The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Hashtags in 2019

Instagram went from being the social network of “personal photos” to being one of the most searched terms worldwide in Google, with a 21% growth in those searches. The opposite of what happened to Facebook, which had a significant drop of 29% and YouTube with a less aggressive decline of 4%. Surprised? Do not be so, audiences change, grow, evolve and what 10 years ago was the most used and functional, today may not be.

The important thing in any social media strategy is to adapt to the same speed of the media, technology, and audiences. Only then, you can make the most of your marketing actions. You have to be asking yourself: “And all this has to do with Instagram hashtags, I went here to read hashtags”. Let’s go!

The hashtags to Instagram are just one of those technical elements that have been further evolution in their use and engagement by the audience. This means that you can get positive results without having to invest more. It suits you to know how to use them or hire the service of a community manager trained for it.

The importance of a good hashtag for Instagram

Just as publishing on a social network does not mean being a community manager, neither writing “#” on Instagram means knowing how to use them correctly. Here, the “right” implies knowing not only how to write it but also the characteristics that will give you one or another advantage in your social media strategy. There is no doubt that, although placing a hashtag on Instagram may seem extremely simple, small details can lead you to have-or not- success in your strategy.

Visibility to the niche markets that interest you

In Instagram, there are around one billion active users in the world. In addition, it grows at a rate of 5% per quarter, which means 50 million new active accounts. But you will agree that not all that “world of people” will be your target audience. Exactly there lies the importance of a clear strategy in the hashtags that you will use.

Imagine that you have a restaurant with home delivery service in Mexico. You could opt for general topics such as #Food that has more than 1.8 million publications. But surely it would not do you any good, because users from all over the world would be looking for that hashtag and you will not send food to Peru or Argentina. So, what could help you? Within the options could be a specific hashtag with thematic of geolocation. And what if it is not any kind of food that you sell but healthy food? Surely you want a hashtag that your target audience can find you with.

Appearing to appear with any hashtag will not help you much; it will be like “throwing shots”. But to appear in the searches of your potential clients, yes it will be useful!

Improve readability

Although it is a little-used element and even a practice not so well seen by some, in the day to day I have learned that the more you facilitate the visual identification of certain keywords, the better result you will have in your publications. Maybe you’re thinking: “what are you talking about?”

In social networks, at least the most used the color of the letters in the hashtags and the names of users are different from the rest of the text.  That translates into visual differentiation which helps achieve greater readability in publications.  And if it was of little help, the hashtags on Instagram will also allow you in publications with long texts, there are visual accents that facilitate reading.

Brand discovery

Now, imagine you’re working on the brand launch of a restaurant chain. Your niche market is not so geographically defined and you urgently need people to know the brand.

Yes. Of course, you will use ads, but you need to maximize your results because, in the end, no company has unlimited resources for social media. In this case, using high and medium popularity hashtags will bring the benefit you are looking for: expose the brand to as many people as possible within certain broad audiences.

Results measurement

One of the everyday problems between businesses is that they fail to quantify the benefits of their actions on social media. However, with the right tool, the performance indicators of your strategy are quantifiable. This includes, of course, the hashtags on Instagram. As you will realize, the type of benefit you can get depends not only on the use of the hashtag but also on what you use and how you do it. This takes us to the next step.

Choose carefully the hashtags you use

Do not use irrelevant hashtags or because they are fashionable or because suddenly, they seemed a good idea. Have a clear strategy of use and stick to it. It does not mean that you do not use trend hashtags, but its use should be defined in your plans and also when and how to use them.

Keep your hashtags easy to remember

Although you worked with a well-positioned brand would be difficult that a person could remember something like #restaurantnewyorkhealthyfood, the users think: “What does it say?” So make them short, understandable and preferably uses uppercase and lowercase: #restaurantnewyork.

Create a list of hashtags with annotations

If you already took the time to plan and choose them, it would be a waste that, on a daily basis, you will forget which ones to use as well as the reasons and focus of each one. You can use a Gsuite spreadsheet to have it always online or some other tool that allows you to access your information in the cloud.

