If you’re looking to promote your services or offers through Instagram while not having to spend on ads, you might want to check out hashtags. Hashtags are a great way to find exposure for your business or anyone on Instagram, it can help you gain likes, followers, and increase engagement.

Some of the major social media platforms are even following the trend of using hashtags like Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Facebook.

What are Hashtags?

By definition, a hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#) e.g. #MondayMotivation or #celebration

Where can I use hashtags?

Aside from adding hashtags on your captions and the comment sections, you can also add it to your Instagram stories and your bio.

Businesses can maximize this free feature by turning their accounts into business profiles to measure how effective their hashtags are.

How to use Hashtags?

The hashtags that you want to use will depend on your content or business. If your business is focused on Graphic Design then an ideal hashtag to use would be e.g. #GraphicDesign, #GraphicDesigner, or #visualgraphics. You can include up to 30 hashtags on a regular post and 10 hashtags on IG Stories.

Make the most out of those 30 hashtags by finding the right hashtag to use if you categorize:

  • 10 searchable terms related to your business
  • 5 terms related to the location of your business
  • 5 geographical terms related to your business
  • 5 industry-related terms
  • 5 hashtag results related to your business with less than 200,000 posts

You might want to consider using hashtags that are more specific to your post. If you post a photo of your dog, use hashtags that relate to your dog’s breed.

Business Side

Don’t use hashtags that only people on your industry search for, it may be great but as a business, you’re trying to be discovered by clients. For example, if your business is related to selling bags, you might want to include a #louisvuitton hashtag to potentially increase your chances of getting attention from bigger companies.

When thinking which hashtags to use, try to put yourself into your ideal client’s shoes, what would he or she be searching for, and try to incorporate the hashtags to your post.

These are the most used tools in generating which hashtag to use:

  1. RiteTag – If you’re not sure which hashtag to use, RiteTag allows you to upload a photo and it will generate suggested hashtags for you to use.
  2. Hashtagify – One of the many features of this tool is that it allows you to identify the performance of a hashtag, how popular is a hashtag, and it also suggests other hashtags related to your main hashtags.
  3. Later – Not only is this a great scheduling tool, Later also provides analytical reports on which hashtags from your posts perform well.
  4. Instagram Insights – the application itself can help you determine your hashtag’s performance especially if you have a business profile.

Hide Hashtags

To avoid clutter on your post and let your audience focus on your caption, you can comment your hashtags on your post.

Avoid Shadowbanning

Instagram has this term called “shadowbanning”, although research says Instagram has not really confirmed this is true, their February statement at least confirmed the hashtag issue is real.

Shadowban is a result of spammy behavior. People who were shadowbanned had their contents or accounts blocked. To avoid shadowbanning, you should change your hashtags from time to time, we suggest creating a list for different types of post that is still related to your business, don’t use banned or broken hashtags, use hashtags relevant to your post and as much as possible, don’t use bots and organically grow your Instagram followers.

Are you using a BANNED HASHTAG?

Instagram users should avoid using banned hashtags and here’s how to identify if the hashtag is blocked or not:

  1. Go to the Explore
  2. Type the hashtag in the search bar
  3. If you get the message as shown below, that hashtag is considered banned

Some banned hashtags might appear on the list temporarily while others are permanently banned.

That’s it!

With the right combination of hashtags, they can be your key to success on Instagram. Take note: your hashtags will be more effective if you pair it with a visually appealing image.

Are you using hashtags for your business?

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