#Winning: Maximizing Your Instagram Potential by Picking the Perfect Hashtags
The #Hashtag, an unsung marketing hero
Due to their pop culture explosion, everyone with Internet access knows what hashtags are.
They’re those nifty little keywords that you add on to the end of your posts. While they’re an incredibly useful engagement tool, most people have no idea how to use them to their fullest potential.
We’re here to help. If you want to increase traffic to your brand’s Instagram page and learn how to reach folks who aren’t already following you, keep reading!
Picking relevant hashtags
In order to maximize the growth potential of your Instagram account, it’s important to research relevant and trending hashtags for your industry. Tuning into relevancy is one of the most important parts of selecting your hashtags.
There are a few ways to go about doing this. The easiest way is by visiting your competitions’ pages to see what hashtags they’re using. Are their posts performing significantly better than yours? Take note!
Another great resource is metahashtags.com (it’s free!). This platform will help you discover hashtags and find unique terms that aren’t oversaturated with other content.
On Instagram, general hashtags like #artwork receive thousands of posts every day — and contain millions of posts altogether. If your goal is to be seen, your chances when posting to a huge hashtag are incredibly small.
That said, the only posts to #artwork that will get boosted by Instagram’s algorithm are those that appear in the “Top Posts” of the tag. To get promoted by “Top Posts,” your content needs to have extremely high engagement, which is hard to come by for small and independent businesses. You’re much more likely to have your brand featured in the “Top Posts” of a smaller, more specialized hashtag!
How do you avoid getting drowned out by millions of other posts? You’ve got to play it smart.
Let’s say you’re a restaurant owner with around 1,000 followers. You want to grow your audience on Instagram and ultimately increase your business traffic.
In this case, you’d want to avoid using hashtags that already have >500,000 posts. Instead, try using tags with <100,000 posts.
For the sake of our example, let’s pretend your restaurant serves pizza.
- #Food contains 500 million posts already and receives around 4,000 additional posts per hour.
- #Localfood contains 4 million posts and receives around 100 posts per hour.
- #Localpizza contains 34,000 posts and receives 1 post per hour, making this hashtag a great option to use on your posts!
If your pizza joint is in New Orleans, you might consider:
- #thebigeasy (150,000 posts, 1 per hour)
- #nolafood (250,000 posts, 3 per hour)
- While avoiding general tags like #nola (11 million posts, 100 per hour)
Experts advise using 8-10 specialized hashtags per post for the best results. For our imaginary pizza restaurant, we chose:
#thebigeasy #nolafood #localpizza #louisianafood #cajunfood #nolasmallbusiness #nolaeats #woodfiredpizza #foodie
To maximize your potential for Instagram engagement, use specialized hashtags specific to your industry while avoiding unrelated and oversaturated tags. Viral hashtags have huge competition, therefore making it nearly impossible for smaller accounts to rank. Focus more on the realistic, smaller hashtags that play to your strengths.