So you’ve heard of Instagram, but did you know you can leverage it for your business? It’s all in the hashtags. But if you’re not quite sure how that whole hashtag thing works, have no fear! You’re in the right place.

There’s a space for every industry on Instagram, especially if there’s a highly-visual nature to the work you do. This social network gives companies of all sizes the opportunity to tell stories with pictures and gain followers. If you’re going to get the most out of your time on Instagram, you need to use hashtags. Get the details on how hashtags work and why they are an essential aspect of your Instagram marketing strategy. #MarketingStrategy #SocialMediaMarketing #InstagramForBusiness

Why Use Hashtags?

When you create an Instagram account, your goal is to create great, engaging content and then put it in front of people who align with your company’s buyer personas. To do this, you’ll need to build a group of followers who will see all of your posts. The easiest (and quickest) way to do this is hashtags.

By placing a number sign (#) in front of a word or phrase – no spaces – Instagram creates a hyperlink that organizes your posts into categories, and then people can find them by searching the site. You can include up to 30 hashtags per post, so a single post can be a part of 30 different searchable categories.

Of course, that many hashtags is overkill for most posts. Instead, you’ll need to select a specific number of hashtags from various categories when creating your posts. Let’s look at how that works.

Related: Elements of a Good Social Media Campaign

Choosing Hashtags

Understanding the importance of hashtags is one thing, but knowing how to create them is another. Many businesses are confused regarding selecting hashtags, so they don’t get as much out of the process as they should.

Before you select hashtags, you need to know they come in four categories. First, there are extremely popular hashtags. These hashtags have at least 100,000 associated posts, and people search for them like crazy. You need to include 4–7 of these hashtags in each post.

Moderately popular hashtags are next on the list. These hashtags have at least 10,000 posts, but the posts don’t exceed 100,000. You should also include 4–7 of these hashtags with each upload.

Then, there are niche-specific hashtags. These hashtags are targeted to your business and offerings. The hashtags don’t have as many associated posts, but they will help you generate targeted traffic. Include 3–5 niche-specific hashtags in each post.

Finally, there are branded hashtags. These hashtags can be related to a specific campaign or your brand. Since these hashtags are related to your specific brand, you don’t have to include as many, but you still need them. Include 1–3 branded hashtags on each Instagram post.

Related: Does Your Social Media Suck? Here’s How to Tell

Keep Track of Your Hashtags

In the world of internet marketing, data is king. Once you implement a marketing strategy, it’s critical to measure its success. Instagram Insights is an excellent tool to do this. It shows how many people discovered your posts from hashtags. This will give you some insight into how your strategy is working.

Then, use the Instagram Graph API to review the analytics for your various hashtags. You’ll see which hashtags are working and which aren’t. Keep the ones that are working, discard the others and replace them with something new. Continue tracking and analyzing your data until you create the perfect hashtag strategy.

Related: 11 Hacks To Improve Your Social Media Marketing Game

Creating Your Own Hashtag Strategy

Now you have the tools necessary to create an Instagram hashtag strategy. Brainstorm to come up with a list of the hashtags you want to use for your posts. Then, pick from that list when posting on the site. Remember to include a combination of hashtags on each post, so you can reach as many people as possible.

If you’re still at a loss for where to start, you can always reach out to the social media marketing experts at Ironmark. They can assess your current social media channels, help create an effective strategy to meet your goals and track your success. Get in touch today to start rocking it on Instagram!

DOWNLOAD: THE PERFECT SOCIAL MEDIA PLANNER

Written by Lauren Williams

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