How to Use Instagram Hashtags for Business: Maximizing Visibility

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Want to know which hashtags your business should be using on Instagram?

Wondering what the right number of hashtags is for optimal results?

You’ll learn how to maximize your use of hashtags in your Instagram posts in this article.

Understand the Recipe of an Effective Instagram Hashtag

You can develop and refine your brand with innumerable hashtags and connect with your target audience on Instagram. Discovering the most effective hashtags requires research, experimentation, and patience. With a coherent and consistently followed strategy, you can elicit real conversions – from acquiring followers to making sales through Instagram.

On Instagram, you can include up to 30 hashtags in each post. Searching any Instagram hashtag will show you the number of posts with that hashtag.

You’ll need to mix hashtags from four types to create a winning hashtag strategy. The ideal combination of these four hashtag categories will help you reach your target audience by optimizing your Instagram post performance. With my formula, you can quickly and easily identify 15-20 relevant hashtags for your posts:

  • Choose from five to seven popular hashtags. Extremely popular hashtags are associated with 100,000 to 500,000 posts. I would warn you against using hashtags associated with more than 500,000 because popularity at that level often invites bot activity. Due to bot posts, content is often buried merely seconds after posting.
  • Select 5-7 moderate popularity hashtags. Hashtags in this range typically have 10,000 to 100,000 posts associated with them.
  • Identify 3-5 niche-specific hashtags. Niche hashtags ideally sport fewer than 10,000 post associations. They are hyper-relevant to your core business and what your target audience is seeking out.
  • Use 1-3 branded hashtags. Branded hashtags are those that you use specifically for your brand. They may be particular to your brand and/or related to your campaign.

The following example from @tanya.plummer.fit exhibits how she utilized an array of hashtags according to our formula.

The logic behind this specific recipe of hashtags is linked to how the algorithm in each hashtag hub sorts the hashtags. Instagram tracks each piece of content for performance, and it examines the engagement both followers and non-followers generate.

First, if you are using popular hashtags, your content appears in searches for seconds to minutes. This will lead to an immediate frenzy of activity.

Next, when you incorporate moderately popular hashtags, your content remains active for hours in those search results. This signals to the Instagram algorithms that your brand’s content has a long lifespan.

Finally, the niche-specific Instagram hashtags allow your content to stand out from the crowd. Due to your followers engaging with your post and the other hashtags making your content’s activity spike, you have a good chance that your post will appear as a top post when people search for your chosen niche-specific hashtags.

By following our formula, your content now ranks at the top of the hashtag search page for a very specific topic. The viewers have been searching for this particular thing and they’ll find your content first, leading them directly to your profile and posts. For example, this post from @outofmybloominmind ranked top for the hashtag #paperflowers, which increased the chance of the paper florist’s target customers finding the content.

If people like your profile or content, there is a high chance that they’ll follow you. If the service or item you offer is what they are looking to buy, you can even make a sale from just that one post.

Include Hashtags in Every Post for Maximum Visibility

Now that you have the fundamentals of a strong hashtag strategy, you need to figure out the best hashtags to use with your brand. Your hashtags used on your Instagram posts should ideally be directly relevant to the content itself, in addition to your brand or industry:

  • Content hashtags should be directly related to what’s in the post itself.
  • Industry hashtags don’t have to directly relate to the post, but they ideally are specific to your clients and general industry/area.
  • Niche hashtags are laser-focused to the intended target audience.
  • Branded hashtags are hashtags that you and your customers use to showcase and tag your content on Instagram

Looking at the example of @britjaye seen above, she utilized a curated set of hashtags relevant to the content of the image, the industry, or the target audience that she wants to reach:

  • Examples of content hashtags: #bridetobe, #weddingceremony, #weddingflowers, and #weddingbouquet.
  • Examples of industry hashtags: #weddingideas, #weddingphotography, #junebugweddings, #weddingphotographer, and #instawedding.
  • Examples of niche hashtags: #ohioweddingphotographer, #ohioweddingphotography, #daytonweddingphotographer, #cincinnatiweddingphotographer, and #columbusweddingphotographer.
  • Examples of branded hashtags: #britjaye.

You’ll want to develop a list of hashtags to satisfy these various categories for your brand

Content hashtags will usually vary depending on the items or locations within the post. Your chosen industry hashtags, niche hashtags, and branded hashtags ideally will be relatively consistent across your Instagram content. Industry hashtags will customarily focus broadly on your general industry. Niche hashtags will delve deeper into the narrowly targeted solution that you’re offering.

In the event that you’re at a loss to figure out more hashtags that will work on Instagram or that are within the right popularity category for your brand, take a look at the related and suggested hashtags within the Instagram search results. When you query any specific hashtag, a sub-list will recommend various related hashtags worthy of further research.

Additionally, look for inspiration from others’ hashtags within your industry. Find out which hashtags are used by other brands or people in their content and discern if any are a strong fit for your brand.

What are your thoughts? Have you employed Instagram hashtags like this before? Are you eager to trial our hashtag formula? Share your thoughts or tips in the comments below!

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  • Christopher Chiu
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    Great article Andy. Very helpful and I like the formula for hashtag strategy. Thx! 🙂

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