Hashtags, what are they? Should you use them?

Hashtags, what are they? Should you use them?

Do you struggle with Hashtags?

If you answered yes to that question, let me tell you, you aren’t the only one. Should I be using Hashtags is one of the most common questions we receive.

The short answer? We recommend you do.

Let’s talk about why.

What is a Hashtag?

A hashtag is an additional search function on Instagram, people can search for specific Hashtags and if you have used it, the image you have posted will appear somewhere in that search (provided your profile is public). In short, a Hashtag helps your target audience find more of your content.

What are the limitations in Instagram?

You can only use up to 30 Hashtags in an Instagram Post.

How to use Hashtags?

You should be adding hashtags to every single Instagram post that you make – you can do this by putting them in the body of your text either at the bottom or mixed in with your content or by adding them to the first comment after you have posted (many third party scheduling tools now also allow you to schedule the first comment to Instagram).

The number of Hashtags you use is completely up to you but remember the 30 tag limitation. I recommend using between 7 and 15 hashtags on each post. If you struggle to think of Hashtags to use, you can use this great tool to assist you – http://best-hashtags.com/ – you can also use the Hashtag search function for some inspiration. To do this – click on the magnifying glass at the bottom of your Instagram page, start typing your industry (or post content) and select ‘tags’ from the top. This will bring up a range of Hashtags and the number of posts that people have used the tag in.

Generally, you want to be picking Hashtags that fall below 1 million for the most part, then select a couple in the over 1 mil category and then a couple of personally branded ones, so for example we use #becbusinessadvice

How to know if they are working?

Hashtags don’t always hit the money first go, a great way to see if your Hashtags are making an impact is to review your insights for the post.

To do this – go to your profile page, click on the image you want to check, below that is “view insights”, click this and then scroll to the bottom. Under Discovery it shows where your views came from – from home, from hashtags, from profile. The “from Hashtags” is what you want to look at, if you have a low number here then maybe those Hashtags weren’t great and you need to think of some new ones, if you have a high number here then fabulous, keep using them.

So what now?

Hashtags are one of the best ways to increase engagement on your Instagram posts, if you want to reach more people, sell more products, grow your audience, and get more engagement then Hashtags are the FREE way to do that.

If you don’t want to write out your Hashtags each time, an easy trick is to save them in the notes section on your phone and copy and paste them into your content.

Be strategic, look at what successful brands similar to yours are using and use them too.

And remember, you can always mix them up, so try something new if something doesn’t work. Keep learning and growing. And if you need support you can reach out to our digital support team for personalised advice.