The age of micro-influencers is upon us, and if you are planning to join the bandwagon, you could use a little food for thought. In this age, the practice of using hashtags to grow your followers on Instagram seems to result in two polarising views. You’re either too generous with hashtags throughout all of your posts, or you hate them and avoid them like the plague. However, hashtags allow you to widen the reach of your posts. So, love it, hate it, but you can’t ignore it.
Instagram is tailor-made for the use of relevant hashtags. In fact, hashtags are arguably Instagram’s primary means of filtering and sorting content. Simply put, hashtags are powerful. Here’s the catch, with great power comes great responsibility (#spiderman).
On that note, here’s an ultimate guide to using hashtags to skyrocket your follower count on Instagram.
1. Use popular hashtags means engagement
Using and exploring popular hashtags is a great way to boost your followers’ count on Instagram. This way, posts will feature in the search results of people who search for the hashtags you’ve used.
A recent update on Instagram lets people follow a few selected hashtags. This should further amp up the reach of your posts. Individuals searching for a specific hashtag will stumble upon your post. If they find it appealing, they may even begin to follow you in the hope of finding more of such compelling content.
However, there’s a caveat to be remembered here. Using a popular but irrelevant hashtag does nothing to boost your Instagram engagement and follower count. For instance, #selfie is popular, but you wouldn’t use it on the picture of a beautiful landscape.
2. Create compelling brand hashtags
It’s common for renowned brands to create hashtags connected with their products or brand. For instance, Coca-Cola urges people to post pictures of themselves sharing a bottle of the soft drink, using the #shareacoke tag.
In most cases, brand hashtags work well with people who are already aware of the brand. Many brands have also discovered that using a phrase or tagline with the brand is more effective than trying to use the brand name itself as the hashtag. It’s quite evident that the #shareacoke sounds less promotional than #cocacola. The crucial thing, in this case, is to create a brand hashtag that people can easily relate to your brand identity.
3. Keep your hashtags organized
In order to maintain a systematic way of adding, you can use Excel or an Instagram analytics tool. If you maintain an excel sheet you’ll need to keep track of which hashtags you use, how often, and which ones relate to your most popular posts manually. This will eventually contribute to the steady growth of followers on your Instagram profile.
For small and medium enterprises with a limited budget, an excel sheet is the best way to start. Once your business moves up the ladder of growth, it’d be more convenient to use a tool to track the data. A manual system can get too tedious when you’re posting three times a day and using about 15 hashtags per post.
4. Get closer to your target consumers with highly specific hashtags
You must also focus on a collection of low-volume, highly relevant, hashtags in your posts. There may not be considerable numbers of people following these hashtags, but the users who do take an interest in them will be easily engaged.
For instance, if you are a Lord of the Rings fan, feel free to use #hobbiton on your posts related to Lord of the Rings – 3,68,065 people have already done it. It is quite possible that anybody who searches for that hashtag will take an interest in your LOTR-themed posts. Of course, you shouldn’t entirely forget to use #lotr and join the existing 1,812,932 posts.
Depending on what your post is trying to convey, you would use a relevant hashtag and then move on include more specific hashtags, as well.
5. Number of hashtags to use on Instagram
Instagram currently lets users incorporate up to 30 hashtags per post. But do you know the exact number you should include in your posts on Instagram?
While you have the option to use 30 hashtags on a regular post, studies reveal that posts with 9 hashtags usually records the most amount of engagement. Using too many can turn your post into spam, and not including enough won’t put your content in front of enough people. It’s a catch-22 situation, indeed. That’s why you must experiment with different numbers and see what works best for you.
6. Use hashtags in the Instagram bio
The recent upgrades to Instagram let you include clickable hashtags in your bio. This presents an amazing opportunity to create a custom hashtag for your brand, linking to all the posts that use the hashtag from your bio.
It also allows you to explore the hashtags relevant to your brand. For example, if you are involved in the tourism industry, you could add clickable hashtags in your bio that are associated with your city or region you belong from. Or, if you belong to the edtech industry, you can include a hashtag related to the field of education, like #wordcounter tool.
7. Keep tabs on the competition
The greatest resource you can employ to compile hashtags is Instagram itself. Once you type a hashtag into the search bar (i.e. #marketing), Instagram will highlight how many other posts include the said hashtag and offer a list of related hashtags within the same terminology (i.e. #marketingdigital, #marketingtips).
While eliminating common mistakes like incorrect spellings, there’s another strategy you can use. That involves visiting popular Instagram profiles in our industry to check which hashtags they’re using on their posts. In some instances, you may have never explored the hashtags they’re incorporating.
8. Track the Success of Your Instagram Hashtags
Operating a business profile on the platform provides you with access to Instagram Insights. This will enable your business to access the analytics and performance statistics of your posts.
One interesting feature of Instagram Insights is the ability to evaluate the effectiveness of the hashtags you’re incorporating. You can find how successful your hashtags have been at bringing you more impressions and views on your posts.
To find the performance analytics, open a post and click on the “view insights” link beneath it.
Winding it up.
Knowing how to incorporate hashtags on Instagram to increase your followers definitely is tricky. In fact, it will definitely require some trial and error. But with the appropriate strategy in place, you can use hashtags to engage with your target audience and witness steady growth to your list of followers.
When you develop an authentic connection with your audience by presenting great content with relevant hashtags, you’ll be able to reach out to more people and grow your brand.
Author Bio: Nathan William is an academic advisor associated with MyAssignmenthelp.com and offers assignment help to students. He is a senior social media manager for a renowned corporate firm in Australia. He has completed his MBA from the Federation University. He has worked on many successful social media campaigns.