How to Increase your Instagram Following Using Hashtags

Instagram is one of, if not the most, popular social media platforms worldwide. With over one billion users, Instagram seems like it would be the ideal place to gain a large following, however it is not so easy. Everyone wants to have as many followers as they can in order to have their content seen by as many people as possible, but gaining a substantial amount of followers is not easy. Whilst gaining followers is not as easy task, it is not impossible and there are ways to help your account grow. One of the easiest ways to get your account more visibility is to make use of hashtags. If you are new to Instagram, you might not know how beneficial hashtags are or how to use them effectively. Here is a short guide on how to use hashtags to increase your Instagram following.

What are Hashtags?

Hashtags are essentially a way to make your posts searchable. The hashtag is a hash or pound sign (#) followed by a keyword that relates to your content. The hashtag started on Twitter by a man by the name of Chris Messina. He used the hash sign with his friends when coding/ programming and brought the idea to twitter. Since then, the hashtag has become one of the most prominent features of all social media today, and many services such as TaskAnt, which makes finding the best hashtags to use really easy, it has become even more popular. Hashtags allow your post to be searchable and more discoverable, get more views and be shown to a much more targeted audience. When using hashtags, you need to ensure that you only use tags that are relevant to your page and your content, otherwise your posts will be shown to people other than your target audience which does not help grow your account.

What are the Benefits of Hashtags?

There are many benefits to using hashtags. One of the most valued benefits is that it helps you gain followers. When you post with hashtags you gain many more followers than when you post without them. Hashtags are vital not only to the growth of your Instagram following, but also to the growth of your relevant followers. Hashtags allow your posts to be shown to people who are specifically looking for content like yours. When you use a relevant hashtag, you will reach your target audience and therefore gain relevant followers who are much more likely to interact and engage with your content. Hashtags are one of the most valued features on any social media platform and are absolutely essential for the growth and success of any Instagram account.

Easier to Find Content

When using hashtags, your content becomes much easier to find. A hashtag essentially makes your post searchable for users. If someone were to search a hashtag that you used, it becomes much more likely that your posts will be seen by that user, and much more likely that you will be able to grow your Instagram followers. Another popular and clever option is to make your own hashtag that is specific to your account. This allows people to post under your hashtag and for you to have a hashtag that is account specific and therefore a great place to have all of your posts in one place besides on your Instagram profile. When using hashtags, because your content is easier to find, you following is likely to increase much more and therefore sales are also much more likely to increase. There is a domino effect that comes along with the use of hashtags which is very beneficial to any business.

Trends, Target Audience and Competitors

Instagram is a great tool to find out what is trending and how to incorporate that into your own brand. By looking at the trending hashtags, you see what people are looking up and that allows you to post under similar hashtags which will ensure that people will see your content. Besides getting a bigger reach from trending hashtags, you can also reach a more targeted audience, which is important for follower engagement. By using audience specific hashtags, you can also see what your competitors are doing to gain followers and keep an eye out for new marketing strategies.

How to get more engagement on Instagram

Have you recently discovered that in order to grow on social media you need to have good, meaningful engagement from your followers and other users? Do you feel like the engagement on your social media account could be much better than it is but aren’t sure how to get it up?

One social media platform that seems to be taking all other platforms by storm and making the lead, is Instagram. Instagram has only grown more and more popular since its launch all the way back in 2010 and has managed to gain over 1 billion users making it a great place for both businesses and individuals alike to get noticed.

Over the years Instagram has gone through a lot of changes and if you haven’t used it in a while or it is your first time, you might not know the best way to use it. If you would like to increase the engagement you receive on Instagram, here are the best ways to do that.

Engage before and after posting

As mentioned earlier, engagement is everything hen it comes to social media, but in order to get any engagement, you need to engage with other users yourself. Not only will this encourage engagement but it will also give you a chance to get your name out there to other people who may not yet know about you.

Great ways to engage with your followers is by responding to comments on your posts, liking their posts, sharing their content, following them back, replying to their direct messages, or using a growth service that could do that for you. If you are interested in trying out a growth service, you can read more about Growthoid here. If you want to engage with people who don’t follow you, you can do the exact same things, like following them, commenting on their posts, and liking their content.

