Everyone knows the world of digital marketing and social media never stands still. When it comes to reaching your target marketing, it is important to move with the times. Digital Freak is committed to using the best practices for each social media platform for our clients so we can deliver successful content and campaigns. Instagram is an increasingly popular platform and can be great for building your business brand and online image. One of Instagram’s most successful features is their hashtags. Hashtags under each piece of content become hyperlinks which transport users to a unique feed filled with other content using that hashtag. We’ve put together of the best practices for hashtags in 2018 to help you build your Instagram account and widen your digital reach so you get found online.
It may be time consuming but it is really important that you write individual hashtag lists for each post. Copying and pasting a list of generic tags will be identified as spammy behaviour by Instagram’s algorithm. While it is fine to have a few hashtags which you include in every post, such as your company name and a branded phrase, the majority should be original. Digital Freak always use the following hashtags: #DigitalFreak #GetFoundOnline #SEOMelbourne #DigitalMarketing. In the scheduling tool Later you can save captions to speed up the process of creating content and adding these base hashtags. However, make sure you add a range of tags specific to the individual image or video too.
Some industries have strong audiences on Instagram. Digital marketing, for example, has an active following. As such, there has been the development ofhashtags what have been termed ‘community hashtags’. These can be used by people interested in the industry to find a wide range of relevant posts quickly. Within Digital Marketing, these include #onlinemarketing, #digitalmarketingstrategy and #digitalmarketingtips Do some research and find out if your industry has their own ‘community hashtag’. Check the profiles and posts of industry leaders, influencers and well-known brands to discover popular and effective community hashtags.
You can now elect to follow hashtags as well as individual accounts. If you like cute images of kittens, you can follow #kittensofinstagram, for example. Of course, the dream is to create a branded hashtag which people begin to follow. This is unlikely to be your brand’s name but it could be a catchphrase or tagline. For example, YouTube’s most popular yoga channel has the tagline ‘Find What Feels Good’. This hashtag has, at the time of writing, 77,000 posts connected to it while the account of the famous yogi instructor has posted 2,500 times and the branded ‘Find What Feels Good’ account has only 220 posts. The followed hashtag is effectively doing her advertisement for free – genius marketing!
While there are many benefits to being able to follow hashtags, Instagram has also handed power back to the user with this feature. As well as following hashtags, users can do the exact opposite and mark hashtags as something that they do not want to see on their timeline. While this is not the same as unfollowing an entire account, it can limit your reach if people start to block your branded hashtags.
We all know those overused hashtags which have become more of a gimmick than anything which adds value. #likeforlike, #followforfollow, #instahappy#instalike and even #nofilter should all be avoided if you’re looking to actually grow a group of followers who genuinely add value to your account. Consider the hashtags an extension of your copy and make sure they describe your product or services and in some way connect with your target market. There are a number of ways you can find valuable hashtags for your business. You can use Instagram’s own built in search capacity. There are also many websites which generate hashtag suggestions. Here at Digital Freak, our social media experts use For Display Purposes Only.
So how many hashtags is the right amount? Instagram allows you to include up to 30 hashtags for each post. Some marketing agencies recommend using as many as possible, others argue that fewer, more targeted hashtags are more powerful. The risk of many hashtags is that your account can look a little spammy. To be honest, every account is different so it is impossible to say which tactic is best for you and your clients. We recommend testing the number of hashtags you should use on a month’s worth of content, switching between few and many hashtags. Then review the data and make your decision based on that.In our experience, across a range of industries, more hashtags tend to deliver high engagement rates. The most important thing is that each and every hashtag adds value. Don’t include them just to make up the quota. If you can’t think of any more relevant hashtags, stop writing them.
Finally, where do you put the hashtags? Visually, we recommend placing the majority of hashtags within the comment section, especially if you are using a lot of hashtags which could appear, at a glance, spammy. Another way to do this is to space the comments down so Instagram hides it beneath the caption. Post engaging copy, followed by two or three branded hashtags, and place the rest in the first comment or several lines lower. Instagram’s algorithm will pick up on all hashtags and include your content in the appropriate feeds. This keeps the copy visually crisp while ensuring all of the hashtags you want to use are associated with the image. It does take a little more time than a basic scheduled post but we believe it is worth it. It is important to insert the hashtags into the comments as quickly as possible. Instagram’s feeds move fast so having your hashtags in a note makes it easy for you to copy and paste in just a few seconds.
We hope you’ve found this guide useful. Now you can get started taking the world of Instagram by storm in 2018. For more specific information or an independent, expert review of your Instagram account, contact Digital Freak today.