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How to use Instagram Hashtags for our business?

by Petar Dyaksov, 09.11.2016  read-time  { content|word_count } min
Petar Dyaksov

Petar Dyaksov

My name is Petar Dyaksov and I am a digital entrepreneur, online marketer and manager. At least most of the time. Oftentimes I like to transform into a lecturer, blogger and trainer. Learn more about me here.

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How to use Instagram Hashtags for our business?

We have seen countless changes, but definitely the most interesting remain those in the technology world. Internet is progressively growing, and social networks increasingly become part of our daily lives.

We can certainly say that for the past months Instagram and Facebook, are on top of the charts in social networks. We all know about the purchase of the "blue" platform and how Instagram is marking its best results since its establishment until now. What is less unknow is the "hashtag". Most people use it just because it’s trending, but very few of them use it purposefully. Actually, the truth is that hashtags are powerful tools with which we can win not only followers and likes, but even profit.

What is the hashtag?

The history of hashtags starts in Twitter (almost ten years ago, in 2007), where they are used in "tweet chats" - something like an open group discussion on a particular topic. Hashtag begins with the sign "#" and its following by a word or group of words. The word “hashtag” literally can be translated as "a mess of tags" or "hash tags". Here is an example - #instamood #happy #love #autumn #octobervibes #sunnyday #awalktoremember.

In Instagram, hashtags categorize content. If you click on a hashtag, Instagram will immediately open all the posts that have used the same hashtag. The audience to which the photos/videos will reach, depends on how often the hashtag is used, how many likes and comments it has and how many followers does the profile have.

When you have a business with a particular focus or niche, you can freely check what hashtags your competitors are using. To be valid, you can check your hashtags in the Instagram’s search engine. When you enter a word or phrase, the search engine will show you how many posts with it there are so you can easily navigate what is profitable for your account.

Hashtag strategies

Targeted hashtags, can make your content more discoverable, and consumers - to speak more about you or your brand. Here are two popular techniques:

  • Brand hashtags

Imagine that brand hashtags are the unique signature of your business; a brand which is tied to your activity and different from the one of your competitors. This is the slogan to which you will add a hashtag, when you post your original content. Your brand hashtags should be popular among your followers. Using brand hashtags allows your business to separate a community with similar interests and similar searches. Such a campaign will strengthen the participation and commitment of your followers. Brand hashtags can be names of your promotions and campaigns too.

An excellent example of brand hashtag is the notorious slogan of Nike, which has existed for 28 years now - JUST DO IT. In 2013, for the 25th anniversary, Nike decided to revive the forgotten phrase. The company began using #JustDoIt for their Instrgram and Twitter posts and by then the world is crazy about it.

An example of a short but yet still a successful campaign is the #BTTF2015. The hashtag is an abbreviation of the movie "Back to the Future". For those of you who are familiar with the movie should know that 21/10/2015 is the date in which the main actors find themselves. For 24 hours, the campaign became so popular that got all the attention of the users of Instagram and Twitter, leaving behind other hashtags of newly movies.

An example of a similar campaign is Coca Cola’s #TasteTheFeeling.

  • Call-to-action (CTA) hashtags

These hashtags encourage followers to a particular action. This is one of the most commonly used methods for marketing in social media. Such hashtags begin with a verb, like #ActNow, #BuyNow, #SubscribeNow etc.

When the hashtags and the content of the post are well tied together, gradually people began to use the same hashtag by taking the action which you have described. Instagram (and Twitter) users follow similar hashtags because they are part of something big. Psychologically speaking, if your friends post a photo/video with a certain hashtag, it is naturally if you’d like the idea for such a post. The sense of participation is key, as users share a content that becomes part of a wider audience.

Hint: This type of campaign shortens the distance between you as a business and your followers, as customers. The relationship becomes personal, and their connection with the brand - stronger.

Which are the most commonly used hashtags?

Hashtags orient Instagram users and help them find profiles with similar interests. When we talk about business profiles in Instagram, hashtags can be useful in keeping track of competitors or in finding new ones.

Using the most popular hashtags can lead the post not only to likes but also to gain you new followers to your profile.

Here are the most used hashtags (according to Webogram):

#love #instagood #photooftheday #tbt #beautiful #cute #me #happy #followme #fashion  

#picoftheday #like4likes #summer #friends #instadaily #girl #fun #tagforlikes #smile  

#food #vscocam #art #family #likeforlike #nature #instamood #style #nofilter   

#amazing #life #fitness #bestoftheday #igers #instalike #selfie #repost  

But how many hashtags can we use per post? Or how many do we need to achieve impact?

Instagram allows 30 hashtag per post. However if you aim this figure, it may cause you unwanted type followers - spammers. Therefore, the "normal" number of post should be around 5-10 hashtags.

You should consider the following hashtags: #followme, #like4like, #follow4follow, #tagsforlikes. You should be careful when you use them. Some businesses use exactly those hashtags and managed to win followers and likes. However, when using them you must be very careful and to keep in mind that your content can reach up to the undesirable audience - spammers and bots.

Instagram is a social network that evolves with every second. Its users are growing constantly, and because of its content, the social network is so useful to many business sectors.

Here are some hashtags that are being used in the different business areas:

  • Most popular hashtags in the marketing area:

#social

#branding

#socialmedia

#sales

#entrepreneur

#entrepreneurship

#marketing

#branding

#tech

#business

#contestalert

#sweepstakes

#giveaway

#discount

#travel

#deal

#smallbiz

#success

  • Most popular hashtags for SEO:

#marketing

#googlesearch

#webtraffic

#optimization

#content

#seo

#seoproblems

  • Most popular hashtags in the financial services:

#financialfreedom

#priorities

#lifesavings

#retirementplan

#income

#investing

#creditscore

  • Most popular hashtags for restaurants and food:

#food

#foodporn

#foodie

#yummie

#nom

#nomnom

#hungry

  • Most popular hashtags for photography:

#photography

#photooftheday

#portrait

#photogram

#behindthescenes

#photoshoot

#photog

In order to profit from Instagram, we must first know how the social network works. Valuable content lies in the qualitative advertising and online promotions are the ones which are quickly perceived. From great importance for any business is well-supported digital marketing strategy. Instagram is just one of the channels that a business must have and develop.

Petar Dyaksov

Petar Dyaksov

My name is Petar Dyaksov and I am a digital entrepreneur, online marketer and manager. At least most of the time. Oftentimes I like to transform into a lecturer, blogger and trainer. Learn more about me here.

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