Post at the right time

Engagement is everything when it comes to social media and marketing on social media, especially when it comes to Instagram. A great way to ensure you can increase your engagement is by making sure you post at the right time. It may take a little while to figure out what the best time to post is, but through your different statistics on your account, you can figure out what time is the best and most optimal time to post in order to reach the most amount of people.

You will always need to consider what time zone your target audience live in, what kind of work they will be doing, and what times of the day they are most likely to be on Instagram and this give you the best time for you to post every day.

Use all formats when posting

Instagram initially started off as a place where you could only post picture to your feed. As the years have gone by, you can now do so much more than that. Newer features added to Instagram include allowing you to post both videos and photos to you stories, feed, and reels, as well as a section called IGTV where you can post longer videos, and a place for people to livestream.

If you are looking to increase your engagement, you should not only be posting to your feed, but rather making use of all the different features they have to offer you. Not only will this allow you to post multiple times a day and reach a much larger audience, but you will because to reach different audiences and demographics within Instagram.

Use different story stickers

Stories on Instagram have made social media a whole new ball game. When posting stories there are a variety of different filters, texts and fun little things to add afterwards that can just make it the much more entertaining. Some of the best things that have been added to the story feature are sticker. You get your standard sticker that sire just little things you can put on top of your post to make it look cute, and then you get sticker that can actually increase engagement such as the ones which allow you to have questionnaires, ask people anonymous questions, or even do polls. People are very likely to interact with your account, and you can gain more Instagram followers fast if you make use of them because they are so quick, simple, and easy to navigate.

How to use Instagram hashtags correctly for effective social media marketing?

Instagram is the next big thing in 2020. The platform is a hot favourite among millennials and Gen Z kids. A recent report by Sprout Social reveals how 64% of Instagram’s user base is between 18-29yrs.

Business holdings are continually trying to capitalize on the traffic generated by Instagram. And hashtags can make or break your social media game.

Adding a hashtag or two to your pictures increases user interaction tenfold. The trick is to use them correctly. Brands which have successfully mastered the art of optimizing hashtags enjoy better visibility and customer engagement.

In fact, social media marketing is so relevant to modern times that most B-schools have also included it as part of their curriculum. Marketing students often get case studies and projects on Instagram marketing strategies.

Business graduates, swamped with deadlines, often each out to professional marketing assignment help services. Let’s find out some more tips and secrets about Instagram hashtags and how it boosts customer engagement.

Need for hashtags

Although Twitter birthed hashtags, it was Instagram that put them on the map. And since then, marketers are losing their sleep over this refreshingly new strategy. But before we get into all that, let me clear a few essential pointers.

What exactly are hashtags? And what purpose do they serve?

Well, hashtags comprise of a word or a phrase accompanied by a hash (#) sign. There are no spaces between the words, although you can capitalize some letters in-between.

These hashtags categorize your content and make it easier for viewers to identify your posts. Hashtags also create better brand engagement, SEO ranking and overall awareness about your product or service.

Hashtags now appear in multiple platforms. You can use them on blog posts, social media updates, Instagram captions, tweets etc. For instance, if you are a movie blogger, then adding cinema-relevant hashtags can give your website a big boost.

Instagram marketing tactics

Before we delve deeper into the multiple facets and perks of hashtags, let us first understand the relevance of Instagram. A basic SWOT analysis of the platform would highlight its key strengths and weaknesses.

For instance, Instagram has a user-friendly interface. It is intuitive, eye-catching and has an extensive database. However, brands need to be at the top of their game if they want people to find them.

As per a recent report by Forbes, Instagram has some great revenue-generation tools. About 80% of the accounts follow at least one business page. It contributes to a brand’s web presence, increases SEO ranking and helps people connect with influencers.

Relevancy and placement

Hashtags are useful only when they are used correctly. You cannot merely add random words with hashtags and expect to trend overnight. There are specific words, terms and phrases that are already trending on social media.

Also, these words and key phrases must be relevant to your line of business. For instance, if your brand belongs to the organic fashion sector, then hashtags like #OOTD, #natural, #organic etc. works well.

