Last updated on August 10th, 2018
Instagram is a key social media platform for business promotion. Of all marketing tools at this platform, the use of Instagram hashtags is the most effective for brand awareness and promotion. With this tool, your brand can engage millions of potential customers. But only a well-thought-of hashtag strategy can yield the desired results.
Instagram has evolved fast from being a platform for posting selfies and photos to a useful tool for business promotion in 2018. It is a popular social media network being used by over 800 million people worldwide. But more than being a social channel, it is now a marketing platform. Thanks to its dozens of unique features for businesses. At this platform, businesses not only generate brand awareness but they use it also for advertising, product promotion, influencer marketing, etc., building a significant presence of their brands amid the target audience.
Instagram has fast emerged as one of the most effective social channels for brand engagement. Brand engagement on Instagram, according to an estimate, is 54 times higher than Pinterest, ten times greater than Facebook, and a whopping 84 times higher when compared to Twitter. Also, over 71% of US businesses used Instagram in 2017. This was a phenomenal growth from 2016 when 48.8% of businesses used the platform. Instagram is, thus, a mighty tool of marketing.
Talking of marketing, when on Instagram, a hashtag is perhaps the most powerful tool. Of all the ways to use Instagram for brand awareness and business promotion, hashtags are the most used tool to target customers. With a hashtag campaign, your business promotion drive can get a new lease of life due to its appeal amongst millions of people.
The importance of hashtags on Instagram for marketing your business can be gauged from the fact that one hashtag can generate nearly 12.6% more brand engagement as compared to a hashtag used on any other social media. That is the huge advantage for businesses. But brand engagement is not the sole reason that businesses have launch hashtag marketing campaigns.
Here Are The Ultimate Guide To Instagram Hashtags In 2018
Why You Need Hashtags?
For Instagram, a hashtag is a kind of search engine that delivers the desired content to the people who need it. They can use the hashtags to search for some new developments regarding a particular issue. Note that the users post more than 95 million photos on Instagrams per day.
But not all of these photos and text content are equally important to everyone. With the help of hashtags, Instagram can deliver a particular content that users are looking for. In fact, creating Instagram hashtags is as significant for your business as is to create a logo to build an identity of your brand.
Most importantly, hashtags create an enormous amount of User Generated Content [UGC]. When the users find a hashtag exciting, as it touches their hearts and minds, they post tons of compelling images, videos, and text content to endorse and support an issue. The UGC amplifies your brand message. Thus, hashtags become a potent marketing tool for brand awareness.
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Types Of Instagram Hashtags
Many types of Instagram hashtags are in circulation in 2018. But some of them are more popular than others. Here are some of the popular categories:
#community – This hashtag allows groups of people to give their opinion on the issues of a particular community. They can post photos that highlight a burning some new developments in a community. Businesses can explore this hashtag to have an interaction with those people. Many of them can later become your customers or products or services as they come to know about your business.
#branded – Branded hashtags are the ones that businesses project as their own. Customers have more faith in these types of hashtags. This is because they find such hashtags genuine as there is no promoting and pushing of products.
A strategy to make branded hashtags work effectively is to use the influencers. You should request the influencers of your industry to post images and text content. This makes the hashtags look natural and not as a promotional tactic. Some inspirational examples are #paperboat [childlike] and #amul [ nostalgia ]. These are the examples of creative use of hashtags.
#moment – These hashtags talk about a given moment. The images posted under this hashtag have some depth and meaning. A typical example could be of people posting the images of their anniversary or any other special occasion in their lives. So, the hashtags may be #anniversary, # bachelors, etc. The hashtags express your moments of life in the same way as your social media page does to drive customers.
#mood – Many people want to tell the world about what they are feeling at present. They create hashtags to post pictures on Instagram to show their mood. Such examples could be # sundayfunday and #winning, etc.
