How to Use #Hashtags on Instagram For Maximum Reach

Hashtag

Hashtags (Pound sign) have become one of the most critical and powerful tools in today’s online marketing industry. I used to find it funny whenever someone used them just to sound cool but Hashtagging has become a big thing in the last few years. And now we indirectly think of hashtags, whenever someone refers to social media

So there are 6 ways through which you can take your hashtag game to the next level and also improve your reach. But first, let’s see from where it all started.

Following are some points to know How to Use #Hashtags on Instagram for maximum reach:

Hashtag origin

It’s been a while since we are using hashtags for categorizing information. Its first appearance on the internet was in 1988. It was first used on Internet relay chat or IRC. Hashtags were used for the same purpose it is used today, for categorizing messages, images, and other content.

In 2007, Chris Messina brought the hashtag to Twitter. Funny thing, that initially it was put down by Twitter as they referred to it as “thing for nerds”. But soon it spread all over twitter. Chris Messina was later credited as the godfather of the hashtag; and from there it started appearing on the other social media sites as well.

Use of hashtags became so popular that some social media sites like Instagram were forced to set the limit on the use of hashtags i.e. 30 hashtags per post and today we hardly see any post without any hashtag symbol.


Research

The first and foremost thing, do a ton of research to find the best possible hashtags that you can use for your brand. Search the keywords that are related to your brand and see what kind of posts come up.

If they are similar to your post you can get many other similar hashtags from there. (the search will itself show you a list of tags that are trendy). Make sure they don’t have a double meaning so that your target audience won’t get confused.

Also, don’t forget to check the number of results shown for different hashtags. Pick the ones which are not overly popular. Those overly popular tags might help you get instant likes or followers, but they won’t help your page become discoverable. You’ll end up getting lost in the clutter, so pick the ones that are used in moderation and coordinate well with your brand.

To save some time you can use various research tools. But remember, it will be easier for the target audience to find your brand if the scope of the tags that you are using is narrow.


Don’t overuse

There are many marketers who use 30 tags each post, you might be tempted to do so too but engaging the targeted audience isn’t about going overboard. To make your brand grow, your content has to reach the right person. For which you need to use your hashtags strategically. Use only relevant hashtags that align with your brand or content. So do not copy-paste the list of hashtags that you have been using for all the posts.

For boasting engagement 11 tags are the optimal number of tags for each post. It’s better to be picky and use only a handful of effective hashtags rather than piling the post with 30 tags.

Another important thing, don’t use the banned ones. You can check by searching the hashtag in the explore page and if nothing appears in the search results or it is linked to a broken page, it’s banned.


Check out your competitors and Audience

After you are done with your research. Use your spying skills to do some investigation about your competitors and your audience, it’s a part of the research. Knowing what kind of hashtags are being used in your industry will help you form a better strategy.

You don’t need to copy all the hashtags which your competitors are using. It’s just to help you know whether you want to use the same hashtags or not. And check out what kind of hashtags are being followed by your audience too.

You might get to know about some trendy tags in your industry, identify them, and see what works best for you.


Create hashtags for your brand

Having your own hashtags sounds cool, right? Create a unique hashtag for your business. You can run a campaign and ask your audience to use your branded hashtag and thanks to new features on Instagram, now people can easily follow the hashtag page.

So post gripping content and use your branded tag to make people follow your hashtag and also, use your hashtag on all social media platforms for recognition. You can use them on (both online and offline) banners or templates (if in case you issue one) for more brand awareness.

While making your own hashtag make sure it’s catchy and interesting as it will represent your brand. You can add clickable hashtags in your bio, don’t forget to use it for promoting your branded hashtag.


Hide your hashtags

We keep on talking about hashtags but how to hide them? Hiding your hashtags will not help you in engagement (really), but it will help your audience to stay focused on your caption and make your post more presentable.

You can hide the hashtags which are used just to target the audience (just don’t hide your branded hashtag because you are promoting it). It’s better to avoid crowding your caption because it will look spammy.  You can hide your hashtags in caption and in the story.


In comments

After publishing your post, enter your hashtags in comments. It won’t be visible until or unless we click on the “view all comments” button.


In caption

After completing your caption with a period, add a dash or period on each separate line (Six times). And then add hashtags. This way they will not be visible, as Instagram hides the caption after 3 lines.


In stories

Adding hashtags in stories can also help you to reach the new audience but that depends on the level of engagement. For which we can add tags in stories, maximum 10. You can add tags, shrink them, and use stickers to hide them.


Analyze your performance through insights

After all, is done, you need to sit back and see that your hashtags are working or not. If you have a business profile, you can easily check the effectiveness of your tags with the help of insights feature.

You can analyze the success of tags for individual posts. To access it, open your post and click on “view insights”. You can see the full details about that particular post, interaction, discovery, reach, and impressions from hashtags.

But if you want to monitor the performance of individual hashtag. There are tons of tools that can help you in tracking their performance.


Author’s note

Bet you didn’t think that there was so much in between correctly harnessing the power of #Hashtags to boost your business and your reach; but trust me, that isn’t all of it. There are plenty of other ways through which you can gain max reach but those given above are the most known and most preferred methods of successful firms.

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