Instagram Business: Hashtags for Meaningful Engagement?

Do you use hashtags on your brand posts?

Hashtags are not all the same, some can help your business build value and encourage more meaningful engagement on your business account. 

According to HubSpot: “An Instagram post with at least one hashtag garners 12.6% more engagement than a post with no hashtags.  That is something worth researching.”

Here is where it gets tricky, no worries – here is a breakdown:

  • Hashtags like #happy #weekend #quote are all hashtags that generate very large followings.  They may bring people to your post and they may like it.  This is all true.  However, hashtags for business use should also be used with strategy, here are some reasons why:
  • Generic hashtags will garner attention, but not the attention you want – you want to attract followers but not at all costs – because you want those followers to be meaningful
  • Meaningful followers will be people that will engage with your brand regularly, they will comment on your posts and provide added value to your social media posts
  • Ultimately, the hashtags are created with a call to action in mind – this takes strategy – resulting from some research in your industry – your location – and your niche market
  • Hashtags are important and the right hashtags are crucial.  Along with unique, quality content you need hashtags to highlight your feed.

Which hashtags are best?

For example, if you are a small business that sells camping equipment, you may want to attract campers and you use the hashtag #nature, on the day I wrote this blog post, the hashtag “nature” had 343 million posts.  It is easy to be drowned out by that many posts.  Here is a breakdown:

#camping 

19.6 million – Better but still a huge following

#campinglife

1.1 million – Still large, but an excellent starting point for a hashtag

#campinggear – 151 thousand – This is the sweet spot.  It encapsulates a not too large following but still significant.  It is exactly about what you do, sell camping gear, people that follow this hashtag are hoping to learn more about gear, give them unique content and you have their attention.

As you can see, with only a little research and strategy – you can hone in on the perfect hashtag for your business that will also make a better impact on your goals – a call to action.

While you are looking at the people already using this hashtag, go to their profiles – check out their aesthetic, what other hashtags are they using, and who is following them?  This is free marketing information about your customers, your competition, and your industry. 

How many hashtags?

“Most top brands – 91% of them – use seven or less hashtags per post” according to HubSpot.  Sometimes this is the right number, but sometimes you need more or less depending on your industry, location or Instagram style.  Play around with them to see which number is best for you and then stick with that.  Just remember the limit on Instagram is 30, many find success with 7 to 20.

What next?

Once you have your hashtags ready to go and figure out how many you wish to use per post, you can do a few more things to increase your engagement on Instagram Business.

  • Follow your own hashtag – if your business uses a hashtag you will be able to incorporate social listening by simply following your hashtag. This also allows you to engage with people that used your hashtag but didn’t tag you in a post.
  • Create a hashtag for a brand campaign – have a slogan or an event comping up that can be used as a hashtag?  Ask your customers to use it when they go on Intsagram and don’t forget to follow that one too. #lunaroseconsulting

If you are looking to create an Instagram hashtag strategy and don’t know where to begin, I provide hashtag research as part of my social media coaching and social media management services. Contact me @ lunaroseconsulting@gmail.com to get started today.

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