This week on The Entrepreneur’s Corner, we are taking a look at one of the pillars of social media marketing; Instagram. With an average of over 1 billion users monthly, Instagram provides a market that should make any entrepreneur drool. However, the user-base itself aside, you as an entrepreneur need to find ways to convert that statistic into cash in your pocket.
That’s where Instagram marketing comes in. What can you do to turn the app’s users into customers? Today, we’re focusing on one aspect of that—leveraging hashtags to increase your reach and engagement, and as a result, grow your business.
Hashtags Make You Searchable
Hashtags are essential to success on Instagram. The simple truth is, on Instagram you find content by searching for accounts you already know, or let the Instagram algorithm show you random things you might be interested in. There is no real searchability. Unless, of course, you factor in hashtags. Hashtags allow your posts to reach the people who are looking for it. They’re the key to success on the app.
There are four places where you can use hashtags; your Instagram feed posts, your Instagram stories, your IGTV and your reels. In the case of your Instagram feed posts and your IGTV, you can use up to 30 hashtags. Any hashtags beyond 30 won’t show up in a search.
The thing about hashtags though, is that search results are not identical for any two users. So, if you and a friend search for the same hashtag, you will get different results based on your behaviors. With hashtags, there’s no definite guarantee that you will be found, but if you don’t use them, then you’re taking away that possibility entirely.
How To Use Hashtags On Instagram Feed Posts
You can use up to 30 hashtags on your Instagram feed posts. And if you’re using them well, there’s no reason you shouldn’t use all 30. But that can be a lot of work, so generally, it’s recommended to use about 15 to 20 hashtags in your Instagram feed posts. If hashtags help you get found, then it makes sense that more is better.
Now here’s the big problem, how do you come up with 15 hashtags that are relevant to your business, your customers and your current post? Here’s the trick: go into the search box on the explore page and type one of the keywords of the hashtag that you want to attach to your post. Switch the results to the tags tab, and you’ll see a list of the most popular hashtags related to your post.
It can be tempting to select the top most popular hashtags and add them to your post. But using a hashtag with over 1 million posts will be ineffective for you, because that particular hashtag is going to be saturated with content. Your post will not be noticed. What you want to do instead is find moderately popular hashtags and these would be the hashtags with about 80,000 to 300, 000 posts. In addition, you also want some niche-specific hashtags. These target your particular industry and clientele. Then include some of your own branded hashtags and you’re good to go.
Where Should You Put Your Hashtags
There are two ways that you can go about adding hashtags to a post. The first is to add them to the captions, and the second is to leave a comment underneath the post with all of your hashtags. Some people prefer to put them in a comment underneath a post so their posts don’t look like spam. In reality, the results are the same.
So, in the end, where you put your hashtags is simply a matter of preference. However, you should note that Instagram cuts comments short after the second line. If your hashtags are in your caption, they won’t be shown on people’s feed by default.
The Entrepreneur’s Corner is a weekly series that brings you business tips and insights from people with real-world business experience.
Source: Social Media Examiner