#campaign – As compared to community and brand hashtags, the campaign hashtags have a very short lifespan of a few days only. Very few of them last for a year or a session. This is because once the campaign is over, their utility also ends. Therefore, businesses use campaign hashtags for aggressively pushing their products or services in the market. They want to extract as much marketing exposure as they can from the campaign in a short period. But make sure that your company’s logo design also appears in your hashtag campaigns for brand recognition.
These are only a few of the popular Instagram hashtags. Which hashtag you choose will depend on the type of marketing campaign you need to launch. Your target customers’ social and economic backgrounds also will be a determining factor in picking the right Instagram hashtags.
The success of your hashtag will depend on a lot of things. To ensure that more people interact through your hashtags, make your post interesting, engaging, and thought-provoking. Remember that there are hundreds of other hashtags in your niche. So, your hashtag must stand out to draw the attention.
The Best Ways To Organize Your Instagram Hashtags
As a business owner, you will be creating and using dozens of hashtags. To keep their record, you should organize them well. A conventional way is to use an Excel spreadsheet to name and categorize your different hashtags. But there is a better way as well.
Instagram gives you a new Saved Captions feature to create a list of many hashtags. You can make a separate category of the hashtags that you frequently use. To do that, create an account with Instagram for keeping a record of the posts of a week.
So, for example, you run a travel business and post images of different locations regularly on Instagram. You want to keep track of many hashtags that you created for every post. That is undoubtedly a difficult job. But by using the Saved Captions, you can easily organize all of them. This feature allows you to add the posts quickly and schedule them in the future.
After you have saved hashtags under different categories, all you need to do is to schedule a photo to insert relevant hashtags with the click of a button. Once you are finished with writing your caption for the photo, click on the ‘saved captions’ and then on the hashtag list. This way, you will quickly add the hashtags of your choice to your caption.
When And How Many Instagram Hashtags To Use?
Since hashtags are effective marketing tools, whenever you wish to share your content on Instagram, think of using Instagram hashtags. So, make efforts to post as many hashtags as you can. But keep the tone of the post just right for your brand promotion. Consider your goals when creating and posting the content for the sharing purpose. This is an effective way to build your brand identity using the hashtags.
When it comes to deciding on the number of hashtags, there is no one rule to follow. Some experts advise using as many hashtags as Instagram permits. This is because more hashtags create more opportunities for your target audience to discover your brand. But others do not recommend using more than 5-10 hashtags per post. A better way will be to do some experiment with the numbers to find out how many hashtags should your brand use.
How to create a hashtags strategy for your brand
01. Build An Effective Hashtag System
First, make sure that there is a hashtag system that works smoothly for you. A well-organized system lets you function in a hassle-free manner. You can either use Excel or an Instagram analytical tool. You will handle the Excel sheet manually to keep track of the hashtags you created and used. After there is a long list of hashtags, you can clearly see which are useful for your brand.
You can also use some social media tools like Iconosquare to save your top hashtags automatically. Many such tools also provide you with a report on the best performing hashtags. But if your startup is on a tight budget, an excel sheet is the best option. As your business grows, you can opt for an advanced tracking tool.
02. Create Your Campaign Hashtag
Another marketing idea is to create your own campaign hashtag. Make it memorable and funny. Many businesses had attracted a considerable number of followers when they created their own campaign hashtag.
These types of hashtags are particularly helpful when you are promoting an upcoming event or a new product. Remember that when launching your campaign, you will also need online graphic design services to create many marketing materials.
03. Create Precise Hashtags
If you use broad hashtag terms such as #marketing, you will be facing a huge competition. This is because, in this case, marketing is a more general term that covers all businesses. You will find all sorts of images of the company that are not relevant to your brand in your search.
So, narrow down your search to specific hashtags. With a precise hashtag, you are more likely to search what you want. Tailor your hashtags for your specific topic. When you choose a distinct keyword for your hashtag, the chances are that your target audience will engage with your post as they can find what they want.
Small businesses can afford to create a system of hashtags. A hashtag campaign is affordable as there is no need to hire a professional graphic designer to design some visual identities such as logos and business cards.
