Ever since Instagram introduced the algorithm, hashtags have become vital for being discoverable and growing your audience.

Today I want to talk to you about Instagram hashtags what they are, how they work and what you should be using as hashtags for your Instagram account.

A tiny bit of background.

Hashtags started on Twitter with people using one or a group of words following a hashtag to mark their posts. People could then search the hashtag and find any post associated with this hashtag. The same process trickled over to Instagram and has become a very important tool in using Instagram for your business.

How to create a hashtag?

Basically you just choose any word following a # and you have created a hashtag. You can Google search top 100 hashtags on Instagram and you will find out what the most popular hashtags are at the moment. You can also make a hashtag out of your business name or your tagline. For instance, I use #berta on all my posts because that is part of my brand. I also use hashtags like #onlinemarketing, #entrepreneur in case someone is searching Instagram for online marketing tips or entrepreneurial tips.

woman on mobile phone with text overlaid "get more instagram followers using hashtags"
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How many hashtags?

You are allowed to use up to 30 hashtags per post. Everybody gets a little bit shocked about the number of hashtags. You should you use all 30 hashtags. Initially when you are growing your account yes, you should use all 30 hashtags. Later, once you get over 1000 followers, organic growth starts to kick in so you can use less. 

What hashtags should I use for my business?

You should use your business name and any taglines of your business. Then of the 30 posts you are allocated, you should split them up like this: 20 hashtags in the optimal range, five hashtags very popular hashtags and five hashtags specific to your brand and business.

Grab your cheat sheet now

Figure out what hashtags to use for your business. Use the cheat sheet with the information below to create your first hashtag strategy.

Print it out – Fill it in – Review every month or so.

No email necessary – access your copy of the hashtag cheat sheet right now.

The three types of hashtags.

There is a recommended ratio of hashtags that you could use:

5 hashtags in the top 100

20 hashtags that are in the range of 5,000 to 50,000 posts

5 hashtags that are YOUR brand/business

 5 hashtags in the top 100

When you are trying to figure out which hashtags to use for your business, you will search as I mentioned earlier the Google top one hundred and choose five of these that feel good for your business. But as you can imagine these hashtags sometimes have over 50 million associated posts (for example). If you use this tag on your post, your post will get lost among many other posts and not be very discoverable. Still, these types of hashtags are good to use in small amounts.

 20 Optimal hashtags.

You can figure out how many associated posts a hashtag has by using the search in Instagram. Click on the magnifying glass and type in a word for example #spiritual entrepreneur then the search will tell you how many associated posts there are with this hashtag. If there are more than 50,000 or less than 5,000 this is an optimal range hashtag. You should have 20 of these.

These are not hard and fast rules but these are a guide for you to begin using hashtags and playing around with them. You need to reassess your hashtags every now and then and change them up to see how your engagement changes. I am sure once you start using hashtags you will find you get a lot more comments and likes on your posts, probably up to four times as many.

5 Brand Specific Hashtags

Now, create 5 hashtags that are completely uniwue to your business. If you are a bricks and mortar business, you might use your area and your service, for example: #sapphirecoastweddingphotographer or #begahairdresser. These help people find you if they do a search. Otherwise you can use your business name eg. #bertamarketing or #cocacola. Then – you might use taglines like #intuitiveentrepreneur or #untamedintuitivewoman. Go crazy – these are like an investment in a digital asset more than a way for people to find you. 

Industry leaders and competitors.

It is always a great idea to have a look at competitors and industry leaders hashtag usage. You can use these as a guide if you having trouble brainstorming hashtags of your own. There is no proprietary over hashtags. The main issue is, if a hashtag has a lot of associated posts, your posts will get lost in the noise, so it’s great if you start using the hashtags and then go back and check the top posts in the following weeks and see if your posts are turning up in the top posts. If they are, then this hashtag is great for you. It helps you be more discoverable because you have made it to the top nine posts.

Want to know more about hashtags and growing your business using Instagram?

I have a 4 week beta course all about Instagram for business. Find out how this course can help you grow your follwing and make more sales with a clear understanding of how Instagram works and how you should use it.

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