Hashtags are important for your brand and posts. Just like on other social channels like Twitter, Instagram hashtags work by organising and categorising photo and video content. Using relevant, targeted hashtags for your brand on your posts and stories is one of the best ways to get discovered by new audiences on Instagram. This can eventually translate into more engagement, more followers, and more potential customers.
Every post can have a caption and up to 30 hashtags. Although these hashtags can help in the process of content discovery, we advise not to have our social creators include 30 hashtags. We advise you to choose up to 4 relevant hashtags to keep an overview per post.
Per example, a sports focused social creator might post a picture of their new sporty outfit, and use the hashtags #athlete, #sports and #activewear when they upload it to Instagram.
These hashtags make sure that this piece of content is categorised so other Instagram users who enjoy sports and search for the hashtag can easily find it. Hashtags therefor can really get your posts off the ground and with the right audience.
Instagram recently introduced the possibility to track how many people have discovered a post through the hashtags you used at the “From Hashtags” metric under impressions.
Since 2018, Instagram added the ability to also ‘follow’ certain hashtags, so you can stay updated on your favourite topics by following a hashtag related to your interests. Following a hashtag is just as simple as following a user’s profile. When you find a hashtag you’d like to follow you open the hashtag page and tap on the follow button.
For you as a brand, it widens the chance of you showing up on someones feed. Many of our brands already work with branded hashtags (#Scotch&SodaNL or #Scotch&SodaDE), and invite followers to follow that unique hashtag. We see brands use their company name, a tagline or product names as hashtags. You name it, we’ll advise!
We advise also to work with ‘community’ hashtags. Like branded hashtags, these hashtags connect users around one specific subject. You can think about previously mentioned examples like: #athlete, #sports and #activewear. While not directly promoting a brand or its products, hashtags like these are used constantly in millions of posts and may increase the visibility of your posts.
Our experience tells us that instead of using these VERY often used hashtags, the relevance of your hashtag is much more important than how popular it is. It’s good to focus on getting relevant audiences to view your posts instead of just ‘many’ people. Find out what hashtags are doing great in your relevant subject as this increases the opportunity for genuine interest, following and engagement. Therefor it’s better to find and use hashtags that are more niche like #TennisUK or #WatersportsUS, and have a truly engaged audience that’s relevant to your business.
Per campaign, brands sometimes choose to work with ‘campaign’ specific hashtags (#WhateverWeather by Scotch&Soda, #POWERhour by Sweaty Betty etc.). These hashtags are for specific campaigns - launching a product or service. Using these hashtags, brands choose to actively promote one single topic as much as possible until the campaign ends.
For example, in one of our campaigns with Under Armour they asked our social creators to go offline for a period 2 days and post an all-black image with the hashtag #GoneDark to increase excitement about the launch of a new product.
Also, Sweaty Betty once asked our social creators to join the #POWERhour movement! They were asked to join thousands of fitness studios, influencers, and celebrities across the country who showed their support by capturing their own #POWERhour moment on the morning of Thursday, September 8th, 2016 and posting on Instagram while wearing the leggings and tagging @sweatybetty and #POWERhour!
Using different types of hashtags and giving people multiple options to follow your branded content increases the chances of people seeing your content and engaging with it!
To increase opportunity for followers to follow a hashtag, you can also include a hashtag in your bio (for more info see link in bio), or the social creator can add this to their bio. When you include a “#” before a word in your bio it will become a clickable link that leads potential consumers to that hashtag.
Recently, Instagram added the option to include (up to 10) hashtags in people’s stories. This can be done using the text option or the sticker option.
When you add a hashtag to an Instagram post or Instagram story, it becomes searchable on the Search & Explore page. Anyone who searches for that hashtag in Instagram will be able to see your post or story.
What hashtags work for you?
Use our ‘Search’ function to see what hashtags are used in the most engaging posts. Browsing hashtags used for your competitors might give you insights into what hashtags work and which do not. It helps your to figure out what your potential customers are talking about and which hashtags they’re using. Also, there is always the possibility of you finding inspiration to create new hashtags while browsing!
When you use them right, hashtags can be a very powerful tool to have your potential consumers discover you! When used incorrectly, hashtags may distract from the goal of getting relevant followers and engagement. Our campaign managers will advise on how to best include hashtags in social creators posts without looking spammy!
Social creators can tag people or brands in a photo or video that is shared on their Instagram. Tagging someone or something enables others to click through to the tagged account within one click. Make it easy for people to find your brand on Instagram!