How To Use Instagram Hashtags To Expand Your Reach

What’s The Point Of Instagram Hashtags?

Believe it or not, several businesses and even prominent individuals have found success thanks to Instagram. But for every person that has a huge, responsive following, there are thousands more that don’t. Instagram can be powerful, but you have to be smart about how you use it. Enter Instagram hashtags to expand your reach.

The beauty of hashtags is their ability to reach a wide range of people that may have nothing to do with your account and don’t follow you specifically.

By simply using some hashtags, you can expand your reach on Instagram drastically. Many Instagram users actively search out certain hashtags, and your content can be there waiting for them.

How Do Instagram Hashtags Work?

Instagram Hashtags

Hashtags make it easy for your audience to find you.

Hashtags help you organize and search for relevant content on Instagram. They make it easy for your audience to find you and add interest to your shares. One Instagram study showed that adding at least one hashtag to all of your posts will create 12.6% more engagement on average.

Let’s say a user searches for the term ‘dog training’. Instagram will show all the recent posts containing the ‘dog training’ keyword. By using #dogtraining as a hashtag on your posts, you are telling Instagram to put forward your post whenever someone searches for that term.

Hashtag all of your posts with relevant keywords. Try to use terms and phrases you think Instagram users will be searching for. Always use the # before the word, use no punctuation, keep it as short as possible and use letters and numbers.

Use Brand Specific Hashtags

Some companies have hit a home-run with brand-specific hashtags. These are different from standard keyword hashtags and take some time to grow. The trick is to create a unique hashtag for your business, and use it whenever you can.

Develop a unique hashtag for your page. Include the most relevant keyword or phrase that relates to your niche or topic. You should also make effort to spread the word, especially among your followers and customers. The ultimate goal would be to get them spreading the word for you once they start using the hashtag themselves.

FREE Checklist: Instagram Marketing Guide
Making the Most of Trending Hashtags

Another way to make use of Instagram hashtags is to target trending hashtags. When an event occurs, a hashtag is often developed. If you can relate your post to the hashtag, you’re more likely to get seen by those who are following that particular news when they search for information based on that hashtag.

The key is to be on the lookout, notice when a certain hashtag seems popular, and post content under that hashtag to take advantage of the huge number of viewers the hashtag is getting.

Finding The Best Hashtags For Instagram

Plastering random hashtags across Instagram won’t work the magic for you. You’ll have to meticulously choose the best and most popular hashtags to reach to the right audience for your business on Instagram. They should be relevant to the keywords searched by your target audience, and you’ll need to keep an eye on which ones perform best for you.

It takes time to find the best hashtags to use. Some ideas include:

  • Looking at the hashtags your competitors regularly use to promote their business.
  • Experimenting with different hashtags and analyzing your results.
  • Downloading an app for hashtag ideas (like TagOMatic).

In the Instagram search engine, look anything that is relative to your page using hashtags (eg, #dogtraining). You’ll be shown the most recent photos that also have that same hashtag. Start with ones that have been posted in the last few seconds or minutes, and click on the images. Find out those users that liked those photos, and interact with them in a genuine way.

More powerful, though, is to actually use these hashtags when you post new content. This is another way of getting access to Instagram users that are still on the site, but don’t follow you so would not have seen your posts otherwise.

Free Instagram Marketing Checklist

If you’re not using hashtags on Instagram then you’re really missing out. There are a lot of reasons you need to have a business presence on this photo and video sharing site. Currently Instagram has over 400 million daily users and is is on pace to have more than 1 billion active users by 2019. To learn more about using Instagram hashtags and other ways to get the most out of your marketing efforts on this popular social network, download my free Instagram Marketing Tips Checklist.

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