Hashtags are a big part of many social media platforms.Actually, the only main platform that doesn't utilize hashtags is LinkedIn (so best not to use them there).
A hashtag is a search and discovery feature. Why do people use hashtags? On a very high level, when you use a hashtag on your post, that post will then be included when someone clicks on that hashtag which can lead to more engagement/ followers.
For example, you post a photo and use #WomanCrushWednesday. When you click the hyperlinked hashtag, you will then be brought to a page aggregated with all of the posts using the #WomanCrushWednedsay
I would argue that hashtag use is MOST important on Instagram. There are very specific ways you can go about using hashtags on Instagram to help boost your following and engagement.
First and foremost, let's see what Instagram says about hashtags.
You can post hashtags in either the caption or the comment but note here that Instagram specifically tells you to put your hashtags (at least the first time you post) in the caption. I think it's a good idea to maybe go back a few hours or days later and throw some additional hashtags in the the comments section to see if you can gain more engagement.
HINT: Use the Notes app to pre-write your captions and/or hashtags. Copy and paste so you can control the format.
What hashtags should you be using?
Instagram only allows 30 hashtags...so use them! Choose 10 that are relevant to the post, 10 that are relevant to you (that you use frequently), and 10 that are relevant to your target audience (think something that they'd be searching so that they'd be more likely to find your content).
You want to use hashtags that are more likely to be used and/or searched but also unique enough that you will appear close to the top when people are brought to the hashtags page. For example if you use #blessed, chances are your post will be buried because it's a wildly popular hashtag...but if you use #blessedbeyondbelief you might have better luck. This same logic goes for using a hashtag that no one will be searching for or using, like #wowthishashtagsucks.
Instagram allows you to follow hashtags the same way you would follow a friend. This means that when people use the hashtag you're following, it will appear in your feed as if you were following that person. This is useful if you have a specific hashtag in relation to your business or client prospecting.
Still need help figuring out how to best utilize hashtags to promote your business Instagram page? Shoot me an e-mail!