A great example of a brand that uses trending hashtags effectively is Lush.
The cosmetics brand is known for being an advocate for animal rights and frequently uses popular hashtags on Instagram related to this cause.
Niche hashtags are related to your specific industry.
These types of hashtags help you reach your target audience more easily. They’re more precise and show how you fit in your field or industry.
Using them can help you engage a highly relevant audience, especially if they’re tied to your expertise. These are the best hashtags for Instagram accounts wanting to target specific shoppers.
For instance, #organicskincare is effective if you’re a skincare brand primarily focused on creating organic products. At the same time, people who care about such items will search for that specific hashtag.
Niche hashtags should be the staple of your hashtag marketing strategy.
You’ll want to research the most popular Instagram hashtags in your industry and identify a few less popular hashtags that will help you stand out more easily.
Many companies create hashtags for their brands or products to make them more recognizable on social media platforms.
So, avoid using the same go-to hashtags for each of your posts. Refresh your language regularly so your hashtags perform better in the platform’s algorithm.
Don’t be spammy
Instagram hashtags that blatantly ask for likes and follows—including #followme, #like4like, and others—attract spammers, bots, and users who have no interest in your brand.
It also tells your audience you’re okay with such behavior, which can harm your brand.
Maintain a pool of frequently used hashtags
Although we mentioned how using hashtags repetitively isn’t a good idea, we suggest you keep a stock of go-to hashtags.
Having a collection of strings that fit your various types of content is extremely helpful as you switch up which hashtags you use.
It can be as simple as keeping a list, selecting an appropriate few, and rotating regularly.
This prevents you from relying on the same hashtag for every Instagram post and minimizes the memory work needed to craft new ones.
It also allows you to research what material exists for your hashtag pool.
Use a combination of hashtags
Using a combination of trending, niche, and branded hashtags will give your company or brand the best shot at generating a lot of engagement for your Instagram posts.
You should also strive to use a mix of highly popular and less popular hashtags.
Popular hashtags will help expose your content to a large number of people, while the less popular ones will give you a better chance of engaging new users.
Add most of your hashtags in a comment
If you want to reach a large audience with your Instagram posts, you’ll want to use several hashtags.
But stuffing all of them into your post description can detract from the main message, as well as make your post seem spammy.
Use a couple of key hashtags in your description, and then add the rest in a comment.
Use hashtags in Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories is another great place to use hashtags on the platform.
There are three ways you can use hashtags in Stories: with a sticker, in text, or through a location tag.
Once you add a hashtag to a story, it’ll be displayed on top, and you’ll be able to stylize it the same way you do text and stickers.
There is a difference between using hashtags in posts versus Instagram Stories. Hashtags in a story won’t necessarily be added to Instagram’s hashtag aggregation system, which means it won’t always appear on the Explore tab when users browse a hashtag.
Whether it gets added depends on the quality of the video or image you used in the Story, as well as the engagement your story gets.
With that said, it’s definitely worth it to hashtag your Stories since over 500 million users look at Instagram Stories every single day.
Host a hashtag contest
Instagram users love contests.
Hosting a hashtag contest is a great way to make your branded hashtag more popular and encourage the creation of user-generated content that you can use in subsequent campaigns.
Before starting your contest, you’ll want to decide what you want to accomplish—are you looking to raise brand awareness, get more followers, collect user-generated content or generate sales?
Decide on a goal and design your contest to give yourself the best chance of achieving it.
After deciding on a goal, you’ll want to figure out one or more prizes for the contestants. This can be anything from getting featured on your account to receiving free products.
Review Instagram’s promotion guidelines before brainstorming your contest to abide by the platform’s rules.
Measure your hashtag marketing results
It’s important to track and measure your hashtag marketing results.
That way, you’ll be able to understand if what you’re doing is working or not, as well as make any necessary changes.
You’ll want to keep an eye on the following:
Views: Track how many views your Instagram posts are getting. Compare how posts with one set of hashtags are performing compared to posts that use a different set of hashtags.
Hashtag usage: Are other people using your branded hashtag? It’s crucial to track hashtag usage to understand if your branded hashtag has caught on or if you need to change your strategy to achieve better results.
Followers: Your hashtag marketing campaign should generate more exposure for your content but also help grow your following. Make sure to track follower growth before and after each campaign.
Be methodical and strategic when using Instagram hashtags
How you implement hashtags can make or break your Instagram marketing, and using them effectively requires detailed attention.
Be meticulous when researching potential strings and adopt tools that will speed up the process.
Once you’ve found or built them from scratch, ensure your hashtags fit your content without being spammy and repetitive.
Use Instagram’s insights to see their results, then make adjustments where needed.
By following the recommendations in this article, you’ll be able to introduce hashtags that help your brand stand out and expand your following.
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Rachel is a remote marketing manager with a background in building scalable content engines. She creates content that wins customers for B2B eCommerce companies like MyFBAPrep, Shogun, and more. In the past, she has scaled organic acquisition efforts for companies like Deliverr and Skubana.