04. Decide On The Number Of Hashtags
How many hashtags should you be using per post? Most businesses use fewer than seven hashtags per post. But that is not a rule. HubSpot uses around 20 hashtags for a post. The best way to know how many hashtags will be useful for your business is to test it. Your team may take many months to find out the ideal number finally. So, take your time and learn from trial and error.
05. Get Some New Ideas
Make sure that your hashtag idea is unique. Research what your competitors and followers are hashtagging on their own photos. You should also find out what the influencers in your industry are hashtagging. Influencers are the people who have a massive social media following. Find out what hashtags they use for the success.
06. Test Hashtags
Instagram also suggests you some hashtags related to your brand. As you use its scroll-down menu, you will get the suggestions about the potential hashtags. Also, when you click on a hashtag, Instagram shows up hashtags on the next page as well. So, this way, you can test hashtags and see which of them work best by trying them out.
07. Follow Your Own Hashtag
A trick to use Instagram hashtag for marketing of your brands is that you should follow your own hashtags. By this tactic, you can find the potential customers who are taking an interest in your brand and connect with them. You can then engage with people who are searching for your brand and develop a relationship with them.
Things To Consider When Creating Your Own Branded Instagram Hashtags
The branded hashtags are an effective way to engage your target audience with your brand. With the use of these hashtags, you can start a conversation with your followers and reach to them with your content. Your followers will use your brand hashtags to share your content with others. You can also curate user-generated content [ UGC ]
When creating your branded hashtag, keep it simple. Just as your professional website design has only a few design elements to engage the visitors immediately, your hashtag post also should be clutter-free. You can name your hashtag after your company or a tagline or even the name of your product or service. Or, simply choose your campaign name.
All you need to ensure is that the hashtag name is catchy, simple, and short. The customers should be able to remember it easily. At the same time, make sure that the name is creative and relevant to your business. A funny but creative hashtag will compel potential customers to click on it. You should also think of creating hashtags that are entertaining and educational.
Here are some points:
01. Create A Contest
Create a contest around the content generated by the users. Such hashtags are trendy and drive more customers and engagement. Whenever your followers upload photos on Instagram, or they tag their post with your hashtag, you should create a new contest.
02. Create Meaningful Content
People look for content that is useful to them in a lot of ways. Instagram is a visual medium for storytelling. Your brand hashtag should, therefore, inspires your followers and community. So, create something that they can share. This is similar to creating a magazine cover design that is meaningful and not just a pleasant design.
03. Tell Your Brand Story
Your Instagram hashtag is your opportunity to tell your brand story. Tell the users what goes behind making your brand. Tell also about any new development taking place in your company. Give them a peek at how your company conducts its business. Such hashtags will engage your customers with your brand even more. It is like creating an advertisement design that tells a story of the product to engage the viewers with the ad.
04. A Customized Hashtag Works Well
When you plan an event, create a personalized hashtag especially for the occasion. The hashtag should encourage your potential customers and followers to share the content related to the event. It will drive brand engagement and people’s participation.
05. Promotion Of New Products
When your hashtag campaign grows in followers and popularity, use it for effective promotion of new products. Attach relevant hashtags in your posts to reach new customers who might take an interest in your new products. So, use branded hashtags that have your product’s photos and text. Overall, your hashtag promotional campaign should be a part of your marketing materials such as a sticker design to increase the reach amid your target customers.
So, these are some of the essential points you must consider when using Instagram hashtags as an effective means of Instagram marketing. These hashtags should be included in your overall visual brand marketing plan. Along with the hashtags, you will need a lot of visuals identities such as websites, logos, business cards, etc. to make the desired impression on your target customers.
When you look forward to creating logos etc. visuals, Designhill can help. At this platform, you can access dozens of talented designers who will work on the design contest that you launch at this site. You can have a winning design for your brand at an affordable price in a short period.
Instagram hashtags are effective marketing tools that businesses use to promote new products and generate brand awareness. But you should build a hashtag campaign carefully by considering its various aspects. Research your market and use hashtags that precisely describe your products, services, or brand.