Hashtags are Critical! Here’s Why!
Trying to stand out on social media with close to a billion monthly users is not easy.
As the use of the hashtag grew in popularity on Instagram, other social platforms adapted the use of them, too. There are a beautiful simplicity and effectiveness of hashtags.
They are easily created and searchable and have become an excellent marketing tool for businesses everywhere. Anyone can use hashtags for business, especially organizations, celebrities, and even individuals in education.
Before any regulation, hashtags on IG were taking off. Everyone that was anyone was using them.
However, some issues with hashtags have arisen, notably the IG shadowban. But it’s essential not to be discouraged. While the Instagram shadowban may seem scary, it shouldn’t deter you from using hashtags on social media platforms.
They’re still an effective way to get more followers and increase your engagement on Instagram. Instagram’s algorithm favors posts with high engagement.
This means that the more people engage with what you post, the more people will see your post. Instagram posts with at least one hashtag have about 13% more engagement than those without hashtags.
There are some rules you’ll need to follow when it comes to hashtags. For example, each Instagram post allows up to 30 hashtags, but social media experts suggest that the maximum number of hashtags is fewer than 10 per post.
Another unspoken rule is that the more defined your hashtags are, the more engaged your audience is. When Instagram hashtags are overused, your audience is more likely to disengage.
When used correctly, hashtags are an excellent way for anybody to increase the visibility and engagement of their posts.
Hashtags are critical to helping you grow your brand, and we’re going to tell you why!
History of The Hashtag
Hashtags first became popular on Twitter.
When introducing the Hashtag to Twitter, creators intended users to be able to choose a specific hashtag and view all the tweets it included. These days, users can consist of any hashtag in their tweets.
People can easily search hashtags with Twitter’s search feature. Twitter led the way when it came to hashtags, and now, Instagram is following.
After seeing its success on Twitter, Instagram released different abilities surrounding hashtags. They ran a poll to see what people wanted concerning hashtags. Ever since then, they introduced the ability for Instagram users to follow a hashtag.
Now, you can click on a hashtag within a post or search a hashtag in the Explore section of Instagram. By following a hashtag, you can now get highlights of that hashtag delivered right to your fingertips.
Here are some ways to use hashtags.
Follow your Favorite Instagram Hashtags
Instagram rolled out the ability to follow hashtags last, which means that you can keep track of all the hashtags you follow.
Instead of having to scroll through a feed to discover hashtags, your posts could show up automatically when someone follows a specific hashtag. This can bring in potential new followers.
On the flip side, Instagram also gives users the power to block hashtag content they don’t want to see. Once users are following specific hashtags, suggested posts begin showing up.
For the hashtags they have blocked, users can select a “Don’t Show for This Hashtag” option to mark content that is not interesting or relevant to them.
This new feature tells the Instagram algorithm what type of content users enjoy and don’t enjoy. Be careful though, as having too many of your posts marked with ‘Don’t Show for This’ hashtag could potentially raise a red flag on your account.
The algorithm might read this wrongly and negatively impact your other content, as well. Make sure you’re only including relevant hashtags on your Instagram post. You don’t want the risk of losing engagement.
Add Hashtags to your Instagram Stories
Using hashtags within your stories is another great way to increase engagement on all fronts.
You’re giving your content yet another way to be discovered by a new audience. If you didn’t know, Instagram geo-locations and hashtags have their own stories that go along with them.
When searching for a location, you can see all the people that have posted a story using that location. This is an underutilized feature, but it comes in handy. Expect it to gain popularity as people become more comfortable with sharing their places on their Instagram stories.
If an Instagram hashtag is popular enough, users will be drawn to your account. Once people are on an Instagram account, they are more likely to follow that account, especially if they enjoy the content.
Hashtag stories show up across the top bar of the hashtag page along with a follow button that urges people to engage.
The Different Types of Instagram Hashtags
It’s important to know that there are two main types of hashtags on Instagram.
There are branded and community hashtags. Understanding the differences will help you determine which hashtags to use for your brand growth strategy. Here are the key differences.
Branded hashtags are specific meaning they relate directly to your business. They might contain your brand name, and any hashtags related to your brand name. Sometimes, if a company has created a staple product, they’ll develop hashtags related to that.
Creating a catchy and memorable branded hashtag will increase visibility when people check out your brand.
Branded hashtags are also a great way to start a conversation about your business. Branded hashtags also allow brands to have more access to user-generated content.
Community hashtags such as #catsofinstagram or #travelblog are created around specific topics, but not particular brands. Using community hashtags in your posts is a great way to connect with other like-minded users.
These hashtags allow you to gain followers and increase overall engagement.
Finding the right Instagram hashtags for your account
Once you understand the delicate parts of marketing on Instagram using hashtags, it’s time to figure out which hashtags to use.
