Instagram has evolved way past the point of being just another social media platform. It has become a crucial tool in web marketing for businesses.
Business owners who understand the power of embracing technology know that hashtags can increase their audience on Instagram, encourage users to talk about their brand and make their content more searchable.
You may ask yourself, “What is the purpose of a hashtag?” Krystal Gillespie, HubSpot’s Social Media Community Manager, explains it in a simple way. “Hashtags are like a funnel,” she says.
Hashtags save the audience time from having to sift through about 95 million photos that are posted on Instagram each day. It’s a sorting process. If the user is searching for a photo of a dog, they might use a specific hashtag like #goldenretreiverpuppy or #huskypuppy instead of just searching for #dog.
Using just one hashtag gives a post an average of 12.6 percent more engagement than a post with no hashtags, according to an Instagram study by Simply Measured.
In this blog, we’ll cover three strategies to effectively use hashtags to increase your audience on Instagram.
If you are a business owner, we highly recommend you have a brand hashtag. This is essentially your company’s signature on a specific social media platform — in this case, Instagram.
Your brand hashtag should be unique to your business. Consider a concise and relevant slogan that you can include when sharing original content.
Make sure to think of your followers when creating your brand hashtag. Is it something followers will remember?
Get the ball rolling by encouraging your followers to use your brand hashtag. It will draw attention to their posts and yours too, possibly earning you more followers.
Brand hashtags can get the social community talking about your business. Those who search for your brand hashtag will be able to learn more about your products and services, and they’ll be promoting your business, too.
Using more than one hashtag gives users multiple opportunities to land on your page, but be smart! Don’t just casually add a ton of hashtags. Add trending hashtags.
Sharing content with a trending hashtag will allow more than just your followers to see your post, according to Keyhole. Take this opportunity to be original, informative and witty, as it can boost impressions and comments.
Here’s the tricky part: Trending hashtags can be time-sensitive. So, when you see a trend that relates to your business, don’t hesitate to immediately engage with relevant content.
There are a few trending hashtags that are evergreen, and it doesn’t hurt to add one or two to your post as well — just be sure they match your picture.
IZEA created a list of the top 50 Instagram hashtags for 2018 to help keep your content relevant. To check it out, click here.
The goal of a call-to-action hashtag, or CTA, is to encourage the online community to perform a specific action. The right CTA can really take a marketing campaign to new heights.
A perfect example would be the #IceBucketChallenge. During the summer of 2014, millions of people dumped buckets of ice-cold water over their heads, posted videos of it on social media and challenged friends to do the same.
The 6,200,000 times #IceBucketChallenge was used on Twitter helped make the awareness campaign so immensely popular, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The goal was to raise money for the ALS Association, and more than $115 million was raised that summer. The viral challenge also brought awareness to the disease and spurred an increase in research budgets.
To check out videos posted on Instagram that used #IceBucketChallenge, click here.