With about 500 million daily active users on its platform, Instagram has become one of the indispensable marketing tools for small business owners. However, organic reach is increasingly difficult to achieve with the platform’s algorithmic-based feed. So, how do you compete against louder, bigger brands and deliver content to your target audience? The answer: use effective hashtags.
Aside from photos, hashtags are another key element to using Instagram. They organize content to make it more discoverable and spur engagement from a target audience. Instagram even launched a feature that allows users to follow hashtags in keeping up with the latest posts. By using the right tactics, hashtags can grow your following and expand your reach within the platform.
Begin with a quick search for niche-specific keywords on Instagram. Similar or related phrases often crop up as you type in the search box, so consider these as your potential hashtags. Find relevant tags that your target audience will likely search for. You can also use third-party tools to extract popular hashtags that competitors and social media influencers use frequently.
This strategy is a good way to connect with other community members and gain exposure. Users often enjoy supporting local businesses, so using community-oriented tags can drive engagement with your brand. Moreover, they are likely to discover upcoming events within the vicinity through Instagram.
Good images will reel in an audience, so make sure your photo goes well with your caption and hashtags. Search results on Instagram are displayed in a grid. Pay attention to the photos and their similarities to each other. Study how your image can stand out while remaining relevant to the keywords.
Another way can grow your audience is by using trending hashtags. Aligning your content with a trending topic or event, say a holiday, can improve discoverability and reach. Mark your calendar for upcoming events to prepare relevant content in advance.
You may feel satisfied with using the same hashtags in every post, especially if you discovered ones that users consistently engage with. There’s a chance, however, that they have already seen and ignored your content. Using other keywords, on the other hand, lets you reach other users who might’ve never heard of you before.
Using hashtags with fewer posts can mean that there is less competition in capturing the users’ attention for your content. With specific, targeted keywords, you’re more likely to tap into your intended audience and improve visibility.
Having creative hashtags is another way to add personality and voice to your brand. People often notice cheeky and witty catchphrases that can spark lively discussions about the message. That’s why companies often concoct hashtags that contain brand names to give them a distinct edge and identity over competitors. Sometimes, it encourages sharing and engagement from your followers.
Growing your Instagram following with hashtags shouldn’t stop there. To keep audience engagement and maintain your online presence, track and analyze the performance of your posts and take time to identify the most engaged hashtags. Follow the seven tips listed above, and watch your Instagram following grow.