Using Instagram Hashtags to Increase Brand Exposure

"The Power of #Hashtag" written in an open notebook underneath a woman's hand holding a pen.Instagram is continuously finding ways to revolutionize its platform, making it an ideal location to gain free exposure for your business. However, regardless of the ever-evolving features, without the right tools at your disposal, the feedback for your social media advertising can seem stagnant. In the case of Instagram, one of the elements that most influences the number of eyes on your post is the strategic usage of hashtags. While the imagery and video content featured on your business’s account shapes how your audience views your brand, it’s the use of Instagram hashtags that increase brand exposure.

Why Are Instagram Hashtags So Important?

While the algorithm for what thrives and what dies has changed many times on the platform, one factor has maintained its significance: hashtags. These identifiers essentially add your post to a directory of photos and videos sharing the same hashtag. When a user searches for the hashtag “#streetwear,” they’ll be provided an extensive list of posts with that same indicator, which in this case would feature casual apparel such as sneakers, jeans, and hoodies. If you want your brand to identify with a specific topic – whether it be a particular product, service, or otherwise – you’ll want to use relevant hashtags.

How Obtain Results with Your Instagram Hashtags

Using Instagram hashtags correctly is a great way of expanding your reach, growing engagement, and attracting followers. In order to achieve success with hashtags, you need to have a strategy, consisting of a combination of the following:

  • Relevance: If you’re a Boston-based restaurant showcasing your dishes, find hashtags relevant to your content and location, such as “#bostonfoodie” or “#tasteofmassachusetts.”
  • Timing: Hashtags are time-sensitive. The more people use a hashtag, the faster it becomes buried. Stick to relevant, lesser-used hashtags, and avoid saturated hashtags like “Instagood.”
  • Diversification: Don’t use the same 15 hashtags every day. Instagram’s algorithm will decrease the visibility of your post, as it will not seem like organic or authentic engagement.

You want your hashtags to cater to your targeted audience, so it’s good to be specific but not so specific that no one ever searches for the hashtag. It’s good to perform research on relevant hashtags for your industry – via Hashtagify, RiteTag, or similar tools – and avoid any hashtags with millions of posts. Watch my video to find out more about these strategies:

How to Optimize Your Instagram Hashtags

The platform’s best practices are constantly changing, so sometimes it can be tricky to gain the exposure you’d hope for. Fortunately, you can use a few timeless strategies to reach not only more people but the right people, as well. Some tips to increase engagement include:

  • Instagram Hashtag Analytics: The platform includes a native analytics tool that will offer data and insights into how well hashtags are performing for your posts. If you notice certain hashtags aren’t generating results, diversify.
  • Create a Branded Hashtag: Create a hashtag that includes your company’s name or is specific to your brand and place it in your bio. Your fans will include it in their pictures or videos to increase your exposure, or they’ll follow the hashtag to keep up to date on your brand.
  • Post Hashtags in the Comments: You can use up to 30 hashtags on your post, which – as you can guess – can appear quite messy. Instead, write your hashtags into the comments section to avoid cluttering your post.
  • Campaigns and Promotions: Host a contest structured around user-generated content using a particular hashtag, or organize a raffle where entries are awarded to those who use your hastag in a post.

Be sure to use relevant hashtags on all content, from Instagram Reels to Stories. You want your content to be seen by and speak to your target audience, and the way you do that is to ensure it’s easily accessible to them.

Using Instagram hashtags that increase brand exposure can be a complicated task, but it’s far from guesswork. With the appropriate knowledge of hashtags, you can increase the visibility of your posts, thereby gaining your brand more exposure. At Vision Advertising, we’re well-versed in what it takes to successfully manage social media and build a brand that captivates your target audience. If you would like help increasing your business’s presence on Instagram or other social media platforms, contact us today.

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About the author : Catrina Gardner

Catrina Gardner is a Communications Manager at Vision Advertising. With a background in social media marketing, photography, and graphic design, she brings her marketing savviness and design skills to her clients. Outside of the office, Catrina is on the Board of Directors for the Young Professional Women's Association of Worcester.

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