How to Find the Best Instagram Hashtags to Amplify Your Brand on Social

by: Dustin Hawley | Tuesday July 9, 2019

Chances are if you spend even just a few minutes a day on Instagram, you’ve likely seen your fair share of Instagram hashtags. But is your brand making the most of them? On the surface, hashtags may not seem like much of a priority, but even today, they remain one of the most important aspects of promoting your Instagram page.

Without a true understanding of Instagram hashtags and how they work, it's difficult to know how to utilize them to boost your brand on social media. Do you know which hashtags are directing followers to your page? Which tags are the most popular in your industry? How many hashtags should I use on a typical post?

instagram logo with the word 'hashtag' next to it in the Instagram font

Instead of simply inserting dozens of tags on a post and crossing your fingers that it produces increased visibility and engagement, you need a real strategy. While it's true that Twitter invented social media hashtags, it's Instagram that really put them on the map universally. These days, Instagram hashtags not only categorize your content and makes it discoverable by users, but they are an effective way to get more followers, increase engagement and expand reach and brand awareness.

To truly tap into Instagram’s potential to reach a large audience, you have to up your hashtag game. So here is our guide on how to find the best Instagram hashtags to amplify your brand on social media.

First Things First...Focus Your Research 

It's important to actually take the time to research hashtags before using them since the more relevant and targeted the hashtags you use, the more you increase your chances of reaching your target audience and getting them to engage with your content. Depending on your brands' specific goals, there are numerous types of research for discovering the best Instagram hashtags. Here are a few of the most effective techniques.

Research The Most Relevant Topics, As Well as Your Target Audience

picture of a hand holding up a light bulb filled hashtag lamp

When it comes to researching trends related to your industry or vertical, a great place to start is by looking at the keywords your brand is already using.  Once you have compiled that initial list, go inside the Instagram app and tap the magnifying glass icon, then select “tags” from the dropdown menu. Once selected, enter your hashtags into the search bar one at a time. The results of each individual search will reveal all of the top hashtags that are closely related to the hashtag you searched. These results can give you ideas for additional hashtags you can use to reach and engage with your audience.

Rather than simply placing random general hashtags at the end of your Instagram posts, take a more targeted approach to by seeking out which hashtags your audience is currently using and inserting them into your posts. Be sure to only use the hashtags that are the most relevant, and contain the keywords that users interested in your type of industry are actually searching for.

Get down to the details when it comes to your hashtag research. Try to think in terms of specifics, since generally speaking, the narrower the scope of any given hashtag, the more likely users are to be engaged with topics posted with that hashtag.

Track What Hashtags Your Competitors are Using

As many of you likely already know, you can learn a lot from your competitors in business. And this applies to hashtag research as well. Of course, you don't want to just go out and copy exactly what your competitors are doing. That would actually be counterproductive. However, keeping an eye on the hashtags they are using - especially the ones they using frequently - can give you some ideas for your own hashtagging.

While you're at it, also consider taking some time to check in on what influencers in your industry are using, too. The results of these searches should provide you with a great foundation in determining your brand's ideal hashtag.

Create a catchy brand hashtag to get your customers involved

Contrary to popular belief, hashtags don’t always have to be used exclusively for short-lived contests or one-off marketing campaigns. In fact, many of the most successful branded hashtags are ones that brands apply to any and almost every post. A catchy hashtag helps you build brand on social media, and also creates another keyword to generate visibility and engagement online from potential customers.

Don’t make the mistake of using too many hashtags

Admittedly, it can be very tempting to hashtag with reckless abandon on each post, especially considering how engagement has been declining on Instagram for organic posts. But it isn’t savory for your business to go overboard on hashtags. In fact, if your brand is looking to make more of an impact with your hashtagging, it's often highly effective to actually be more selective. You don't ever want to be posting hashtags like this.

examples of using too many hashtags on Instagram

Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags per post, but your time is much better spent researching and using only a handful of super-effective hashtags, rather than piling on a ton of tags for every single post.

Get inspired by other Instagrammers in your industry

Let's be clear; there is nothing wrong with spying on your competition here and there. When it comes to hashtagging on Instagram, this process can actually be a super useful investigative tool for your brand. Joining in on the conversation and trending industry topic hashtags, as well as finding niche industry-related tags your audience is also likely following, can be incredibly beneficial when it comes to stepping up your hashtag game on Instagram.

FINAL THOUGHTS

In many ways, the key takeaway of this article is to be thoughtful about which hashtags you use, as well as how many you should insert into your branded posts. As is the case with any type of content you share on social media, at the end of the day it’s all about the audience. What value do you offer? What’s in it for your audience? What will compel them to engage with your post? These are the most important questions to have the answers to before you even insert your first hashtag. But hopefully, with the tips from this article, you can really amplify your hashtag game on social. So get out there, and get hashtagging!

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