Let’s start off with the basics. On each Instagram post, you have a maximum of 30 hashtags you can use whether that’s in the caption or the first comment. Most people don’t tend to utilise all 30 hashtags and this is bad for growth, let us tell you why. Basically, Instagram has given us this gift of 30 different ways people can discover your profile, that’s why you should use every last one of them. But don’t just use any old hashtag, you must be strategic and use ones that are relevant to your brand and what you are posting about. This may sound obvious, but it’s not to everyone.
It’s important to use a mixture of small and large hashtags, 10 small and niche, 10 medium size and 10 slightly larger. What we mean by the size of hashtags is that how many posts on Instagram have used that specific hashtag. For example, the 10 small and niche hashtags you want to aim for 10,000 - 50,000 posts and for the medium size, 50,000 - 100,000 and finally for the slightly larger hashtags, 100,000 - 500,000. We’ll go into more detail about this a little later.
Instagram business insights
Photo by Omkar Patyane
To be able to measure how well your hashtags are working you’ll need a business account, this is super easy to switch over and is extremely beneficial if you are running a small business and you’re looking to grow your community. To view, your post insights you will need to click on a post and in the bottom left corner there will be a button saying ‘view insights’. Once clicked on this you will see a breakdown of things like, profile visits, reach and website clicks, for hashtags we’ll be concentrating on the discovery section. The stat that will tell you how well your hashtags are performing is the ‘% weren’t following (account name)’. This means that a percentage of people that have seen your post were not following you and have discovered your account through a hashtag, obviously the higher the percentage number the better.
The more exposure you get to your account the more followers you will get which in the future could potentially lead to sales and over time you can market to them and convert them into a super fan of your brand. This is why hashtags are so important and they should not be thrown together quickly. Hashtags take time to get right and they need to be tested and tested again to see which ones work well for your small business. We know it can feel like effort sometimes as you have a million other things to do as part of running a small business but this is a vital part of your growth and if you plan ahead and put aside an hour each week dedicated to hashtag research it won’t feel like such a task.
Photo by Elle Hughes
You don’t want to pick hashtags that have millions of posts as the chances of your posts getting seen are very slim. Instead, picking hashtags that are relatively niche will work better for you as there is a higher chance that your posts won’t get lost in the abyss. But, we would say don’t go too niche as your posts will likely be seen by no one which is also really bad! Your best bet is to stick to a nice mixture of hashtags between 10,000 - 500,000.
Ideas for hashtags
Photo by cottonbro
Sometimes it can be hard coming up with ideas for hashtags, but we have a few steps that can help you. A good starting place is to see what hashtags your competitors are using and cherry-pick the ones that will work for your brand, but don’t copy all their hashtags as something that works for one brand won’t work for everyone. Look at what posts have worked well for them and what type of hashtags they have used.
Another route to go down is to do a quick google search for national days that are coming up, that are relevant to your brand. Don’t jump on every national day know to woman (see what I did there), as your Instagram feed will get oversaturated with things that you aren’t really passionate about and your followers will sense this. Be selective when posting about national days and if it’s close to your heart we say go for it!
Quick access to a bank of hashtags
Test, experiment, repeat
Photo by Katie E
We hope you took a lot of new knowledge about hashtags for Instagram from this blog and we’d love to hear if any of the advice we’ve given has worked for you.
You can keep in touch with us on Instagram anytime @sprinkle.club. We hope to see you again soon!