Conduct thorough market research. Know about your customers and their changing preferences. Also, keep an eye out on your peers. Analyze the kind of hashtags they’re putting up and the responses it generates.

Specificity and uniqueness

Hashtags double the scope of user engagement, putting you at the top of the game. But this is not an instantaneous process. New brands and business holdings need to find their voice, their niche, their USP in order to create unique content about your brand on social media. In order to grow your brand, it is important that you diversify your content across all social media platforms. Creating user generated content is also a very natural and yeilding method to create unique content for your brand.

Hashtags can be excellent marketing tools, and they set you apart from others. Develop hashtags that are catchy, chic and easy to remember.

A catchphrase, your brand name, an ad-line- anything can be a hashtag. Note that hashtags are not full-fledged sentences.

I would recommend readers to keep their hashtags small, compact and to the point. This is because hashtags don’t have spaces in-between. Long words and phrases become incomprehensible and difficult to decode.

Capitalize on existing hashtags

There are multiple hashtags on Instagram that already enjoy a large following. If your marketing team cannot come up with new hashtags, capitalize on the existing ones.

For this, you need insights on what your customers are searching for these days. These hashtags can crop up on a variety of topics.

Read up on current political, social, economic events, celebrity weddings, new releases, updates in the tech industry etc. And if you find a trending hashtag, try to incorporate it in your post as organically as possible.

Remember, there must always be a direct or visible connection between your post and the hashtag used. It makes it easier for Instagram to gauge your content and categorize it.

Research on the right set of hashtags

Hashtags add value to your brand, provided your content is readable and relevant enough. There is no point in adding great hashtags to your posts if they are of no expected value.

 Users tend to gravitate towards posts that enhance their experience and cater to their interests. The quality of your posts and the hashtags you use are interdependent to each other.

Merely having good content gets you nowhere unless you back it up with creative, trending hashtags. It also helps to learn how you can fund your instagram campaign while you are busy promoting it.

Similarly, a right hashtag is of no use unless added on to a great post. A smart combination of both these elements is what you need for a better SEO rank.

Don’t overdo it 

This is something I cannot stress upon enough. Too much of a good thing can turn bad for your business. And when it comes to social media marketing, balance is the key.

Don’t stuff your posts with multiple hashtags. It would only confuse the algorithm and irritate your viewers.

Instead, place a few unique, relevant, authentic and trending hashtags strategically for maximum impact. Learning from Hubspot blogs is a great way to learn more about social media marketing and this guide on instagram hashtags is why they are so highly spoken of in the marketing community. There are multiple platforms where you can find trending hashtags online. Check the SEO score of these tags before adding them to your content. On average I’d recommend you use 2-4 hashtags per post, not more.

The future of hashtag marketing

Hashtags are a crucial addition to any social media post. What’s more, you can add hashtags to pretty much every social media network.

Recently, even Facebook and LinkedIn are accepting hashtags with their captions. Facebook, in particular has some creative marketing  gimmicks up its sleeve that completely changes the face of hashtag marketing

As a growing brand, it is essential to keep up with these trends. Evaluate and collaborate with influencers, learn more about your market and use tools to check the visibility of the hashtags you use.

Instagram recently launched a new feature where users can follow trending hashtags and view all the posts tagged under it. It is an excellent initiative for business accounts to boost their reach and engage more customers.

Although, ensure that your content meets the community guidelines laid down by the platform. Failing to do so might get your post deleted or worse reported for abuse.

The bottom line

Everyone wants to project a filtered, picture-perfect version of their life on social media. Social media networks are a medium of self-expression and advertisement.

These platforms give us the space to share our experiences with the world. It can be something as trivial as posting a selfie or a serious post discussing the political issues of your nation.

And with more and more people joining the social media bandwagon, it has become a thriving marketplace for brands.

Author’s Bio 

Author Bio: As a technology enthusiast, Bella contributes to open-source projects. She is the co-founder at Top My Grades and delivers online marketing sessions at online tutoring platforms like Expert Assignment Help & Assignment Essay Help helping students with writing essays and assignments. Beyond work, you can find her gardening in her backyard accompanied by her dogs – Birch & Bailey.