By using the famous hashtags on Instagram, you can increase your popularity, engage the audience, and get your brand known. But you need specific strategies to get all these benefits.
It’s often confusing, as it’s not always easy to guess what’s trending and what the famous hashtags are. Plus, there is no one strategy for using them, which is why businesses can struggle to find the right formula.
So, how do you create an effective strategy to increase the popularity of your Instagram account? What are the famous hashtags and how do you implement hashtag-based strategies? Finally, what specific hashtags can help you achieve your Instagram marketing goals?
First of all, what does this term mean? It comes from “hash” plus “tag” and literally means “gate tag”.
But what is a hashtag? It’s nothing more than a clickable tag that groups the content of a topic. This simple, yet ingenious invention dates back to 2007, when technology expert Chris Messina proposed the introduction of user-generated tags on Twitter to aggregate and track content. Since then, their uses have expanded to other platforms, including Instagram.
How Instagram hashtags work
Instagram hashtags can be added to posts and become clickable phrases or themes. Any word or phrase can be turned into an active hashtag as long as it is preceded by the # sign. When users click on it, they are directed to its “discovery feed” which displays all public content related to it. Clicking or searching hashtags is a method used by the public to find content on Instagram. And precisely because they are used with the intention of discovering content. By choosing the right ones, you can be found by your target audience, even by completely new contacts.
In recognition of the importance of this tag on the platform, Instagram has expanded their functionality. Brands can now add clickable hashtags to their Instagram bio.
Instagram stories have a hashtag sticker, which allows you to add active hashtags to your stories. When users click, they are directed to the hashtag feed, as if they were clicking through a post. Users can also follow the hashtags they are interested in, so that the corresponding content appears regularly in their feed.
There are several aspects to consider when choosing Instagram hashtags. The best place to start is to focus on categories. Many popular hashtags are in English. However, translations or an alternative to use in English are available.
Use hashtags to connect with your audience
Knowing which hashtags to use is essential to developing a high-impact strategy and maximizing your reach and audience engagement. There are different forms of hashtags, each with a purpose. It’s best to combine several types.
These are listed in the organic profile and are used to generate brand awareness. They consist of encouraging the sharing of user-generated content.
This does not apply to all online merchants. However, if you have products that your local audience might be interested in, use these hashtags to your advantage. For example, do you sell mugs named after Italian cities? Use #milanolife, #colazioneroma, etc. to connect with the right audience.
These are not meant to grow your audience, but to strengthen your relationship with your existing audience. They are often phrases that have little to do with the brand itself. Instead, they are about the post in question and are meant to create a sense of urgency, or at least a call to action. #shopitlikeithot and #getitgirl are both focused on entertainment and an invitation to buy.
Mass recall hashtags
These are general hashtags that can be applied to almost any post. They are often used, which means they are also often searched. Sometimes they can greatly expand the reach of posts if you introduce them to an established audience. For example: #instagood and #lovelife.
Use them to remind your followers that anyone can have a black Monday (#hate Monday) or enjoy a summer storm (#summerrain). Time hashtags can be tied to a holiday, time of year or time of day. Users like current content and are likely to look for posts related to vacations or seasons of the year.
They come and go like clothing styles or slang terms. Sometimes they are just very popular at a certain point in history, having spread for some reason. They often have to do with current events. You can access the fact that Apple is announcing a new version of the iPhone or that it’s election day in a certain place. These hashtags are not foolproof, but they can produce significant results in reach and interest when used correctly.
Some products have an audience with niche interests. People who buy virtual reality systems, for example, are likely to be interested in all the latest technology. Customers interested in healthy eating may search for #eatinghealthy or #eatingbio. Use specific niche hashtags to connect with a highly relevant audience.
Special event hashtags
Hashtags can sometimes act as “beacons,” alerting users to special events happening in your store. Are you about to host a contest? #contestalert, #competition, etc. can help you find an interested audience. Similarly, #flashsale, #sale, #discount etc. can help you find shoppers who want to get a good deal. At the same time, you are alerting the followers that you have special offers for them online.
What types of hashtags should I use?
Not all e-commerce businesses benefit from all types of hashtags. A merchant with a national or international presence may have no reason to use location-based hashtags, for example. And for B2B merchants with a strictly professional voice, it may be inappropriate to use entertainment hashtags. Adopt only the most famous ones that best suit your brand and audience.
How many hashtags to use?
In a single Instagram post, you are allowed to use up to thirty hashtags. But one thing is how many you can use, how many you should use is another matter. They are two very different concepts.
