. It’s no use making good use of popular hashtags if the linked content doesn’t attract interest when viewed.
Just think that post will be shown together with publications from brands and companies that are competing for the same click. So using this feature is just the first step: tagging is not enough, you have to be relevant!
Hashtag Requirements: How do I choose the best hashtags to use on Instagram?
Before planning hashtags for your brand, consider the following items:
Hashtags organize publications into specific categories, improving matching to searches performed on the platform. Think of a funnel: more specific ones achieve a greater degree of efficiency with their audience than generic ones, as they are at the end of the funnel.
For example: the hashtag #fashionfeminine has more than 10x less competition than just the term #fashion.
But the point is to find a balance. Very specific hashtags can become ineffective. At this time, it is worth considering the public’s search journey considering the specificity of social networks.
In other words, few people will type “#BlusaFemininaBlack”. In this case, one option is to work with combinations of hashtags, such as “female fashion” and “black blouses”.
Consider researching which terms are most relevant to the subject of the post, discovering the hashtags that match your brand. By being part of people’s conversations, your content will be released spontaneously, without pushing the envelope.
Some online tools can help, such as Top Hashtags, Hashtagify.me and Keyhole. Also study your competitors and how the main influencers on each subject are using hashtags.
To increase engagement and visibility in the search, be aware of current issues and the hashtags most commented on by users, which can be seen in the Explorar Guide. Something similar to the “Trending Topics” on Twitter, although there is no detailing of the hashtags.
Trends Map can also help you find what’s going on right now by region.
It is worth remembering that hashtags have a very fast dynamic. Therefore, it is worth understanding the public search process and which terms are really relevant to the topic. This prevents momentary hashtags from being prioritized and, in a short time, they lose popularity and search volume.
Best practices: How can my company use hashtags?
After a good planning and aiding tools to understand the best hashtags for your brand or company, it is important to understand how to use them to generate more engagement and gain prominence on Instagram:
How to use Hashtags in Instagram Bio
The possibility of pasting hashtags in the Instagram profile’s bio isn’t exactly new. The feature has been available since March 2018 , but it still raises questions about the advantages and ways to use it.
According to the platform itself, inserting a hashtag in the bio is a way to highlight things that are relevant to the profile. And it works exactly the same in a bio or in a publication.
So, if clicked, the page is redirected to tagged searches.
But, when entering the profile, customers already have a more objective and clear notion about the profile’s niche. Some tips are:
- Avoid too many hashtags in the bio;
- Prefer to insert them fluidly, ie as part of the presentation text;
- Choose the ones that are relevant and informative.
Create a hashtag for your brand or event
Creating a hashtag for your brand or event can be a great digital marketing strategy – it can even be used in the bio.
In this case, it works as a campaign slogan and, therefore, must be planned with attention and creativity.
Think in terms that aren’t too generic and get mixed up with other content. After all, the goal is not to compete with hundreds of other tags without relevance to your brand or event.
Also, especially when it is created for events, bet on engagement and use elements that are easy to share and identify. From there, just work on strategies like:
- Ask those who attended the event to post photos with the hashtag: this will automatically link the contents and facilitate searches;
- Create promotions using the hashtag: generate engagement and increase interaction;
- Use hashtags in stories: stimulate interaction and increase the reach of stories.
Using location hashtags is an effective strategy, especially when the company or brand has a physical store. But it’s not exclusive – even online stores or national brands can bet on this tactic if they work with offers for a local target audience.
That’s because when you add region tags, you also work with more specific hashtags. Ideally, work with a balance between broad terms and location. For example, you can use “MarketingDigitalSP” or “ComunicaçãoEmCuritiba”.
They can be included in both the Bio and posts. That way, when people search for the location, the content is linked.
Also, remember to go beyond the name of the city or state: look for and bet on variations such as: “curitiba” and “CWB”.
Enjoy the seasonality
Seasonality can be understood and taken advantage of in two ways: the first is to pay attention to the popularity of hashtags, such as #tbt – from English Throwback Thursday, used on Thursdays to post special photos from the past.
The second possibility to take advantage of seasonality is to work with future dates and events, such as #BlackFriday, #Consumer’s Day and even #Christmas when the content is related. So pay attention to the calendar.
Analyze and improve
In closing, remember to always monitor and analyze which hashtags are working well and which ones should be improved over time. It’s the old rule: repeat what works and reconsider the hashtags that aren’t returning.
It’s worth using tools that analyze which hashtags are on the rise and others related to the topic, for example. Some have functions like filters and mention analysis. Among the options are:
Want to know more and have a personalized digital plan for your brand? Get in touch with Nerdweb by email to let us know how we can put together the right strategy for your Instagram.