Finding and using hashtags for your business on Instagram

Instagram is one of the biggest social media platforms out there. Chances are that you’re active on the platform with your business. If you’re not, here’s why you should be:  

You can get in touch with your target audience and engage with them through comments, likes, and direct messages. It’s a great way to engage with their needs, since your products and services can be found through Instagram search for example. That way you can find potential leads there as well. You may even get them to follow you, which makes it easy for you to re-engage with them all the time. It even has an integrated webshop system, which you can use to sell products directly from the images you share!

This makes Instagram very suitable for business. But you also want to be found of course, which you can do in several ways. You can promote your business channels outside of Instagram, but also on the platform itself through hashtags. These are the main ways you can be found by people who don’t follow you yet.

How hashtags work

If you have no experience with hashtags, here’s how they work:

Hashtags are topical words that fit your content, with a “#” in front of them that helps Instagram recognize that you intend to use them as a hashtag. People can get your posts recommended to them in their “explore page” based on hashtags, or search for certain hashtags. People can nowadays even follow certain hashtags and will see popular posts with that hashtag directly in their feed. 

This means that hashtags should fit your content. If you’re doing a photo series on street photography for example, then you might add hashtags like #streetphotography , or #streetphotography_world. People finding your content through hashtags can result in a lot of exposure; a lot of potential leads; and a ton of engagement (such as likes) which will improve your engagement metrics, which can get you even more exposure on the platform.

Spam works against you

Experience teaches us that hashtags that fit the content really well are your best option to get engagement. Simply spamming popular hashtags that aren’t related to your content won’t be effective. Instagram will recognize that your CTR (‘click-through-rate’, the amount of clicks you get per 100 views expressed as a percentage) will be low and the platform will recommend your content less.

Finding the right hashtags

Let’s get into how you can find the right hashtags for your content:

First, you can simply search for hashtags on Instagram. You can use the “search” function of the platform and search for “tags” specifically. This will show you the most popular hashtags for the term you entered.

You can dive a little bit deeper and find related hashtags you didn’t think of yet, by checking out popular posts for hashtags that fit your content, and look into the descriptions of those posts. Often you’ll find people have done the hard work for you, and you can simply use those hashtags for yourself.

If you want to be a little bit more sure that a hashtag will fit your content, simply take a quick scroll to popular content for that hashtag after clicking it. Does that content mostly fit the content you intended to use the hashtag for? Then you’re probably good.

Naturally you want to be as visible as possible, so adding as many hashtags as possible is important, right? However, keep in mind that there’s a limit: You can add up to 30 hashtags to your posts, or 29 and a location. If your business is location-based, I’d definitely opt to add your city or town as a location to the post.

I hope this helped you find the right hashtags for your business posts. If you have any further questions, comments, or ideas, please send us a message or share them in the comments of this post on social media.