Hashtags are an integral part of Instagram. They can help your business be more discoverable, expand your reach, start a conversation, and even create user-generated content. Used efficiently, hashtags can help generate a significant amount of engagement on your posts. In recent updates, Instagram has been making it easier for you to optimize hashtags to their full potential:
“Instagram recently released a feature that allows users to follow hashtags in addition to other users. Users can now follow everything from #Seattleshopping to #Ravenclawforever. And if you can crack the hashtags your target audience is most likely to follow, you have an instant way to get into the feeds of audience members who may not have heard about you yet.” -Social Media Examiner

Do you need to step up your hashtag game on Instagram? You definitely might. Although it takes a little bit of time and research, it just may help you achieve some of your marketing goals. Here are 3 ways that you can start using hashtags more effectively on Instagram.

1. Use multiple location hashtags

This tactic is one of the most effective, and has the most potential to increase your follower count. If you’re a local business, using hashtags that have to do with where you are located allows you to connect with the consumers in your community. People love to support the businesses in their community, and sometimes tourists will look under these hashtags when trying to find things to do and places to go in your area.

Figuring out commonly used hashtags in your area does take a bit of time, but it will be worthwhile when you start getting engagement from those in your community.

Instagram hashtag search

2. Popular hashtags in your industry

This is another item that will take a bit of research and exploring throughout Instagram. The purpose of this is to reach people who are searching for your products or services that you offer. This is a great way to let people know that you’re out there, and it allows people that have never heard of your business before to find you.

What hashtags are other businesses in your industry using? What are the big brands using? What key words and phrases are popular in your industry? Take some time to look into this and add them to your list.

Here is the list of marketing related hashtags that Tweak uses for almost everything that we post on Instagram:

Make use of multiple hasgtags in Instagram

3. Create your own branded hashtags and encourage UGC

Did you know that creating your own hashtag can both create conversation and make it easier to track what people are saying about your brand? Even if these conversations don’t happen right on your page, your hashtag will allow you to see what’s going on outisde of it. You can create hashtag that has to do with your business name. For example, we use #TweakTeam or #TweakSocialMedia. You can even create a unique tag for a contest and request that your followers use it to be entered.

There are many brands that struggle with leveraging user-generated content. You would be surprised at how willing people are to create it, you just have to ask them to! The whole point of social media marketing is getting people engaged on the things that you post, starting a conversation, and creating relationships.

PRO TIP: Once you’ve done your research and have your list of hashtags (no more than 30!), type them out on your notes app on your phone. That way, whenever you post something on your page, you can copy and paste them without having to type them out each time!