Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of Instagram logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. (REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration)

Using the right hashtags to grow your business on Instagram

Using hashtags on Instagram is what makes your content discoverable, which means that they play a huge part in your Instagram success. If you want to increase your audience and grow your Instagram, you need to identify the best hashtags for your business.

There are a few things you need to consider when choosing your hashtags:

Hashtag Relevance

One of the most important things when it comes to hashtag usage is relevance. You don’t want to be using hashtags just because they are popular. Make sure your hashtags relate to the content of your post.

Instagram recently added the ability to follow hashtags. This means that instead of users having to search for a hashtag, posts for hashtags they follow will show up in their feed. This is part of the reason why it’s important for you to use relevant hashtags in your posts. If you are intentionally mislabeling your content it could have the opposite effect you’re hoping for.

Number of Hashtags

You can use a maximum of 30 hashtags per post. Use as many as you can, as long as they are relevant to your content, to make it more discoverable. The great thing about hashtags on Instagram is that they don’t interfere with the user experience because you can make them relatively invisible by putting them underneath your photo caption.

Related Hashtags

One of the best ways to find new hashtags to use for your business is to search the ones you already use. Instagram will suggest related hashtags, and this will give you an idea of what is trending in your area of business.

Research Your Competitors

Your competitors are likely trying to up their social media game as well. It doesn’t hurt to learn from what they’re doing. Focus on competitors that are doing well and learn from the hashtags they’re using.

Use Hashtags Your Customers Use

Your customers might be using hashtags you’re not aware of. Monitoring your customers content is important because they are the ones you want to find your content. This is a great way to make sure you are keeping up with hashtag trends.

Use Timely and Seasonal Hashtags

Try to sit down at the beginning of the month and look at what holidays are happening. See how you can capitalize on them and use holiday-focused hashtags. You can find fun/obscure holidays using websites like

Switch Up Hashtags to Avoid “Spammy” Behavior

Using the same hashtags in every post can affect your visibility. The Instagram algorithm prefers if you vary the content of your posts or else your content can be seen as spammy. If coming up with a different list of hashtags every time you post seems like a lot of work. Try creating a few separate lists for different types of posts. An app like Later allows you to schedule posts ahead of time and save captions to make the process simpler.

Using hashtags on Instagram is a great way to connect with customers and help new ones discover your content.

Need help marketing your business? Contact Union Leader at 603-668-4321, Ext. 264 for pricing and more information about creating a social media marketing strategy for Instagram.

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