##Hashtags are the secret sauce of #Instagram’s hyperconnected world. If used correctly, they have the power to skyrocket your reach and rapidly boost your audience. Not using them (or using them ineffectively) is nothing short of a crime on this social platform.
Hashtags play entirely different roles on every #social media platform. On Instagram, they play a much bigger part than most, for they are the sole way for users to find new #content and new accounts to follow.
For example, if you wanted to find and connect with fashion bloggers, you would browse the hashtag #fbloggers. The Huffington Post published a list of the most popular 100 hashtags used around the platform and this Popsugar article shows you which popular hashtags are used each day (clue: it involves a lot of alliteration)
Here are a few pointers for you to consider when using hashtags on Instagram.
Don’t use punctuation
Hashtags don’t recognise punctuation, so if you’re a grammar-guru then look away now. Your hashtags should be short and snappy anyway, but you may have to allow yourself to break a few grammar rules if you have a hashtag like #dontusepunctuation
(Demonstrated on Twitter, but the same rules apply)
To capitalise or not to capitalise…
Luckily, Instagram doesn’t hold a grudge against capital letters like it does with punctuation, so you can capitalise to your heart’s content. Despite the fact that Instagram’s interface scraps any capital letters in searches anyway, it doesn’t mean you can’t use them if you feel it will make your hashtag more readable. For example, #ContentMarketing posts will still show under the contentmarketing hashtag – there isn’t a separate tag for each.
Keep things neat
If you can, integrate your hashtags throughout the caption. Try to avoid using an excessive amount of hashtags and make sure you keep them relevant to the photo.
One of the most recent trends is hashtagging emojis, which function in the same way words do. Using them can be a good way to capture a very specific audience or topic, and can attract a different demographic.
An Instagram life hack
A good way to ensure your posts stay discoverable is to post your picture as normal with your chosen hashtags, then come back to it every few days/weeks/months and add more hashtags in the comments, which will shoot your post back up into the top of the hashtag searches.
Since being acquired by social networking giant, Facebook in 2012 for $1bn, Instagram has seen exponential growth in users, and launched three standalone apps.
This – alongside the introduction of sponsored posts as well as the ability to swap between multiple accounts – suggests that Instagram shows no signs of slowing down and is steadily adopting a more business-friendly interface. It’s already a hit for the health, fitness and lifestyle markets, and used effectively it could accelerate your brand visibility and reach a vast audience. Give it a try!
If you would like advice about marketing your company on Instagram, or would like to know more about how Formative Content could help your brand, then get in touch today!