5 Tips for Small Businesses Using Instagram Hashtags

  • Social Media

You’ve recently created your business’ Instagram account and it features posts with a wide variety of products – products that you feel have a lot of personality and really shine. However, your posts aren’t getting the engagement that you feel they should or could. 

Creating an Instagram account is easy, but creating a successful Instagram strategy is not. The early stages of a new Instagram strategy can be a little rocky. You’re figuring out how to use the platform, you’re trying to understand the audience that you want to attract, the best way to use the platform to attract said audience. There is a lot to wrap your head around. 

Hashtags (“#”) are a great starting place for an Instagram strategy. On the surface, adding a hashtagged word or phrase may not seem like much, but including them in your posts can drive a lot of reach and engagement, quality engagement. Hashtags can be easy to use, but hard to master. Here are a few tips to get you closer to mastering Instagram hashtags for your business. 

How Do I Find These Hashtags?

To start using hashtags, it’s important to know what hashtags that you should start using. While there’s no set rule when it comes to which hashtags will get you the most engagement, there are strategies that you can use to improve your business’ overall Instagram strategy. 

Competitor Hashtag Research

Research is important when developing a new social media strategy. Researching how other businesses in your industry are using Instagram and hashtags is a great place to start. It never hurts to keep an eye out on your competition. While you may not have the exact same brand offerings, there is a lot of room to use competitor research to build a foundation to spread your brand’s voice as your following grows. 

There is a lot to think about when it comes to how your competitors use hashtags. When looking at your competition, take some time to notice any patterns, trends and other commonalities with how your competition is taking advantage of the platform. Look at which of their posts and hashtags are receiving the most engagement to help you get inspiration.

Influencer Hashtag Research

Similar to competitor research, researching hashtags used by industry leaders or influencers can be used to get an idea of what’s going on in your industry. Take some time to think about those who have the largest following in your industry and those that you admire. Look for their Instagram profiles and get an idea at what hashtags and posts have been the most successful for them. 

Also, look at multiple profiles to see if there are any social media trends that you could be missing. This could help inspire future posts or even products. It never hurts to get as many industry perspectives as you can. 

Use Instagram’s Search Function to Find Related Hashtags

Instagram’s search function can be used to find a lot of different things on the platform. You can use it to find others’ profiles, different images and trends. This is a good opportunity to search hashtags that are related to your industry or your product offerings to gauge which hashtags are getting the most engagement in your industry.

Draft a list of hashtags that you have in mind or have tried using before. Through looking at the hashtags that have been used in previous posts, you can start searching for similar hashtags. One’s first instinct is to only look at the successful posts with hashtags, but take some time to look at all of the hashtags you’ve used. Whether through looking at successful or unsuccessful hashtags in the search function, it is always possible to find some inspiration for hashtags that you could include in future posts. 

How Do I Use These Hashtags?

So now that you’ve got an idea of how to get new hashtags, it’s time to figure out how to get the most out of them. After all, what good is this newly acquired information if you don’t put it to good use. There are ways to use these hashtags strategically to drive continued reach and engagement with your business’ profile. 

Use Hashtags Your Industry’s Audience Is Searching For

With the list of hashtags that you have at your disposal, get an understanding of your industry’s trends to know when to use these hashtags. Use this list that you have to add hashtags by the different times of the year. It helps to know what they’re searching for currently and what they could be searching for in the near future.

Use Hashtags on Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories has become an important feature for businesses since its inception earlier this year. Businesses are finding new, creative ways to integrate Instagram stories into their social media strategy. This presents a new opportunity for you to get your hashtags out in front of your audience. 

While you can’t research the use of hashtags on Instagram stories in the same way that you can for posts, you can use your more successful hashtags in your stories to drive further engagement with your page. If people are finding your Instagram profile through certain hashtags, it makes sense that your Stories content would be related to said hashtags. 

Let Marketing Refresh Help You Out!

With Instagram’s dominance in social media, it’s good for businesses to get the most out of the platform. Whether it’s to drive reach and engagement or to understand your audience, learning how to use hashtags is a great starting point. 

Instagram, and instagram hashtags are an important part of any business’ social media strategy. If you’re looking for guidance for your business’ social media strategy, give us a call!

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