Why are hashtags so important for Instagram success?
As an online marketing Denver company, it is critical for companies to use hashtags on their social media posts. The amount of hashtags that should be used on different social media platforms is a different conversation, but for Instagram, there are some basics to understand when it comes to the importance of hashtags on its social platform.
Why would a social media post need hashtags? This is because hashtags are how your content gets in front of an audience, and even more importantly the right audience. Without hashtags, the posts themselves would only reach the followers who are currently following the business page itself.
Posting interesting content that consumers interested in your products and/ services want to see on Instagram is the first step to getting more engagement from your existing followers, but what about reaching out to new people and gaining their interest in what you have to offer?
Our online marketing Denver company always explains that hashtags are one of the best tools to expose your content to the right audience organically, without spending your precious advertising dollars.
Here are some tips for using hashtags to spread your content and get more eyes on your posts:
Choose hashtags wisely
The thing with choosing the right hashtags is most times people see hashtags with over a million other posts and think those are the best ones. While they are relevant and popular, it is important to understand that the hashtag might not be the best one for the post itself. What do we mean by this?
There are two notions behind this. A hashtag that is content-saturated is going to sift through that content quickly. The content that stays at the top of the hashtag is getting more engagement.
In 2018, Instagram launched an algorithm that prioritizes content based on the likes, comments and re-grams it receives in X amount of time. This could be why you notice content from weeks ago back at the top of your feed.
It is important to take into account that a post only lasts for about 21 hours with decent engagement or none at all. That is why, when it comes to these large hashtags it might not be best for a small business to post with those ones.
With that in mind, the second notion is to make sure to prioritize and use hashtags that YOUR company’s target audience is searching for.
WordStream provided a great example of this! A popular hashtag with over one billion posts is ‘#InstaGood’. This is a content-saturated hashtag, which can be used, but what about finding a niche one to go along with it?
What about ‘#InstaGood��’ which has a little over 5,000 posts connected to it.
With so many hashtags out there, it's important to tag your posts with relevant ones so they come up when users search for similar products and/or services search for a hashtag.
Before you publish a post, look at some popular hashtags related to the topic and how many average views and posts there are under each one. While you are conducting hashtag research, do not forget about smaller, more relevant hashtags that the company’s target audience will be searching for! While it is great to use those larger, popular hashtags, it is also just as important to use smaller, relevant hashtags as well.
Need help with hashtag research? Here’s a free tool to get started!
Utilize hashtags on stories
⅓ of the most viewed stories on Instagram are from businesses and on average brands are posting two stories per week! Instagram has over one billion active users and half of these users follow Instagram Stories. Instagram Stories provide a company with the ability to post behind the scene moments, fun office days, video ads, content and to be a bit more casual than posting to the feed itself.
Just like with hashtags on posts, Instagram Stories should always have hashtags added to the story. There is a sticker when posting a story that allows users to search for hashtags, but that only allows one. Bummer!
No worries, simply just click on the text option and type the hashtag symbol and start typing. It works exactly the same which allows for more hashtags to be utilized, in return, this helps the overall reach of the story and brings in more followers from these hashtags.
Change it up and often
New hashtags are constantly being developed and gaining popularity based on what's exciting and interesting to your target audience. With this being said, it is important to constantly double check if hashtags from weeks ago are still relevant.
When was the last post? Is it even relevant to our post? Who is using this?
Popular terms in your industry can be different in other countries or even on different coasts of the same country. Do not be afraid to experiment and see which ones bring more customers to the business page. Incorporate emojis, abbreviations and geographic locations to see if these help bring in a larger audience.
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Posted In: Social Media and Digital Marketing