(By Louis Toffoli)
An often overlooked aspect of Instagram, hashtags give your content the ability to be discovered by new audiences. While they may not seem like a priority on the surface, your Instagram’s hashtags will play a vital role in building your following.
Here at #lilac, our Instagram strategy for business is backed by extensive research to ensure our methods are proven to work. Cutting through all of the unnecessary information and getting straight to the point—we will share the best Instagram hashtag strategy on the internet.
Why Hashtags Are Important
Since their debut on Instagram in 2011, Instagram hashtags have become an extraordinary marketing tool for businesses. By merely including them in your posts’ caption or comments section, you can directly target your intended audience.
You may be thinking to yourself, “how big of an impact can this (slightly annoying looking) feature have on my social media marketing strategy?” While an Instagram hashtag is a simple to use digital marketing tool, the results speak for themselves.
When businesses included at least one on their Instagram posts, they saw a 12.6% increase in engagement compared to having none at all. That stat alone should be enough to convince you of the importance of using them for your business.
But, how do you implement them into your Instagram strategy for business correctly? Below is the tried and tested method used by us at #lilac.
Choosing Your Hashtags
You may think that they are selected randomly to whichever sounds best, but there is a method for each hashtag linked on your photo or video. With a maximum limit of thirty for each post, here are the rules that we follow for what hashtags you should include.
Hashtags 1-4: To start, you want to include hashtags unique to you and your brand. Some examples can be your brand’s name, variations of the name, or your brand’s slogan. These will remain static in your list and should never be replaced.
Hashtags 5-9: After establishing a list of unique terms related to your brand, you should include location-based hashtags. Including terms relating to your area or location will put you on the page when potential customers search for businesses in your area.
Hashtags 10-20: After pinpointing your brand and location, now is time to include the bulk of your Instagram hashtags for your business. Hashtags between 10-20 should be related to your industry and some of the largest trending topics within it.
Hashtags 21-28: And finally, you should finish your list by making them about your product or service that you specialize in. It would be best to incorporate some of the trending topics relating to your products or services.
Now that you know what your layout should look like, it’s time to start doing some research on Instagram hashtags. You should only choose to include hashtags with less than 600k posts using them while you are searching. A post with lower than 600k will not be oversaturated and improves your chances of ranking higher.
However, you also don’t want to go too low and be totally undiscoverable. Besides for your static (and unique) 4 / 5, try to avoid using hashtags with fewer than 500-1000 posts (depending on the popularity of your industry).
Why You Should Renew Your Hashtags Monthly
Apart from your first 1-4 steps, you should always renew your hashtags once a month. Trending topics change frequently, so you should always match your strategy to what is most prevalent.
While you may be happy with the results of your current Instagram strategy, you could be missing out on potentially more engagement if you don’t try and renew them each month.
If you aren’t sure what is trending most in your industry, Google Trends offers a simple way to see what people are searching for most online.
Complete Instagram Strategy Guide
Hashtags are only a small part of what else is needed for a successful Instagram strategy for your business. What kind of content you post, how often you are posting, and your overall branding concept is vital for success on the platform.
If you are looking to improve your Instagram strategy and learn the steps to mastering Instagram for your business, check out #lilac’s Instagram Strategy Guide. You will learn everything you need to know to take your Instagram account to the next level.