A question I am often asked about Instagram is whether or not I think hashtags are here to stay. My answer is yes – for those interested in growing their accounts. You may notice some of the larger accounts you follow don’t use hashtags, or if they do, they use around three. That’s because they’re confident in their loyal following for engagement, and are uninterested in working to grow their accounts. Or, maybe you notice your friends and family only use funny, made-up hashtags. They’re also not working to grow their following; they’re just having fun.
Should you be using hashtags?
Hashtags are meant for marketing purposes, and encourage engagement and growth. If you are interested in either of those things, I have two recommendations:
- Be sure your Instagram profile is a public business account. This way, you can track how your hashtags are doing in your insights.
- Understand you have to post hashtags AND interact with hashtags. Don’t worry, keep reading…
How to properly use hashtags:
Each post is allowed 30 hashtags. They should be researched at length to figure out which ones people similar to your audience use. If you’re trying to grow, you want new eyes on your post, so you have to consider the people who haven’t seen you yet when you put your hashtag paragraph together.
There are also different hashtags for speed. Meaning, some will expose your post for 30 seconds, some 10 minutes, some over a few days. It’s important to include different exposure lengths in your paragraph to keep your post visible.
Brands and businesses also create their own hashtags that they track. For example, #rebrandyourgram is mine. When I search for that, I’ll see any posts tagged with it, and I can track audience, sales (if that’s my business), etc. and determine whether I’d like to adjust, share, engage, and/or keep my strategy as is.
Last point: you’ve got to have enough in your arsenal to switch them up every so often. Using banned hashtags, or even using the same ones too often, will get you blocked from the public eye. Yikes.
Need help compiling your hashtag paragraph?