There are a lot of studies on this topic and the results are conflicting. One fairly convincing conclusion is that you should definitely use a few on each job. As for the optimal number, there are several theories. Some marketers recommend using only two, others encourage using all of them. In reality, only you can find the ideal hashtag size for your posts. To find out, all you have to do is run a few tests.
Tools for Instagram hashtags: streamline the process
It doesn’t matter if you opt for six or thirty hashtags: inserting them can be time-consuming, especially since you don’t have the help of automatic corrections. Ask any social media manager and they will tell you that inserting them is not one of their favorite activities. Fortunately, there are tools that can make your job easier.
If you’re not willing to invest in a dedicated program for this purpose, the most practical solution might be to use a social media management tool. Since these devices can now post directly to Instagram for you, this method can save you a few steps.
How to perform a hashtag search on Instagram
Hashtag search is a key step to gaining popularity on Instagram. It can help you identify famous and successful tags. It gives you new ideas that you would never have thought of on your own and helps you identify trending hashtags. There are many methods you can use to find them, whether you want to expand your list or find new trending topics.
If you want to scout out trending hashtags or current topics that are being discussed, Twitter has an advantage. It has a dedicated trending topics section where you can see what users are posting.
Keep in mind that the use of hashtags on Instagram and Twitter is different: Twitter is more news-driven. Take this into account when searching, avoiding mechanically copying and pasting them on Instagram.
Check the competition
It is always useful to check what your competitor’s marketing system is, hashtag strategy included. Identify trends in their uses and add some phrase ideas to your list.
Check influencer profiles
Influencers, including nano influencers, are called that for a reason: they already have an audience and people actively turn to them for advice, inspiration or information. Not surprisingly, these profiles dictate the rules when it comes to hashtagging, using the most successful terms on Instagram. Take a look, and feel free to copy a few that you like.
Use search tools
Using search tools is also helpful in identifying trends and famous new hashtags that will benefit your business. A good software is essential: it can give you detailed feedback that no other tool can.
Should program hashtags be visible?
No one wants to read thirty different hashtags or even just six before accessing content. Large blocks of hard-to-read text look visually unappealing.
For this reason, many brands choose to hide most of their hashtags by strategically placing them under the “Other” tag. Some add significant extra space outside the “Other” section to separate unsightly hashtag blocks from the description. Others attach hashtags in a separate comment on the post, but this can defeat its effectiveness.
If you use one or two hashtags for branding or entertainment, leave them at the top. Make sure they are listed first or in the caption. That way, users are more likely to read them.
There’s no reason to use more than one line of separation for hashtags, although it can happen. If users click on the “Other” tag, they shouldn’t have to scroll endlessly to access the comments. Otherwise, they may give up on leaving the desired comment.
Forbidden hashtags: the dark side of Instagram
Did you know that there are forbidden hashtags on Instagram? These are not actual swear words or obscenities, although they definitely make the list.
Instagram regularly bans hashtags that are considered illegal content. Some are not surprising, like #nasty, but others like #fitnessgirls and #tgif could be used for totally innocent reasons. Instagram does not publish new content in feeds of a banned hashtag, if the feed remains active. Hashtags can be permanently or temporarily banned. When you use them, your posts may be blocked. This means that they may not appear in your followers’ feeds. They may also not appear when users search for other hashtags related to the post. Ultimately, using a single banned hashtag can erase all the work you’ve done on a post.
Measure your hashtag strategy on Instagram
All marketing activities should be verified by data whenever possible. This also applies to hashtag systems. It can be quite difficult to evaluate hashtag performance in isolation, especially if you have groups on posts. This can make it difficult to distinguish between those that work and those that don’t. Fortunately, there are several ways to measure the impact of your method.
First, look at the overall growth of your channel. You can do this through Instagram’s analytics data, though many third-party social management platforms offer more detail.
Check to see if impressions, reach, and likes are increasing for your profile and posts. In particular, how many accounts have you reached through the Discovery channel? Have there been any big changes since you chose a new strategy? You should see increases month over month. If not, it’s best to change your tactics.
You should also use hashtag search devices to monitor the hashtags you use regularly. Make sure that their popularity increases over time and does not decrease.
Use famous Instagram hashtags to benefit your brand
Famous hashtags are an essential part of Instagram marketing. If you don’t have a strategy in place, your marketing may not reach its full potential on the platform. Use tools to create your own list of successful and popular hashtags to expand your reach and engage your audience. Also, don’t forget to update your list of famous hashtags based on your analysis and metrics. This will definitely give you the best results.