Grow your Instagram account organically by strategically using hashtags.
Hashtags are clickable words on Instagram (and other platforms) where you can browse other content that uses the same hashtag. This is the best way to organically grow on Instagram. We do not buy followers around here!
Since Instagram came around, there has been a lot of debate on how to best use hashtags. At first, the recommendation was to use all 30 hashtags available. This led to spammy practices and unrelated posts showing up in certain hashtags. Using unrelated hashtags is also a quick way to anger the algorithm. For Reels, you may see some accounts that don't use any hashtags as the algorithm for Reels seems to be a bit different than for the main feed.
How Many Hashtags Should I Use?
The general consensus seems to be around 10 hashtags per post, at least for right now. I would recommend doing 5 to 10. This can come with some trial and error to see what works best for your content.
What Kinds of Hashtags Should I Use?
There are different types of hashtags, and you'll want to use a variety to get the most exposure. Broad-based hashtags like #love and #travel are probably not worth using as there are millions (if not billions) of posts utilizing those hashtags and your content will get buried. Instead, focus on your niche and location. Are you an integrative medicine doctor? You can probably skip using #doctor, but #functionalmedicinedoctor is a very specific hashtag that people may use to search for information. Location based hashtags can be great as well.
Depending on your content, you may want to include community-based hashtags like #creativesoninstagram. Seasonal hashtags are great for jumping on holiday trends. I like to use Days of the Year to find more obscure and silly holidays for content ideas.
There possibilities are basically endless when it comes to hashtags, which leads us to finding what ones to use.
How to Find Hashtags
Using the search bar on Instagram is an easy way to find hashtags to use and how many posts are under each hashtag. Try searching a word (like travel) and seeing what gets recommended. I would suggest avoiding hashtags that have over 1M posts already. Instagram also has a related hashtags feature that shows up on the top of a hashtag page. This is another helpful feature that can recommend hashtags you might not have seen otherwise. There are also third-party services you can use that will recommend hashtags to use in your posts. Another thing to do is some competitor research. Check out competitors or other similar businesses on Instagram and see what hashtags they are using.
Try creating a branded hashtag for your business that you use in every post and encourage your customers to use if they post about your business! #palmmarketingconsulting
Where Should I Put Hashtags?
Sometimes having hashtags after some killer copy can look a little ... messy. There are a few things you can do to "hide" your hashtags. I typically do the three dots approach and leave the hashtags in the caption.
You can also put your hashtags in the first comment on the post. Some users have started really hiding their hashtags in a reply to the first comment on the post. According to Instagram, all of these approaches are fine to do. I also recommend using a hashtag and location tag in Instagram Stories.
Seeing What Works
Now, Instagram will never tell you which specific hashtags brought users to your post. The obvious reason for this is to prevent people from spamming a hashtag that they know works. There are ways to test what works and what doesn't work by looking at Insights.
Instagram will tell you how many users in general came to your post via hashtags. This can give you an idea of what hashtags might be working the best. If you are only using a few hashtags per post, then you can really start seeing what's working and not working.
Instagram for Small Business
If you're trying to grow your small business, Instagram is a great platform for this because of the organic growth potential. Utilizing hashtags is one of the best ways to grow and connect with potential customers. Contact Palm Marketing & Consulting to discuss your digital marketing needs. We look forward to working with you!