Instagram Hashtag 101

August 3, 2020 CONRIC PR

Hashtags are an important tool to build your Instagram audience. A hashtag is a word, phrase or saying that is preceded by a hash sign (#) and used on social media to increase brand awareness. When you use a hashtag, your post will appear in search results for that hashtag. People can also choose to follow hashtags, which means they could see your hashtagged post in their feed even if they don’t follow you. Instagram hashtags can be a great way of building a community online so people are motivated to engage with your brand.

Hashtag basics

  • They always start with # and won’t work if you use spaces, punctuation or symbols.
  • Make sure your accounts are public. This will allow for more organic shares of your posts via hashtag groups. 
  • The best hashtags tend to be relatively short and easy to remember. Humor and use of puns go a long way here.
  • Popular hashtags may seem great, but it’s actually better to use smaller, more niche hashtags that are followed by your target audience. You can find these by following other business profiles in your industry. 
  • Use relevant and specific hashtags.
  • Limit the number of hashtags you use. More isn’t always better. It actually looks spammy. We recommend using 2-8 hashtags per post. 

Here’s three types of hashtags that can help build your brand:

  1. Community Hashtags are hashtags that connect like-minded users around a singular subject. These can be hashtags that relate to your products, services, special occasions, location, etc. They can be as simple as posting a motivational quote on your page with the hashtag “#mondaymotivation.” The best way to find community-oriented hashtags that work for your business is by looking to see which hashtags your audience or similar accounts are already using. If you’re thinking about creating your own community hashtag, remember that the narrower the scope of the hashtag, the more engaged the users tend to be. Don’t be afraid to find a niche interest or topic that you’d like to build an Instagram community around, like #SWFLStrong.
  2. Branded hashtags are unique to your company or event when using Instagram for business. It can be your company name, product, or even center around your brand identity. For example, when you see #JustDoIt, you automatically think of Nike. While community hashtags are meant to increase the reach of your message, branded hashtags can be used to promote a campaign or collect user-generated content. Encourage patrons to use your branded hashtag to share new and unique content and testimonials with new potential customers.
  3. Campaign hashtags are short term and run for just a few days, a season, or a year. They are usually tied to specific events, partnerships or new products you may be featuring. For example, CONRIC launching the #SWFLStrong campaign in the beginning of the COVID crisis to bring together the business community of SWFL. Also The Lawyers of Dennis Webb, #WebbofSupport campaign to donate $1000 a month through the end of the year to families in need is a great use of a campaign hashtag.

Instagram hashtags are a great tool to build your brand and online community. You just need to use them effectively to maximize your potential outreach. That’s where CONRIC PR & Marketing comes in! Let us help you create and use the hashtags that will take your Instagram business profile to the next level. Call 239-690-9840 ext. 1001 or email to schedule your free virtual business marketing consultation today.

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