A Guide to Using Hashtags on Instagram

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Hashtags. They’re here, there, everywhere. The most important place (in our opinion) for hashtags are on INSTAGRAM. In 2019, everyone is familiar with hashtags. To someone who isn’t familiar, they can look a little bit out place sometimes but hashtags play an important role in growing your account’s reach and following.

Before we dig in into the world of #Hashtags, we’re going to break down the meaning for you. Hashtags on Instagram are like tags you put on your blog. They are used to index your posts around a certain keyword so people who will see it are the ones who are interested in it.

Essentially, it’s the same on Instagram. If you want to target certain keywords, you can use hashtags that are related to it. In this way, people are destined to engage with your posts. With relevant, targeted hashtags on your posts and stories, your brand is more likely to be discovered by new audiences on Instagram. This can directly translate to more engagement, more followers, and more customers for your business.

So now that you fully understand the definition of hashtags, let’s move on to answering one of the biggest questions by brands like you, “Do hashtags really matter on Instagram?”

Answer: YES! And we’ve curated some reasons why you should use hashtags on your Instagram posts to motivate you to apply this to your social media strategy.

Example hashtags for a hair salon

Example hashtags for a hair salon

Use hashtags to reach more users

Just like what we’ve said above, hashtags index your posts on Instagram so that more people will see them. You can really compare it to blog tags.

An example:

You are a hair salon and you post a picture of your latest client and their unique staying of color (Balayage). You could use the most relevant hashtag pertaining to this style #Balayage along with other hair related hashtags that are trending like #HairSalon and #HairStylist. We’d recommend using the remaining 4-27 hashtags to describe products used and the location of the salon, such as #FortLauderdaleSalon and #Redken #Wella, so on and so forth.

In this way, you will reach more people on Instagram that are interested on hair trends and local hair salons.

Why it’s important to use relevant hashtags

For our real estate centric clients, we often use hashtags such as #SellingHomes #LuxuryHomes and #MillionDollarListing. By using these three hashtags, among up to 27 others, we’re aiding in the process of discovery of these posts on Instagram, thus by using these hashtags we are making it easier for people interested in luxury real estate to find the post(s).

In this regard, users now have the option to ‘follow’ hashtags, meaning posts will show in their feeds regarding #LuxuryHomes if they follow that hashtag.


Using hashtags in your Instagam bio

Using hashtags in your Instagam bio

Hashtags will improve your branding

You can also invent hashtags on Instagram. If you want to make your business known online, you can turn it into a hashtag (e.g. featuring our client, Salon Mantra,  #MadeByMantra). When you do this, Instagram users will know that when they see this hashtag, it is your brand.

Doing this will make your brand stand out from the crowd because aside from using trendy hashtags to reach more audience, you are starting a new hashtag which customers can use to show others your products.

We often recommend placing your branded hashtag in your Instagram bio, as now you can actually link hashtags in there!

Hashtags can lead you to the trending page

You can also create a hashtag that you think will trend. Using your brand’s tagline is a nice idea (e.g. #MadeByMantra). Upon making this move, you will have the chance to be trending on Instagram which will benefit your brand.

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How is this possible? Well, if people start incorporating your hashtag on their posts, it can attract more to use it and eventually reach a large group of people.

But not all hashtags can trend so just keep posting them, but also create new ones.

So how do you know your hashtag strategy is working?

In 2019, there are many more tracking capabilities for hashtags. As a business profile, you are now able to see if people are coming to your page via hashtags. With tools such as SproutSocial, you are able to see what hashtags you’re using are the most effective. Another way of measuring the success as a business profile is to see the extended insights, and check out how many impressions came to your post because of the hashtag you used (check out the image example for our client, Salon Mantra).

When you’re just a start-up business or new on Instagram, using hashtags can really help you to reach a wider audience to market your products.

If you can, try posting a photo without the hashtags then after a while, post another one with the tags on. You’ll 100% see the difference. In fact, a post with at least one hashtag on Instagram averages 12.6% more engagement than posts without hashtags.

Curious on what hashtag strategy might be right for your brand’s Instagram? You can always consult professionals to help you create a marketing strategy to grow your brand on Instagram.



Lauren Bordelon