These days, it is hard to believe that you are not using the famous social network called Instagram. Whether it’s your account or an account dedicated to your business, your main goal is surely to grow your audience. After all, the power of Instagram is that it allows its users to make themselves well-known quickly. To do that, you need to know how to optimize your account! That’s where hashtags come in, the little clickable keywords.
But how do you choose the best hashtags on Instagram? We will explain everything.
What is a hashtag?
A hashtag is a keyword or clickable phrase. The concept is simple. Put the “#” symbol in front of a word or phrase to tag the content of that word or phrase. And, therefore, to be placed under that word. Additionally, clicking on a hashtag gives access to all content tagged in that hashtag.
The hashtag was first used in the 2000s on a chat site. In 2007, it finally made its appearance on social networks. The success of the word hashtag is so significant that the term is featured in the 2013 “Petit Larousse” dictionary.
Why should I use hashtags?
You can simply achieve your goal of growing your audience and increasing engagement by using hashtags, In fact, by using the right tags, you can appear under certain keywords. The upside? They’ve already been looked up by users! It’s kind of like a Google search. Moreover, a 2019 Quintly study found that there is a correlation between the use of hashtags and the number of followers.
Thus, a profile between 0 and 1000 followers would have to use 10 or more hashtags to attract an audience. On the other hand, accounts with more than 100,000 followers would not have to use any hashtags.
Where to place your hashtags on Instagram?
There are several options where you could place your hashtag.
In your biography
The first option is to place one or more hashtags in your bio. As a reminder, the hashtags you post are only valid if your account is public. By leaving the right hashtag(s) in your bio, you can increase your visibility on the social network.
In the caption: option 1
This method is very easy. Put the hashtag directly in your caption. However, some people prefer a “cleaner” caption. Therefore, option 2 is a method more to your liking.
In the caption: option 2
If you want, you can skip some lines under the caption and make the hashtags disappear. Instagram does not allow more than 240 characters. For example, if you skip the lines by putting a dot on each line, “…more” will appear in the caption. In other words, “click to read more.” An option that prevents your caption from drowning in hashtags.
In the comments
Finally, you can place the hashtags in the comments. Even though they are in the “comment” section, Instagram takes the hashtags into account. These hashtags will be just as important as if they were in your caption.
In your story
You can also add one or several hashtags to your story! Use the sticker suggested by Instagram and add the hashtag of your choice. Placing your hashtag in a story will allow you to appear in the stories that are linked to a hashtag. And thus you will gain more visibility!
Earlier, we mentioned that it can be favorable to use 10 or more hashtags. However, don´t use a hundred tags. Instagram will not allow you to use more than 30 hashtags. In addition, you will receive a message from the platform telling you to delete some hashtags!
How to find hashtags
The first resource is Instagram. If you go to the search engine of the platform, you can put the keywords in the “#” section. In our case, it was “#digitalmarketing”. First of all, the application offers you a list of hashtags related to the word you just wrote. You can see directly from the search engine the number of posts linked to this word! This will give you the first impression of inspiration and competition. You can also click on one of the hashtags that you think is relevant. Here, the platform itself will offer you a list of hashtags that are related. Use that as inspiration to choose the best tags for you.
Also, take a quick look at the posts that have been tagged with this hashtag. Are they similar to the one you plan to post? If so, you’re probably on the right track.
The other trick of Instagram is that it ranks posts related to this hashtag. You can choose to see the most recent or the most popular – the most recent will allow you to follow an event and the most popular will help inspire you!
Spy on rivals
There’s nothing like spying on competitors to find new hashtag ideas! Your competitors are probably using hashtags. The benefit of this is that you can see the engagement that such a hashtag has generated!
Click on any of the hashtags used by a competitor. Not only to determine its relevance but also to find related hashtags – this will give you a good list of potential hashtags!
HashtagsForLikes – free version. The website allows you to access hashtags related to keywords you type into your search engine.
Furthermore, the tool also gives you access to a Top 10 of the most used hashtags related to the keyword you just searched for.
Finally – premium version, you will be able to get information about tags by typing the account name into the HashtagsForLikes search engine. You will also have access to many other statistics about the hashtags you are looking for.
The Seekmetrics hashtags search tool is certainly the simplest. Enter your keyword, click the “Generate” button and you’re done.
The tool immediately gives you a large list of hashtags that may be of interest to you. The advantage of Seekmetrics is that you can filter the search result. For example, by limiting the number of results linked to Instagram, or by adding “negative keywords”, i.e. words you don’t want to appear in your hashtags.