Test, test, test and keep trying

The same thing does not work for all companies. Advertising is not an exact science. So once you plan, perform tests and redefine your strategy. Of course, do not forget to measure and analyze the results of each action or it would be the same as never having tried anything.

Choose the hashtags from the general to the specific

And keep trying and measuring! Especially when you perform the initial hashtags strategy, you will not know what will work best for you. So you’ll want to include in its hashtags for Instagram that go from the general to the specific and follow the previous point!

Hashtags for Instagram, do you make good use of them?

Publishing on social networks can be extremely easy, almost anyone can do it. Here the determining factor is that not everyone knows how to do it well and above all how to obtain better results with exactly the same resources. To maximize these results, there is precisely what we call “good practices”. Which are recommendations of how, where or why to use something?

Use uppercase and lowercase

This should be the common practice to write a hashtag in any social network because it significantly facilitates its reading and identification. And when it comes to competing against thousands of publications, you’ll want people to quickly recognize yours.

Use the right number for your strategy

For the old social media school, the right number was a maximum of three. However, everything changes. Currently, Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags, but do not get excited! This means that, even if you can place that amount of labels, you should try to get the best results in your niche markets. Conduct tests at different times with different types of content and with a different number of labels. Measure the results of each publication as well as those of each hashtag and define the range in which those results are better.

Use specific hashtags of interest to your audience—suddenly, it is easy to check the web hashtags that are being used and adopt them in your content. But this will not always be the best option. You will be losing the opportunity for your specific market niches to find your publications. So investigate your audiences, analyze what they are looking for and how they do it, how they interact and, based on that, create or adopt specific hashtags that allow you to have a presence among them. For example—labels of conferences, conventions, fairs and events to which your audiences attend or even natural events in tendency as eclipses that are related to your audience.

Use them to collect UGC (User Generated Content or User Generated Content)—Users love to be taken into account, participate and interact with their favorite brands, especially in certain niche markets. One of the ways to achieve this interaction is by making them participants of the content created by the brand through photos and material that they themselves send. In this type of social action, Instagram hashtags are one of the most useful tools so that they can participate in the conversation and contribute new material.

Are not you using them in Instagram stories? You are missing new opportunities for your content to be discovered!

Combine hashtags—at the beginning of your strategy, you can define using different types that allow you to reach different audiences. Do not forget that measuring the results will be a key factor to define which of them is best to use.

Popular tags. You can use 5-7 of those that have 100 thousand or more associated publications.
Moderately popular. Consider using 5-7 hashtags that have a 10K to 100K associated content.
Specific hashtags. Placing 2-5 specific labels can be a good idea in your strategy.
Brand labels. Include 1 to 3 in your content to work positioning.

Good spelling

A bad habit when writing hashtags is to dispense with accents and correct spelling. Although most social media specialists point out that it is appropriate to use accents in hashtags, it is common to see them written without them. The relevance of good spelling is the image that your brand presence to the user. Of course, it is not the same if your company is a corporate B2B if you manage the networks of a rock group in which the accents will not matter much.

Measure all the hashtags you use on Instagram

As with any average social strategy, measurement is a key factor in the success or failure of all actions. A type of action, content or hashtag may be currently working (or at least appear) but if you do not measure it you cannot have a real parameter of how it works.

Just an example, that hashtag that you think has worked very well may be giving more results than another variable that you have not identified. When measuring, you realize that there is another label that you always publish in a time of little interaction, whose result is very close to your “star hashtag”.

What would happen if thanks to this measurement you discover that your “secondary” hashtags actually generate more engagement than your “favorites”? Many times it is the “details” that actually manage to improve the success of an action plan. And those “details” are discovered by measuring and analyzing. Here the important thing is to have access to the statistics of scope, impact, and influence of each hashtag and, above all, to be able to compare them to make adjustments.