If you want your personal brand or business to get discovered by the millions of people using Instagram you have to use hashtag marketing. Period.
Think of hashtags as the breadcrumbs you throw out to lead new eyes to your account which in turn leads to your website and contact info. It’s a controversial topic because people, especially personal brands, think hashtagging a post looks tacky.
If you do it wrong, they do. If you do it right though not only will you get more engagement on your post you will undoubtedly get inquiries, be they DM or sales.
Read on for our five tips on how to use hashtag marketing to grow your business and personal brand.
#1: Add a Varied Number of Hashtags to Your Instagram Posts
Instagram allows for 30 hashtags. Use the maximum amount sparingly and switch off between testing the perfect amount – whether that be 5, 10, 15, or 20. Test until you have enough data to get an answer to YOUR best number. This helps your account from not being deemed spam. Also, play with your locations – no more than 4 in the caption, and put the rest in the first comment.
#2: Find the Right Trending Hashtags for Your Posts
Mix up your tags. Never use the same ones over and over again. The best place to source your hashtags is displaypurposes.com. The Instagram app is also a good standby. To find the best tags on Instagram, search a hashtag you want to use. You’ll see several pop-up above the photos that are similar. Click through each to find the ones are not as populated with photos. Keep a list in your Notepad of the hashtags you find separated by topic. Food, fashion, location, etc.
3. Use Hyper-Relevant Hashtags Mixed in with Trending Hashtags
To get the most engagement, you need to get super-niche with your hashtags by using hashtags that describe the communities you want to connect with (i.e. female entrepreneurs, fitness junkies, wine snobs) as opposed to the ultra-popular hashtags #love, #instagood, and #photooftheday.
4. Follow Your Favorite Hashtags on Instagram
When you find a hashtag you’d like to follow you simply open the hashtag page and tap on the “Follow” button just as you would do to follow other accounts. This trick will help you connect with specific communities, keep a close eye on competitors, and even discover potential partners.
5. Create A Branded Hashtag For Yourself or Your Brand
Using a hashtag over and over again will help you grow brand awareness. Concoct a unique hashtag that has never been used or has been used under 100 times. Brainstorm something that fuses humor and intrigue with your name/brand name. Use it on every single post. Not only will people start to think of you when they see this word, but you will also start populating your own little corner of Instagram.
Recovering fashion blogger and Founder of NYC-based creative consultancy, Hashtag Lifestyle.