You can currently use up to 30 hashtags per Instagram post. That’s 30 chances to get your content seen by the right people. But how do you know which hashtags to actually use? Cue the very simple research strategy.
When using hashtags on Instagram, it’s important that they attract the right people to your content. It might be nice to see the numbers rising on your post likes, but these numbers mean nothing unless they convert. That’s why it’s important to use the right hashtags.
Before you start researching your hashtags, you need to answer two questions:
- What exactly does my business do?
- Who is my target audience?
Write down a list of keywords and phrases that relate to your business, products and/or services and the type of person you want to come into contact with your content. These keywords will be the basis of your research.
Now it’s time to start a little search party. Open up your Instagram app and go to the explore tab – that’s the little magnifying glass icon. In the search bar at the top, enter your first keyword and tap on “Tags”. You’ll then get a list of related hashtags that you can choose from.
The above example is a search for “coaching”. As you can see, there are a number of related tags relating to this word that you can scroll through. You can do this with all of your keywords and phrases until you find a collection of hashtags well-suited to you and your business.
The key thing to remember when doing this is to look at the number of posts associated with each hashtag. While it may be tempting to go for the ones with the higher numbers (they’re obviously popular, after all), this isn’t the best strategy. Take a look at the top result on the example above. With 10.7 million posts, #coaching is obviously a very popular tag. However, it’s also a great place for your content to get lost.
From the moment you post a photo on Instagram, it’s shot off into the algorithm, fighting to be seen. Using a hashtag with so many other posts may get yours seen a couple of times but, chances are, it’ll be buried deep in users’ feeds within mere seconds.
When choosing your own hashtags, try to go for ones with no fewer than 5,000 associated posts and no more than 500,000. While some users may see better results with different numbers, I have personally found this to be an optimal range.
For many users, finding the right hashtags is a trial and error game. When you switch to a business account, you can use your analytics to see how users found your content. This will allow you to see which hashtags are producing the best results for you. When you gather this information, you’ll be able to see which ones to ditch and which ones to use more often. Make sure you switch up your tags over different posts, though.
Finally, if you want to keep content that you and your tribe have produced together, create your own hashtag and encourage your followers to use it. Try to go for someone unique, catchy and that relates to your business.
I’d love to hear how you get on.