Here are a few things to consider!
Quality vs. quantity
Using hashtags with the highest amount of posts won’t help you grow your reach. Using too many community hashtags can destroy your engagement.
Community hashtags such as #fashion are being used all the time. By using these hashtags, your post can get lost in a sea of other posts. Sometimes, depending on the saturation, it may never be seen.
Depending on what you do, try using more specific hashtags. They will help you connect with a more targeted audience and boost your engagement.
Check out other successful users
Do other Instagram users use hashtags? Which kind of hashtags do they use? Do they create content related to yours?
Using Instagram’s hashtag search is a great way to find additional hashtags related to your content being used by brands or influencers similar to you.
So, why are hashtags so relevant?
Despite the ever-changing algorithms on Instagram, hashtags remain an integral part of digital marketing.
They allow you to follow and engage with specific hashtags related to your brand. They allow you to stay updated on current trends.
You can also create your hashtags to promote a new product or service to a new audience. Hashtags allow you to cut through the digital clutter and find what you’re looking for.
If you’re still unsure about the use of hashtags, we’ve got some of the main reasons, in our opinion, why hashtags are so relevant on every platform, especially Instagram.
Let’s get into these top four reasons!
As with any business, it’s essential to have some healthy competition.
Hashtags allow you to figure out who your competition is. When you search hashtags related to your business, you get to see what other companies have to offer. You also get to view how they advertise.
Understanding your competition puts you at an advantage because you’ll be in the position to make better choices.
Instagram is beneficial because you can search for other businesses and any hashtags related to that business.
This information allows you to see what your potential audience responds to and what they don’t like based on your competitors’ post.
2. Branding and Visibility
Although these are technically two different reasons, we put them together because they work together.
Excellent visibility doesn’t happen without proper branding. Proper branding always increases visibility.
Branding and visibility are the main reasons people use Instagram hashtags. If you’re a new business, you can utilize hashtags to expand your audience.
This strategy increases brand awareness and visibility at the same time. When users search your brand, you want to ensure that you’re using the right hashtags. You don’t want to attract the wrong crowd.
By using the right hashtags, you are doing branding the right way. The audience you’re targeting will see the relevant hashtags you’re using.
When they search for specific hashtags, they’ll see your branded posts in the results and engage. You’ll probably gain new followers and potential new customers.
If you’re more well-known, you can create your hashtag for a product, service, or event you’re promoting. This will encourage your followers and customers to use the hashtag when they use a product or service which only increases visibility.
Creating your hashtag gives you a chance to dominate that arena with your brand.
One of the main reasons hashtags are used is for advertising.
When you post about a promotion using a specific hashtag, your followers will use that same hashtag when they share it with others. Then, it becomes a domino effect.
Hashtags create high visibility for a campaign, especially when it’s a promotion meant to reach a targeted audience. You can garner more reach for promotions by using relevant hashtags that you know your audience is already following as well.
When used to promote an event, the hashtag connects you with your followers and your followers with each other.
Think of it as a community building strategy.
Another useful tip for using hashtags to promote your business is to do a giveaway promotion. When you provide an incentive for an audience, people are more likely to engage.
Have a photo or video contest where people upload their content using a branded hashtag.
You can offer a prize related to your brand or otherwise.
With the entire world at our fingertips, getting lost in all the information is easy.
Due to all the noise in the media, many political organizations create hashtags for their important causes. It’s important to use branded hashtags rather than community hashtags when it comes to political content.
It’s similar to promoting an event, product or service except that it has a different purpose. When hosting a fundraiser event, politicians will have a branded hashtag that people can share.
When people share their posts before, during, and after the fundraiser, it creates more visibility.
These days, many businesses remain politically neutral. But for those unafraid to share their stance on political issues, hashtags help promote the cause.
Many customers are loyal to brands that share similar political attitudes as them. So, depending on your brand, it may be beneficial to use political hashtags to show your support for different causes.
The hashtag is here to stay!
They’ve been around for close to 10 years now. It’s highly unlikely people will stop using hashtags anytime soon.
Hashtags provide the ability to gain visibility and reach millions of people around the world. Hashtags are a crucial part of any successful marketing campaign. As a business, you’ll need to get on board if you want to be successful.
Hashtags are continually changing and evolving, which means it’s vital for companies to keep up. What was once a popular hashtag today, might be outdated tomorrow, especially if it’s a community hashtag.
Keep up with the current trends and hashtags to ensure your brand looks credible and trustworthy. People want to engage with brands that understand and represent them.
It doesn’t matter what kind of business you are. Hashtags increase brand awareness and visibility. They allow you to connect with others, precisely your target audience.
Alongside the excellent content you create, hashtags ensure that your voice is heard on Instagram and all other social media platforms.
Just don’t use too many, and make sure they are relevant to you!