It’s difficult to stay on top of your Instagram marketing, especially when there are so many competitors out there. One way you can take advantage of IG’s algorithm is through the use of hashtags, as that’s what IG uses to categorize your content. An effective hashtag strategy will drive up engagements and exposure to a prospective audience. This will net you more followers, brand awareness, and conversions in the process.
IG values posts that have high engagements. So the more likes, shares, and interactions you get, the more likely you will be successful on IG. However, IG has been taking on a shadowban policy, and they are really strict about it. If you get caught spamming hashtags, your posts will stop showing up in the suggestion page. You need to make sure that you are using your hashtags wisely to not be categorized as a spam by IG.
A good tip to follow is to make sure your hashtags are consistent, and that they can attract your target audience. Stay away from conflicting hashtags, as it will confuse the algorithm and you might show up where you don’t intend to, which might waste your budget potential.
With that said, here’s a quick guide on how to stand out on IG by using hashtags wisely.
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On the last December, IG has released the “follow hashtag” feature. It allows you to see what’s new with the posts that have those hashtags, and the tags that they follow will show up on the news feed.
However, users also have the choice to block hashtags as well. You need to make sure that your hashtags don’t get flagged by the users as a spam. Being flagged will reflect badly on your brand, and will have a negative impact on your follower count and the success of your future posts.
Hashtags in the Stories
A good way to drive exposure is by adding hashtags to your stories. This is something that IG has allowed for a while, but its popularity isn’t all that prominent. However, when used right, this is one of the best ways to gain followers and engagement, because stories have a lot of engagement tools from polls to Q&As. People are much more interested to see new stories than posts nowadays. Plus, it allows for real-time hashtag following, so it’s an incredibly convenient tool.
Learn the different types of hashtags
It’s important to note that there are two main types of Instagram hashtags: branded and community hashtags. Understanding these differences will help you determine which hashtags you should be incorporating into your posting strategy.
There are 2 types of hashtags: branded and community hashtags. Branded hashtags are specific to your business. It contains a brand’s name campaign’s name, catchphrases and other short phrases that are associated with your brand. Having interesting branded hashtags will set you apart from your competitors who don’t. Also, it’s highly effective at driving up engagement and discussions about your brand, which will help increase brand awareness and followers. You will have the edge over your competitors when it comes to the impression of the brand, so it’s a good place to let your creativity run free.
On the other hand, community hashtags are pretty much the names of the topics that people are discussing. A good example of this would be #dogsofinstagram. It’s where dog lovers can find their own community and share pictures of their dogs. You can include these hashtags to gain access to your relevant markets and communities.
Finding the perfect hashtags
It requires some finesse to manoeuvre around the hashtag landscape. Here are some things you should be focusing on.
Quality over quantity
Quality over quantity means no spamming! As mentioned, it’s not a good thing when your hashtag is seen as a spam by the users and the IG algorithm. You should be deliberate and calculated when it comes to choosing a hashtag. For example, if your brand sells organic, vegan foods, you might want to include hashtags like #foodie, #vegetariansofig, #foragebyfolk to narrow down what your post is about. This way, you will gain the attention of a more precise target audience, which is the group that will ensure the most conversion anyway.
Research, replicate and adapt
You need to keep a keen eye on what your competitors and the successful accounts are doing. Also, you will be on the lookout for a way to improve your hashtag game as well. See if the industry is saturated with a certain hashtag that’s been muddied up lately. If there is, it might be in your best interest to avoid it. Or if there’s a rising trend in the market, then if you are the first to introduce it to the public, then you might get a chance to stay ahead of the curve. Learn what’s working for other people, try to understand why it’s working, and look to achieve the same effect.
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