Hashtags got their start on Twitter, as a way of sorting and organizing the fast-moving social media channel into areas of interest, but Instagram took the tool and hyper-sized it with up to 30 hashtags per caption.
Not that we recommend B2B brands, especially, get that carried away.
Hashtags serve as an additional way to reach users who don’t yet follow your brand, but do follow related hashtags, as well as a way of showcasing the areas your brand is known for, serves and what you are all about.
Include a mix of hashtags in your Instagram captions, including both the most popular relevant hashtags and less popular hashtags that are more specific and fit into your niche market or the specifics of the content of the post. This includes geolocation hashtags, branded hashtags, and others that fit the lifestyle and interests of your audience.
(See the section on how to choose hashtags here.)
In this example, Serenity Medical Spa (a JONES client), includes general hashtags (#instabeauty, #skincare) with branded hashtags for the products the spa carries (#janeiredale, #skinmedica) along with ones that identify the industry and geographic location (#medspa, #lakeoftheozarks).
Instagram typically lists hashtags after the main caption for an image, though in this case, there wasn’t a traditional caption other than “#repost” giving credit for the original content to the person who first posted it.
Additional hashtags can also be added in the comments, but do so with caution and sparingly.
Keep these simple rules in mind as you create your Instagram hashtag strategy:
- A hashtag is written as all one word with the # at the beginning—no spaces or punctuation. Example: #2020Election not #2020 Election, and #ImWithHer not #I’mWithHer.
- Don’t use trending hashtags that don’t fit your business or the content just to try to game the algorithms.
- Hashtags aren’t a substitute for well written copy and quality images.
- Use analytics to identify which hashtags are getting the most traction on your account.
- Stay on brand. Remember that the hashtags you use are an extension of your brand identity.
You’ll find a complete guide to using hashtags for business on multiple social media channels here: Your Business Hashtag How-To Guide. Also, be sure to read Your Complete Social Media Guide: What, Where, When and How Often To Post.
How are you using social media in your content marketing strategy? Let’s chat about the best practices for reaching specific audiences to drive lead generation.