USING HASHTAGS ON INSTAGRAM
The right way to use hashtags on Instagram to expand your reach, gain more followers, and increase engagement with your community.
Hashtags are used across multiple social platforms and are a familiar concept to track trends and communities. If you just created your business’ Instagram account, or if you want to boost your following, hashtags are essential.
This guide will help you understand everything you need to know to build an effective hashtag strategy to maximize your reach, engagement, and following.
What are Hashtags?
Hashtags are used to track trends and engage with communities. Simply speaking, they are words or phrases about a specific topic.
By clicking on that hashtag, the user will be brought to a page that aggregates all of the posts with the same hashtags, in real-time.” Using hashtags is essential to get your posts discovered by new users; it expands the reach to other communities and audiences. The more targeted your hashtag strategy is, the more engagement, followers, and website clicks you’ll receive.
These are the nine types of hashtags you need to know:
- Branded Hashtags: This is specially created for a brand, and is used to increase brand awareness. It’s usually the company name.
- Product or service hashtags: These are basic keywords to describe your product or service, like #handbag or #divebar
- Niche hashtags: These get a little more specific, showing where you fit in the context of your industry, like #travelblogger or #foodblogger
- Industry Instagram community hashtags: Communities exist on Instagram, and these hashtags help you find and join them. Think #gardenersofinstagram or #craftersofinstgram
- Special event or seasonal hashtags: These can refer to real holidays or seasons, like #summerdays, or they can be used for all those National [Thing] Day holidays, like #nationalicecreamday or #nationalnailpolishday
- Location hashtags: Even if you geo-tag your Instagram post, it can still be a good idea to include a hashtag that refers to your location, like #vancouvercraftbeer or #londoneats
- Daily hashtags: Every day has plenty of its own hashtags, from #MondayBlues right through to #SundayFunday. We created a whole list of daily hashtags for you to choose from if you’re looking for an easy source of hashtags to add to your posts.
- Relevant phrase hashtags: These hashtags combine elements of product hashtags, niche hashtags, and community hashtags. Basically, they’re phrases people use on Instagram to connect to existing communities in a slightly insider way, like #amwriting or #shewhowanders
- Acronym hashtags: Perhaps the best-known acronym hashtag is #TBT for Throwback Thursday. Other popular acronym hashtags include #OOTD for outfit of the day, #FBF for flashback Friday, and #YOLO for you only live once.
- Emoji hashtags: These hashtags can include emojis on their own, like #????, or words or phrases with emojis attached, like #sunglasses????.
Hide your IG hashtags in the caption
If your brand is in any of the categories where hiding your hashtags in the caption is most effective, you may be wondering: how does one hide a hashtag?
Instagram limits the amount of text shown on your feed and hides additional text behind a “show more” link. Your goal is to get your hashtags to appear after that link. The problem is, when you’re keeping your captions short and sweet — always a good idea — how do you add enough text to keep your hashtags hidden?
The trick is to add line breaks. But this is a little harder than it sounds, because the Instagram app tends to wipe out line breaks added to text inputted directly to the caption editor.
The solution is to type your caption in a different text editor (like a note-taking app), then copy-paste. Type a character (a period is most inconspicuous, but you could also use asterisks or anything you like), then a line break, then another character, then another line break, until you have at least 5 lines. Add your hashtags underneath, and then copy and paste the whole thing into the Instagram caption editor.
Search Instagram hashtags before using them
Before you use a hashtag on Instagram, make sure search it yourself to see who is using it and what kind of content comes up. Just because a popular influencer or brand used it, doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for your conten
Top instagram hashtags
As of July 19, 2021, these are the top 50 hashtags on Instagram:
- #love (1.835B)
- #instagood (1.150B)
- #fashion (812.7M)
- #photooftheday (797.3M)
- #beautiful (661.0M)
- #art (649.9M)
- #photography (583.1M)
- #happy (578.8M)
- #picoftheday (570.8M)
- #cute (569.1M)
- #follow (560.9M)
- #tbt (536.4M)
- #followme (528.5M)
Keep in mind that the most popular Instagram hashtags are not necessarily the most effective.
A large number of posts may mean lots of people follow that hashtag, but it also means there’s a ton of content on it and your posts might get lost. Instagram suggests using a combination of popular and niche hashtags to reach different audiences, from broad to specific.
Create a branded hashtag
The best hashtag for your brand may be one you create yourself. A branded hashtag is simply a tag that you create to promote your own brand or campaign.
You can then let your audience know about your hashtag by including it in your Instagram bio and highlighting it in your captions and Instagram Stories. You could also consider running a contest with a branded hashtag to popularize the hashtag.