6 Proven Tricks to Grow Your Brand with Instagram Hashtags
As Gram continues to grow into one of the largest markets online, the need to utilize its tools more efficiently comes to mind.
Descriptions, tagging, stories, hashtags, and other elements are very useful for increasing your brand awareness and keeping your viewers engaged with valuable content.
Hashtags are one of the first tools available to Instagrammers in their first few years of inception and remain an integral component to the level of exposure your posts get. So, you must learn how to use them correctly.
But before we get into showing you the lesser-known tricks of hashtags, let's make things clear for beginners:
What are hashtags?
A hashtag is a combination of numbers, letters, and/or emojis that is preceded by the symbol '#' (#food, #fitness, #Goodmorning, #Blueskies). It's used to categorize content and increase how discoverable the post is.
These clickable tools help users view posts related to the hashtag, and there are 9 major types available;
Product or service hashtags
Relevant phrase hashtags
Special events or seasonal hashtags
Industry Instagram community hashtags
Why should you use Instagram hashtags?
Tags can be a great way to build an online community and expand your audience. Instagram allows a total of 30 hashtags for each post and a maximum of 10 for stories.
Users often opt to follow hashtags that they like and can see your posts there even if they don't follow you. That is invaluable exposure.
Adding to the fact that your stories get added to the relevant hashtag's story and page, the question should be, "why should you not use hashtags?"
6 proven tricks for using Instagram hashtags effectively
1. Post your hashtag on the first comment
This is a little-known secret that several accounts with massive following use to generate and maintain their status.
It keeps their posts clean and tidy because posting over 20 hashtags in the description usually looks a little overboard and unprofessional.
Opting to post your hashtags as the first comment rather than in the caption lets both tools do their jobs without coinciding with each other.
Pro-Tip: However, there are contradictory verdicts on which space to choose. While this guide supports putting your hashtags in the first comment, it makes more sense to test both spaces to see which works for you.
2. Get on the Explore page by adding hashtags to your stories
A lot of businesses are guilty of this error. They tend to forget that you can input hashtags on stories to boost their reach.
And why not? Adding hashtags to your Instagram story increases the chance of your content being discovered by new audiences.
Active and real-time stories are displayed on popular hashtags, which means your story can be discovered and if they like what they see, they will follow.
The two ways to carry out this task are either by using the hashtag sticker or the text editor. The text editor is more advisable as it allows the use of up to 10 hashtags, while only one hashtag sticker is permitted per story.
3. Follow your favorite Instagram hashtags
Yes, you can follow hashtags, just like you follow your favorite online influencers, news channels, and content creators. Some people don't know this and lose out on the potential benefits of this trick.
You can use it to connect more easily with your audience by encouraging them to follow your brand's hashtags. It can also be used to help you keep tabs on your competitors and also discover potential partners and collaborators.
Once you follow a hashtag, the latest stories and posts will be visible in your story bar and feed.
4. Include hashtags in your Insta bio
Whatever it is you're trying to promote (could be a UGC or Instagram contest), adding hashtags is an assured way to boost engagement on your posts.
Hashtags on your bio help make it more functional as they can be used to promote your community, announce campaigns, or highlight branded content.
Whatever your motive is, you can never go wrong with this tactic. Continual use lets your audience become accustomed to using it on their posts—i.e., free advertisement! All they have to do is post your branded content, and the chance of their followers posting it grows stronger.
5. Use hyper-relevant hashtags in your posts to drive up engagement
When it comes to adding hashtags to your posts and stories, it's easy to use lazy and unimaginative words like #love, #food, #life, #YOLO. And although you may receive a few likes and follows here and there, it's not beneficial in the long run.
To properly use hashtags to build or increase your audience, using keywords specific to your brand and its product is evidently more effective.
E.g., if you sell baby diapers, hashtags like #babywipes, #babycomfort, #babydiapers, and #happytoddler will work better for your specific brand than other generic keywords.
6. Hide hashtags in your Instagram stories
We earlier pointed out the possibilities of using hashtags on your stories to increase exposure and boost engagement.
However, these hashtags just lingering on your story can spoil the entire aesthetics of the post and make it look kind of messy. The idea is to hide them while still using their functions.
There are 2 ways to go about this; one way is by reducing their size and then covering them with a GIF or Image sticker.
The other (more preferable method) is by changing the color of the text to blend with the background (works best when the background has a solid color). Don't forget that if you shrink the hashtags too small, Instagram won't register them.
Instagram is an application that is constantly being updated with new rules and features.
To stay relevant on the platform, you'll have to keep up with the changes yourself or hire someone who can. Else, your brand may well be left behind.
These are 6 tips and tricks that most people don't know about which are free and easy to implement. Use them in addition to providing a great product and you will be surprised at the results.
Best of luck, fellow Instagrammers!