If you want to grow your Instagram page, it’s time to start using hashtags to help your posts be seen and engaged with..
Hashtags are, well, hashtags (#) that you add to the bottom of your Instagram captions. They are a way for Instagram (and other platforms) to categorize information clearly, in order to cut through all the social media noise and help people find and follow accounts that are meaningful to them. People use hashtags to search for different topics on Instagram and find new accounts to follow.
For example, if you’re interested in natural hair products, you can search for #naturalhairproducts and find hundreds of relevant posts and accounts related to these types of products. Chances are, you’ll end up following and engaging with an account you like – and you may even purchase some hair products from them.
Just like that, you can go from searching a specific hashtag to following, engaging with and becoming a client of a new account.
This is how hashtags work.
However, the number-one mistake people make with hashtags is using the same list of 30 hashtags for every single post, or randomly choosing different hashtags on a whim. As a result, you’re probably not creating the engagement you need to show up in the feeds of your dream clients and attract new people to your account. Thus, the goal of a hashtag strategy is to find the right hashtags that align with your brand and content and match what your ideal audience is searching for online.
This way, you can help the right people follow and engage with your account and ultimately become your clients.
Hashtag tip 1: Niche down
One of the easiest ways to improve your hashtag strategy is to stop only using big and generic hashtags like #business #coaching #lifestyle.
These hashtags are so huge that there are millions of results when you search for them, and therefore, there’s a low chance your accounts will be seen. For example, a search for #coaching, returns over 17 million results!
The more you niche-down your account and use specific hashtags, the more chances are that the right people are going to want to follow your content.
A good rule of thumb is to use up to 30 hashtags for each Instagram post, following these steps:
1. Research the best specific hashtags for your business:
Use specific and tailored hashtags instead of generic ones. For example, instead of using #coaching you can use #careercoaching, which only has 200k search results. was Some tips for finding better hashtags:
- Use the search suggestions to find other relevant hashtags in your area (like #careercoachingforwomen). Always think of what your ideal client would be searching for.
- Research your competitors and see which hashtags they’re using.
- Research your potential clients and see which hashtags they’re using.
2. Create a mix of different types of hashtags depending on the number
of search results:
- Big hashtags: 1m+ search results
- Medium-sized hashtags: 500k – 1m search results
- Small-sized hashtags: <500k search results
Also, it’s important not to use random, trending hashtags that have nothing to do with your actual posts. Remember, these platforms want to provide relevant content to the relevant people.
For example, if you’re a life coach who consistently posts healthy breakfast smoothies, then we don’t recommend using the hashtag #lifecoachingforwomen for those posts since it’ll confuse the algorithm and your potential followers. If your account is about life coaching then post content about life coaching, and only then use the hashtag #lifecoaching.
Instagram’s algorithm is very sophisticated and you’ll be punished for using hashtags that aren’t relevant to the content you’re posting (punished = your content not being seen on the platform).
You can also vary up the type of hashtags you use by category. There are 9 main categories of Instagram hashtags:
- Niche hashtags – What we mentioned above (#lifecoach, #travelblogger)
- Product/service hashtags – Basic words that describe what you offer (#gourmetpizza, #vintagetshirts)
- Seasonal or special event hashtags – Refer to special days of the year, whether regular holidays or social-media holidays (#firstdayofspring, #nationalbeerday)
- Instagram industry community hashtags – Meant to help you join Instagram “communities” in your industry (#dogwalkersofinstagram, lifecoachesofinstagram)
- Daily hashtags – Specifically relevant to the day of the week (#Mondaymotivation, #winewednesday)
- Acronym hashtags – Usually slang that has been popularized as hashtags (#OOTD for outfit of the day, #TBT for Throwback Thursday) Insta-phrase hashtags – “Insider” hashtags that connect you to communities using phrases that are popular on Instagram (#livesimply, #shewhowanders)
- Emoji hashtags – Like they sound, hashtags with or referring to emojis! (#:D, #sunglasses)
- Location hashtags – Particularly helpful for local businesses, and refers to your location (#donutsofderryville, #newyorkfashion)
Take advantage of the different types of hashtags, and try to switch it up once in a while to see if your posts can reach new territory. That said, remember to only use hashtags that are relevant to your posts.
Hashtag tip 2: Rotate your hashtags
The second tip has to do with rotating your hashtags. Most people just use the same 30 hashtags over and over again in all of their posts.
However, like we mentioned earlier, Instagram’s algorithm is very sophisticated. It wants to reward original content and punish spammers. Therefore, if you’re using the same hashtags over and over again, your account may eventually be considered a spam account and your content won’t be shown.
One way to mitigate this risk is to create different buckets of hashtags and make sure to rotate them consistently (i.e. use different buckets for different posts).
For example, at Tailor Brands, we have several buckets of hashtags including:
- Hashtag Bucket 1: Branding
Here we include 30 hashtags related to branding: #brandingforbusiness, #brandingdesign, #brandingideas, #brandingtips, etc.
- Hashtag Bucket 2: Small Business
Here we include 30 hashtags related to small businesses: #smallbusinesstips, #smallbusinessmarketing, #smallbusinesslove, #smallbusinessowner, etc.
Depending on the post, we’ll rotate the use of these different hashtags. You can even get more creative and create buckets within buckets; for example, use a different mix of branding-related hashtags.
Over to You
Now it’s time to get to work. Start researching the best, most tailored hashtags for your business and get posting!