The importance of hashtags on Instagram often gets overlooked by organizations, mainly because they are not used effectively or efficiently, thus missing out on the benefits that they present.
Some Instagram accounts use hashtags, but they try and fit 30 hashtags (the maximum amount of hashtags Instagram allows) into one post. Unfortunately, that does not work. Remember, that 60% of Instagram users are between the ages of 18 and 29, they are naturally skeptical, trendsetting and willing to call you out on your marketing ploy. As such, posts with 30 hashtags will only annoy them and will most likely result in them unfollowing your account, the complete opposite of what you want hashtags to do.
What are the benefits of Instagram hashtags?
According to Sprout / Simply Measured, posts with at least one hashtag receive at least 12.6% more engagement than those with none. This will ultimately result in more followers and generate a positive return on investment (ROI).
It is important to note that the main focus of your organization’s social media accounts – be it Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, etc – should not be about getting as many followers or likes as possible. It should be about attracting the correct demographic that will add value to you brand, just as your content should be relevant to the people who follow you, adding value to your followers, which in return will build your brand and increase your ROI.
Hashtags also make your page discoverable. If for example, your organization is a sport company in Cape Town selling running shoes, using the hashtag #runningshoes (which has over one million public posts), will result in your page or post likely being seen by someone who is searching for ideas on running shoes. Another high frequency hashtag that could be used is #runnersofinstagram, which has 2.6 million public posts. And then, to attract a hyper local consumer base, hashtags such as #capetown, #lovecapetown, and #capetownrunners, would go further to generating reach and in turn, increase your ROI.
One can also make use of a dedicated hashtag for your company, choosing a hashtag that has a very low public post count will enable you to claim it as your “own”. This also is a great way to encourage (and track) user generated content.
If we used the earlier example of the sports company, let’s call it “The XYZ Sports Co”, they could use the hashtag #xyzsports and encourage anyone who posts a photo relevant to their business to use the hashtag. This way whenever someone clicks or searches the hashtag all they see is The XYZ Sports Co’s content. This could also be used as a tool for competitions creating massive user generated content.
Don’t fall victim to the misuse of Instagram hashtags. If used efficiently and effectively, this underrated marketing tool will increase your post reach and take your Instagram marketing to the next level.
If you feel you’re in need of assistance managing your Instagram or other social media accounts and taking them to the next level, or perhaps you need a little help with a social media strategy – The Blue Room can help. Perhaps there’s another digital marketing solution you’re interested in, like a new website or mobile app – please also give us a call on 021 553 0315, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to chat with you and create bespoke digital marketing solutions for your business.
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Written by Juben Matthee: Digital Marketer, The Blue Room