Are you using hashtags to increase Instagram followers?
Instagram is said to have 300 million monthly active users, with 14 million of those being from the UK. Can your business afford not to be active on Instagram and furthermore not to use it correctly?
When you upload a new photo to Instagram, it will appear in the feed of your followers, but how do you reach the millions of users who aren’t following you? We all want to get our content in front of an audience we have not reached before: with Instagram the answer is hashtags.
Your content can be found by millions of users on Instagram just by using hashtags. Other than a mention by an influencer in your industry, using the right hashtags is one of the most effortless ways to increase Instagram followers.
How do hashtags work? Instagram uses hashtags to place content into categories; this is why when searching Instagram, you will see that all trending topics are preceded with a hashtag. For your business, you want to hashtag your keywords to make your content discoverable.
What is the correct number of hashtags?
Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post, but ideally you want to be using between 5 and 10, depending on your brand and following.
Generally, there are two steps to consider with regards to the right amount of hashtags for your business:
a. What is the number of hashtags that the influencers in your industry and competitors are using?
b. What is the engagement like on your posts when using a varied amount of hashtags?
When you are initially starting out on Instagram, it is good practice to research what successful people/brands in your field are doing. You can gain valuable insight with regards to the amount of hashtags that are working in that industry.
As we have said many times, you need to be measuring and analysing any social media activity your business carries out, so you know what is (or isn’t) working for your business. There are various platforms and applications that can provide you with this information.
Relevant hashtags will increase Instagram followers
The hashtags that you use must be relevant to your industry and contain keywords that are being searched. You will not grow your audience by randomly adding hashtags onto non-targeted words in your post. Again, research your influencers and see what they are using and what is creating engagement.
What topics are trending?
A popular way of increasing your audience is to use trending hashtags.
There are two ways to use trending hashtags:
i. Monitor what is trending until one is relevant to your industry;
ii. Use a trending hashtag even if it is not related to your business.
You will receive a more targeted result when using a trending hashtag applicable to your industry; however, it may be infrequent that a topic relevant to you is trending. Therefore, if you use the second approach and use a trending hashtag that isn’t directly applicable to your business, you should stick to general events and link them back to your business.
Some hashtags are always current on Instagram, and these are called Evergreen hashtags. You will usually be able to find an Evergreen hashtag that you can use in your post. For example, if you’ve taken a photo from your office window, you could use #goodmorning; an Evergreen hashtag.
So, time for a recap – what do you need to be doing to increase your audience on Instagram?
1. Use the correct number of hashtags; usually between 5 and 10, but always be aware of your influencers and measure, measure, measure;
2. Make sure your hashtags are relevant to your industry;
3. Monitor what topics are trending and how you can tie them back to your business;
4. Evergreen hashtags – familiarise yourself with them and use them when necessary.