5 tips for increasing business reach on Instagram using hashtags

October 22, 2018

What was first made for the intention of just Twitter has now morphed into one of the most important tools on all social media platforms. That’s right, we’re talking about the hashtag symbol.

Now, when it comes to using hashtags, there’s a lot of conflicting ‘how to’ advice rolling around on the internet. What seems straightforward at first glance, actually contains more layers than an onion.

How many hashtags should you use?

How do you pick the right ones for your business??

How do they even help your reach???

It can all seem a bit overwhelming. On the other hand, there’s no denying that Instagram is one of the biggest (and busiest) social media platforms out there. As of June 2018, Instagram boasts more than a billion monthly active users; half of those are active on a daily basis.  

Hashtags are an effective way to grow your following, encourage engagement and ultimately, be discovered. For this reason, having a solid hashtag strategy for your business is crucial when wanting to attract your target audience, grow a loyal following and get potential leads engaged. Did we mention it’s also free? When used correctly, using the right hashtags can generate more leads, without you spending a penny.

So, let’s dive into the power of the hashtag and our tips for increasing reach using the best hashtags for your business.


Learn the hashtags your target market is searching for

When building up your Instagram presence, it’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole of only following your peers in a similar industry. Instead, think about the potential clients you’re trying to attract.

Stop using hashtags that other businesses are searching and start using the hashtags your potential clients are using.

For instance, if you’re a designer: instead of using hashtags like #logodesign #photoshop or #indesign you may have better luck using hashtags like #Bristollogodesigner and #creativedesignerinBristol

It’s also worth cutting out the useless hashtags that only describe what people can see perfectly well for themselves in your image. Just because there’s a cup of tea in your picture, doesn’t mean you have to tag it!

So, in conclusion – use hashtags that describe your business and not just the photo when trying to attract your target audience. 


Do your research

Now that you’re up to speed and have a better idea of what your audience might be looking for, the next step is to do your research. Get brainstorming; write a list of possible hashtags for your business account and research to see if they’ll give you the results you want.

Check for overall hashtag quality. Gage if it would entice your potential clients to scroll through the results and click your image. If not, don’t use it. It’s also important to only use hashtags that show other quality content. After all, this is where your potential clients spend their time, so this is where you want your content to be!

And finally, once you’re onto a hashtag winner, it could lead you up the garden path to other good ones… 


Find your niche

Instagram has really invested in the functionality of hashtags. The app now even lets you follow hashtags just like you would an account. Which is why it’s key to strike while the iron is hot – but bear the following in mind…

When posting your image, the goal is to have your post appear high in the hashtag feed. So realistically, using hashtags with millions of followers isn’t going to get you seen. Look at it this way, the more competition you have, the less likely your image will appear. 

Instead, use hashtags that have an active community where your posts are more likely to be seen. Aim for the hashtags that have between 50k-500k followers and keep an eye on your post’s performance over time.


How many hashtags is too many?

I’m not sure if people will agree with us when we say this. But when it comes to using hashtags, Instagram allows a maximum of 30 per post – if you need to, use them all. If it’s an increase in reach you’re looking for, your post needs to be in as many places as possible to be seen by a wider audience. Simples.

People follow accounts based on the quality of their content – a paragraph of harmless hashtags won’t be a deal breaker.


So what next?

Moving forward, try switching up the hashtags you use day to day. This will allow your content to reach a wider audience and it also avoids spamming. Once you’ve found a good set of hashtags, give this an update every few months by checking which are working best for you and finding new ones.

Really put some time aside to nail your hashtag strategy every few months and the results will be worth the time and effort. You’ll increase your reach with your target audience and build an engaged following in no time!