The most famous tool for finding a hashtag is probably Hashtagify. This tool analyzes the tags used for Instagram and Twitter.
This tool offers a search engine where you can simply type in your main keyword. Again, we use “digital marketing”.
Hashtagify is so powerful because of all the insights it gives you. First of all, you have access to hashtags that are related to the hashtag you just searched for. But the tool will also show you the influencers that are related to that hashtag.
You will also have access to a hashtag popularity indicator over the last two months, presented in the form of a curve. Furthermore, you will see the language in which the hashtag is used, the different ways to write it, as well as the countries in which it is most commonly used.
Search for articles online
To decide which hashtags you want to use, you can also search directly on Google. This way you will have access to many blogs and online press articles about the best hashtags per year or topic.
This option can make your job easier. However, we recommend that you research the relevance of the hashtag. Moreover, the hashtags offered are often very popular – so be aware of the competition.
Create your own hashtag
Finally, you can use your creativity to create your own hashtag. Then, you can track your fame on Instagram!
You can base it on the name of your brand, one related to a marketing campaign, or one that matches the tagline of your brand.
Here are three different examples:
- La Redoute offers the hashtag #MyRedoute to address UGC (User Generated Content). This allows you to follow your fame on Instagram and find posts to share on your account.
- Red Bull had already introduced the hashtag #PutACanOnIt a few years ago, inviting Internet users to post pictures of the famous can.
- Finally, Nike’s slogan “Just Do It” serves as the hashtag for many posts related to sports or the brand’s products.
What tools to use to analyze your Instagram hashtags?
You’ve chosen your hashtags and published your post. You’re almost halfway there. But you have one more important step to go: analyzing the performance of your hashtags.
Hashtags are one of the factors that contribute to the success of your photo.
Several tools will allow you to analyze the impact of your publication:
- Instagram: If you have upgraded your account to a “Business” account (a free change you make through your settings), Instagram itself provides you with an analytics tool.
In this case, the social network offers you the opportunity to “View Statistics” of a photo or video. In addition, you can see how many impressions came from your used hashtags.
- SproutSocial: SproutSocial also offers analysis functions.
You cannot only manage the publication of your posts and the engagement with your community, but you also get detailed reports about the hashtags you have used.
- Iconosquare: This is the most advanced tool for Instagram data analysis´. Iconosquare manages your account by scheduling the publication of posts, and it can track comments. The tool also allows you to find influencers that best suit your brand. And of course, you will be able to track the performance of your hashtags!
There are many other tools to measure the effectiveness and engagement of your hashtags. However, be careful not to get lost among all those platforms. It’s best to pick one and use it to the max before choosing another.
Our 8 tips for choosing the best hashtags
To sum up, here are some of our tips to choose the best tags on Instagram:
- Alternate the popularity of the hashtags. For example, if you are picking 3 hashtags, choose a popular hashtag, an average one, and an unknown hashtag.
- Customize the hashtags according to your picture.
If you want the hashtags to work well, you will need to adapt the hashtags to your post. Change your hashtags regularly so that they relate to your post. In addition, it will appear in a wider range of hashtags.
- Create a hashtag to track your popularity.
Feel free to create a hashtag with the name of your brand, or a slogan of a particular campaign. This will allow you to track your popularity on the social network.
- Follow the hashtags used in your industry.
Instagram allows you to subscribe to tags, so take advantage of that! You’ll be able to stay up to date with the latest posts on the topic. Plus, you can see how the word’s popularity is trending. A hashtag that was popular 6 months ago may no longer be so today!
- Copy the hashtags used in your industry.
In this way, you can easily keep an eye on the trends you missed. Learn to position yourself and become the next trendsetter.
- Monitor your hashtags.
Monitoring is simply observing and analyzing. You will never be sure that you have chosen the best tags if you do not analyze their impact. Furthermore, adjust your strategy after each analysis!
- Follow the hashtags of your community.
Hashtags give you an idea of your target audience’s interests. For example, if you work in B2B and are looking for business leaders, why not follow the hashtag #entrepreneur to get some ideas?
- Be aware of trends.
A hashtag will be a very valuable indicator of important latest trends. Depending on the personality of your brand and the values you want to promote, using hashtags can be a great method to keep up with new developments.
Managing an Instagram account and increasing its visibility is a time-consuming task. It also requires a lot of patience and a long-term investment. Now it’s up to you to look for the best hashtags for your Instagram account. Do several tests if you want to increase your visibility on the social network!