Social media marketing can be a bit of a double-edged sword. On one hand, you have access to countless resources and platforms that can help increase your visibility and reach. On the other hand, you must be able to navigate through all those options to find the most effective strategy.
We’ve covered the programs and websites that we use to manage our social media campaigns in a previous post. Today, we are going to dig deeper into how we use Instagram to build our brand. Specifically, we’ll discuss how to find the best hashtags for Instagram that will increase your audience and engagement.
Why Your Business Should Put More Time into Instagram Hashtags
In essence, hashtags are a filing system. When you use a hashtag in one of your posts, it gets placed on a page with every other post that has that particular hashtag. By using popular and relevant hashtags, you are simply making it easier for your audience to find your content.
There are a number of benefits to making sure you are using the best Instagram hashtags. Some of them include:
- Gain More Followers: People who are passionate about a certain topic or niche are always looking for content related to it. By using popular hashtags, you’re allowing your content to be found by users who are already engaged with what your brand offers.
- Gain More Likes: Instagram uses an algorithm to help rank their posts. Factors like post frequency, captions, shares, likes and hashtags are all taken into account when Instagram decides which posts show up at the top of a page.
- Follow Hashtags: Recently, Instagram released a feature that allows users to follow certain hashtags. Once you follow a hashtag, it works the same way as following a user and posts with that hashtag will begin showing up in your feed.
- Hashtags in Your Instagram Bio: Another semi-recent update Instagram made was giving you the ability to add hashtags in your Instagram bio. After a few months of working on your hashtags, you will start to see a trend of your preferred hashtags. Your bio is the perfect place to promote them!
- Increase Sales Leads: By using niche-specific hashtags while promoting your products, you’re ensuring that your product is going to be seen by an engaged audience who is more likely to purchase.
- Tracking Hashtag Success: Instagram business accounts come with post insights where you will be able to measure the success of each of your hashtags. It is not a perfect science, but you can see the number of views or impressions on each of your posts. Once you have determined your most popular posts, see if you can find a trend in the hashtags that were used.
Best Instagram Hashtags for Your Niche
#ootd (outfit of the day)
If your niche isn’t listed above, don’t abandon ship! While it’s true that the industries above are perfect for Instagram marketing, that doesn’t mean it won’t work for yours. It just means you have a little extra work to do, but you will also likely have less brands to compete with.
In the next section, we’ll break down two strategies you can use to find the top hashtags for your business.
There are several strategies you can use to find the most effective hashtags, but we are only going to cover what we think are the easiest to pick up on your own.
In one corner, we have the do-it-yourself (DIY) method that comes with research and lots of industry insight. In the other corner, you’ll find a variety of hashtag generator tools that come with proven data and a modest fee.
The DIY method of finding hashtags can be broken up into three steps of research:
- Instagram Influencers
You need to know how your audience talks and interacts with each other. You might think you have the perfect hashtag for a post but as an industry leader, you won’t have the same perspective as someone who is a novice.
An extreme example we like to give is the best astronautical engineer in the world still has to realize that most people are going to search for “rocket scientist.”
You need to be found by how your audience posts and interacts, not how you talk.
When researching your competition, you get the benefit of seeing exactly what has worked and what hasn’t. You don’t want to turn into a carbon copy of your biggest competitor, but you can start to gain a sense of how your posts should look and what hashtags provide the biggest engagement.
By finding the Instagram influencers in your industry, you get access to some of the most reliable sources when it comes to internet trends. It is their job to stay plugged in with trends in their industry and audience.
If you don’t have the time or patience to do the research on your own, there are several hashtag tools that can help you. Here are a few that we recommend:
- Tech – Our favorite hashtag tool. Offers hashtag tracking, hashtag collections, and competitor research. Anywhere from $12/month to $48/month depending on your plan level.
- TagBlender – This FREE tool allows you to mix and match relevant hashtags in multiple fields such as art, nature, people, urban and many more. It is not the most extensive tool, but it is one of the better free hashtag tools.
- HashtagsForLikes – Another free tool, but this one gives the option to purchase a premium account for access to trending hashtags and an analytics dashboard.
- All Hashtag – All Hashtag features a hashtag generator, hashtag creator, hashtag analytics, and top hashtags. These four tools help make All Hashtag one of the best hashtag generators available.
Additional Tips to Help Grow Your Business on Instagram
- Focus on creating stunning visuals. Great content always leads to more engagement, and Instagram is all about sharing images. Find a creative person in your office and devote some time to taking quality photos.
- Engage with your audience on a regular basis. Like their comments and posts. Appreciate your customers for their participation and opinions, not for the amount of money they spend.
- Learn when to post. There are a variety of apps and websites that can give you analytics on when your audience is active on social media. As a general rule of thumb, Wednesdays and Thursdays during non-work hours (lunch and evening) tend to be the best for engagement for business-to-business companies. Weekends tend to be the best for business-to-consumer businesses.