Though Twitter introduced hashtags, Instagram has put them on the map. Hashtags on Instagram are critical, mainly to increase reach and connect with the target audience. In recent days, hashtags not just categorize the content but also makes it highly visible to users. It is a perfect way to gain more followers, boost engagement, expand your reach and brand awareness.
If you’re looking for a way to get the most of the platform to reach a wider audience, using hashtags is an excellent way to go. These days users follow hashtags just like they follow users. Hence it is crucial to get strategic, intentional, and creative about hashtag usage and research. In this article, we shall look into expanding your reach with the Instagram hashtags in 2021.
What is an Instagram Hashtag?
Instagram hashtags are clickable and discoverable texts or phrases created by prefixing with a ‘#’ sign, added to the posts, IGTV videos, and stories. While users on Instagram tap on a hashtag, they are directed to a page of recent and popular posts that uses the hashtag. Users could follow hashtags just like they follow profiles or brands on Instagram. Making use of hashtags is the quickest way to build your reach on Instagram. The algorithm considers hashtags to determine the type of content to showcase to specific users in the explore tab. Sometimes, the users may search for specific hashtags to discover the relevant content.
7 Ways To Maximize Your Reach Using Instagram Hashtags
1. Analyze Your Hashtags Analytics
One of the great ways to determine which hashtags to use is by looking at the hashtags in older posts and using them in the new ones. The native analytics tool shows you the Instagram impressions and other related data to track the insights on hashtags that you use. Also, when you add new hashtags to your posts, you can monitor their performance accurately.
2. Make Use Of different Hashtags in Each Post
There is a plethora of data about the hashtags to use. You could use up to 30 hashtags, but including at least 11 hashtags is a great way to increase engagement and reach. Apart from using branded hashtags,
ensure that you use multiple hashtags for every post of yours. It diversifies the posts that you may appear in, and that could boost the reach over time.
3. Hide Some Hashtags
As the hashtags may appear cluttered or spammy in your posts, it is a good idea to hide those hashtags to keep the audience focused on your captions. You could hide the hashtags using the following methods:
- Once you have finished writing your caption with a dot, tap Return.
- Type a punctuation and tap Return once again, and repeat this step multiple times.
- Enter the hashtags next to the last line.
It works best as the Instagram tucks captions after the first three lines, so the hashtags won’t be visible unless the user clicks on the “more” link or “read comments” on the posts.
You may have observed that many brands and creators insert hashtags in the first comment of the post rather than in the caption. It is an excellent way to keep the captions tidy and make them less desperate for reach. But recently, Instagram has announced that including hashtags in comments is not a great idea as it does not help users find your content on the platform.
4. Build Communities Using Hashtags
Identify different ways to utilize niche hashtags and interact with focus and target micro-communities or active ones to increase the brand’s engagement and visibility while maintaining a conversation.
To determine community-based hashtags, take research to find what type of hashtags the target audience uses while discussing things relevant to your business or brand, and later adopt them. Provide a reason to mention your hashtags for the users and customers. The users respond better if they get something from the interactions, whether a prize or sharing UGC.
5. Use Hashtags in Instagram Stories To Drive Traffic To Your Branded Hashtag
Including hashtags in Instagram stories as a sticker, text, or location tag gives the content a second chance to discover the new users. As the audience is more likely to tap on a hashtag here, it drives traffic. As a result, sending the audience to the branded hashtag to see a complete feed of user-generated content made by the customers is good usage.
6. Incorporate Hashtags in Your Profile Bio
As Instagram profiles let, only one hyperlink, including hashtags, motivate users to initiate a conversation and share their experiences with your brand. Instagram hashtags added to profiles, the feature that offers a much-needed boost for bios by linking to hashtag feeds.
7. Avoid Using Banned Hashtags
Instagram restricts- permanently and temporarily- specific hashtags from displaying in search pages to keep Instagram’s content following its terms of service. Though there is no complete list of prohibited hashtags, it restricts offensive, violent, pornographic, illegal drug-related, gun transaction-focussed, organized crimes, terrorism-oriented hashtags, and hate groups.
Here’s how to see if you’re using a forbidden hashtag by accident:
- To go to the Explore page, tap on the magnifying glass symbol.
- In the search bar, type the hashtag you’re looking for.
- It is forbidden to use a hashtag; it does not display in search results (temporarily or permanently).
Note that hashtags banned may still appear in search results. Tap the hashtag to confirm a ban (if it were banned, it would link to a broken page).
Instagram hashtags are effective tools for expanding an audience, increasing engagement, and reaching out to potential customers. Whether you want to take advantage of the popularity of Instagram video content or utilize the visual medium for your online marketing strategy, hashtags are the best method to raise your brand’s visibility and increase the possibilities of success on the platform. Instagram hashtags excite users’ interest and attract them, encouraging them to participate in the conversation. Initiate by conducting research specific to the brand and target demographic, and you’ll be on the right track.
You’ll be right on your way if you take full advantage of Instagram hashtags for the brand with some intense research, a well-thought plan, and proper execution.