Hashtags are an integral part of social media. Using relevant, targeted hashtags on your Instagram posts and stories is one of the best ways to get discovered by new audiences; translating to more engagement, more followers, and consequently more customers for your business. Hashtags work by categorizing photo and video content so that the post will be visible on the corresponding hashtag page. A post with at least one hashtag generates an average of 12.6% more engagement than posts without hashtags!

It is important to get your hashtags right. You need to use a mix of low and mid volume hashtags in order to build genuine relationships and followers. Viral hashtags are very hard to rank for, making it difficult to get the post in front of your target audience. Low volume hashtags have a range of 1 to 20,000 posts, mid volume have a range of 20,000 to 50,000 posts and a viral hashtag is anything over 50,000 posts. You can see the volume of posts per hashtag by searching for the hashtag on Instagram.

The first step in identifying the best hashtags to use is uncovering the hashtags that are popular in your industry. Look at influencers and competitors in your industry and what hashtags they’re using, as well as what hashtags your target customers are using. From this list of hashtags, consider related hashtags which can be found above the “top” and “recent” tabs on any hashtag page.

There are 3 types of hashtags; community, brand, and campaign. Community hashtags connect like-minded people around a topic, allowing you to connect with others and improve the searchability of your posts. For example, a Florist might use the hashtag #flowersnz to target people living in New Zealand who are interested in floral arrangements. Brand hashtags are unique to you and your brand and allows you and your audience to connect. Campaign hashtags are usually shorter-term and are tied to specific campaigns, like new product launches and special events.

Powerful hashtags are short and punchy, descriptive, creative, unique, and relevant. You should aim to have at least 10 hashtags per post when building up a brand, but as long as they are relevant, you can never have too many hashtags! It is important to change up your hashtags for each post to reach a wider audience and avoid looking “spammy”.

If used correctly, hashtags are a great way to connect with your customers and increase your audience- leading to higher engagement and more customers! If you need help with a hashtag strategy, get in touch, we’d love to help!