Using Instagram without hashtags is like promoting your venue without telling anyone but your closest friends about it.
Hashtags in Digital Marketing
Your potential to attract new customers would be incredibly low without the proper signage, print advertising, PR, and other marketing activities to get you found by the people who are going to visit and spend money at your business. Hashtags are used in business in three ways:
- To extend your reach across the platform and directly target your audience
- To engage with your audience
To boost your brand and be ‘known’ in your niche
Any word on Instagram that begins with a ‘number sign’ or more commonly known these days as the #hashtag, is a searchable link that groups photos and videos under a certain topic or idea.
Let’s do a short Q&A if you’re unsure about the impact the hashtag can have on your business.
Why should I use Hastags?
Other than the potential to increase engagement, you also have greater access to the 800 million active users on the platform, 80% of which follow at least one business on Instagram.Hashtags are the simplest way to increase your brand exposure on Instagram. Sprout Social reports that posts with even one hashtag have 12.6% more engagement than those without.se Instagram Hashtags?”
How do I use Instagram Hashtags?
With hashtags, like anything on Instagram, constantly evolving into the way they are used, for what purpose, and when, it can get confusing. To clear it up, you can use them however you want. But for a business, you’re going to want to focus on maximising your exposure.
Here are a few quick tips to get you started right now:
Hashtag Amount: Use all 30 of the hashtags that the platform allows per post. More targeted hashtags, greater chance of reaching your ideal audience. If you try to use any more than 30 in your post or in the comments, you won’t be able to post.
Geographic Location: As a venue, focus on geo-based hashtags, meaning anything where someone who lives in or is currently in your city can reach, e.g. #sydneylocal, #sydneyblogger, #ilovesydney, #melbournecafes
Industry Hashtags: Follow hashtags that are relevant to those in your industry or niche, that way you can keep up with your competitors and interact with your audience.
Bio: A new feature, Instagram Hashtags are now clickable via the bio. Perfect for competitions or branded content that visitors to your venue may share.
Instagram Stories: Add hashtags to your Instagram Stories. It’s another way to get discovered by those who aren’t already following you or lurking your account via the Explore page.
Now you know how to use Instagram hashtags, you may be wondering:
What Instagram Hashtags should I use?
If you are wondering this, you’re on the right track. Gone are the days of using #girl #ootd (Outfit of the Day) #follow4follow simply to gain more likes. Hashtags are a much, much more strategic tool for account and business growth.
As a general rule, avoid using only hashtags with huge amounts of posts. Stick to under 500,000 posts or ideally around 300,000 to make sure your content gets found. In geo-hashtags you should expect between 30,000-100,000; this is where you can really make your content shine and even be featured in the ‘Top Posts’ section.
Using the same hashtags in every post won’t do you any good. Flooding a hashtag with your posts (especially one after the other) will prompt other users to report your content as spam or not relevant to that particular hashtag. Try use 3-5 hashtag sets and rotate accordingly.
Stuck on your 30 hashtags? Luckily, many social media schedulers, such as Later and PLANN, have a tool that will suggest hashtags to you based on what you search and how many posts are in each hashtag.
We’ve curated popular hashtags that we use to promote restaurants, cafes and pubs in Sydney. Try out one or all of the following and report back:
- #streetsofsydney - 15,000+ Posts
- #visitsydney - 160,000+ Posts
- #sydneydrinks - 46,000+ Posts
- #sydneylifestyle - 47,000+ Posts
It’s all about doing your research. Don’t post and type the hashtags into the comments just after, as it won’t be strategic and you have a much lower chance of getting noticed.
How do I know if I’m using the right Instagram Hashtags?
Simple. Always turn to the data when in doubt. Instagram Business has insights on every post, making it easy for you to view which hashtag sets are having the most impact on your audience.
How to access your Instagram Insights:
- Go to your profile and select the post you want to analyse
- Click ‘View Insights’ just under the image
- Swipe up and scroll down to view your impressions from the Homepage, your Profile, Hashtags and ‘Other’.
Get found on Instagram with hashtags. It’s great if you’re already using them to increase your brand exposure, but with every post, there’s always room to improve and reach a new customer excited about your content and your business.