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6 Ways to use hashtags for business on Instagram

Instagram Marketing Mar 26, 2024
6 Ways to use hashtags for business on Instagram

How hot are your hashtags? This original connectivity function is criminally underutilised by businesses on Instagram. In this article, we’re sharing 6 simply superb ways to get the most out of hashtags. We’ll help you communicate with your audience, collect relevant content under one umbrella and increase business prospects… all using the humble hashtag.

1. Connect with a community

The main use of hashtags is to connect with others on the platform. Connectivity should be at the heart of your hashtag use. Potential customers, competitors and future collaborators can all be connected with through the use of hashtags.

One way users connect with others is through similar interests. By adding a hashtag with an interest relevant to your business, you can get in the feeds of people following that specific hashtag. You’ll also show up in search results for that hashtag, making it easier for people interested in the hashtag topic to find your business.

A broad topic can kick up a lot of content that’s regularly refreshing, so honing in on something specific might be more beneficial when looking to get discovered through hashtag use. Including niche topics or locations relevant to your brand may help your content be found by potential customers. In the example below by @krumelstockholm, the hashtags in the description include the business location so people local to the business are more likely to discover it.

Use locations and interests to connect with relevant people on Instagram
@krumelstockholm includes a location in hashtags to help connect with local customers

2. Join a conversation

Social media fuels conversation and joining a conversation has never been easier. Hashtags enable people and brands to chat about topics big and small. Join a conversation through by finding and using hashtags that bring company values, views, ethics, policies and personalities to the surface.

Conversations you may want to join in with can vary depending on your brand or business. You could include hashtags about social movements, politics, national holidays, pop culture or memes for example… whatever is relevant to your brand and audience

Using hashtags that lead a conversation about a specific movement or topic is a great way to get involved. There have been a number of social and political movements supercharged by social media over the past decade. With hashtags, your brand can become a part of the conversation.

3. Kickstart a campaign

Creating a hashtag campaign is an excellent way to group content around a specific marketing effort into one place. All content created for a hashtag campaign centres around a hashtag which can be tracked, monitored and reviewed. During a campaign, you can encourage user-generated content by inviting participants to use a specific hashtag on content shared in relation to the campaign. While this is great for spreading the word about your brand and its focus, this also helps you see how consumers are responding to the campaign alongside gathering everything neatly into one place online.

You can track hashtags using Minter.io which is extremely beneficial when running a hashtag campaign. View the number of posts, likes, comments and the post sentiment rate. This will help you learn about how often the hashtag is being used in content descriptions as well as the response viewers are having to content connected to the hashtag campaign.

View the number of posts that include a specific hashtag
Number of Posts graph by Minter.io

Find all the content posted by yourself and others which include your hashtag. This groups all user-generated content created in response to your campaign into one place so you can easily find relevant posts and interact with your most engaged audience members. Posts including your hashtag can be sorted by interactions, likes, comments or date. You can also view all the posts together or choose to view only images, videos, carousels or reels.

View all posts that include a specific hashtag by tracking the hashtag with Minter.io
Image posts sorted by date for a hashtag campaign - Minter.io

Also check out associated hashtags and the number of hashtags used on posts including your specific hashtag. This can give you an idea of the other topics and trends your hashtag is being used alongside, which can provide insight into how users feel about your brand campaign. The number of hashtags graph could be an indicator of how strong your hashtag is. With great hashtag campaigns, one hashtag could be all that’s needed for fans to dive into the community and conversation.

View hashtags that are used alongside a specific hashtag with Minter.io
Associated Hashtags graph by Minter.io

When picking a hashtag for your campaign, make sure it is unique, clear and doesn’t accidentally have a double entendre. It must be unique to enable you to group together hashtags solely meant for your campaign. Having a clear hashtag makes it easy for consumers to use, while checking for double meanings is crucial in order to avoid embarrassment. Some of the most memorable hashtag campaigns were remembered for all the wrong reasons

4. Find other brands to connect with

While hashtags are usually used to get in front of potential customers, they can also be used to build connections with other brands and businesses in your space or with an adjacent client base. Searching for hashtags that other brands are likely to use is a great way to find businesses which can then be reached out to. For example, if you run a chocolate company, you might be interested in teaming up with a bakery to use your products and boost business for both brands through a mutually beneficial collaboration. Searching for a hashtags such as #bakeryla will help you find bakeries in a specific location (Los Angeles in this example) that might be worth reaching out to.

Find other brands and business through hashtag to form collaborations
Search for a hashtag relevant to your industry to find businesses to collaborate with

5. Boost your views

Adding hashtags to Instagram content gets it into more places on the platform, creating the potential for a boost in views. You could include a mix of wide-reaching, content-specific, location-specific, topic-based and brand-specific hashtags to cover a good amount of bases. With your content getting in more places on the platform, you set your content up for an increase in views and engagement.

Find your top hashtags and most effective hashtags using Minter.io and its optimisation features. By continuing to use your top hashtags and most effective hashtags, you can ensure your hashtag use is beneficial for your brand.

Find your most effective hashtags and top hashtags with Minter.io
Most Effective Hashtags graph by Minter.io

6. Communicate with customers

Social media provides a place to directly connect with your customers in a way that isn’t possible anywhere else. By searching for hashtags that include your brand name, or hashtags you’ve created specifically for your brand, you can find loyal customers posting about your products and services. Rewarding customers through sharing their posts on your profile or to your stories, commenting directly on posts about your brand or reaching out via direct message is a beautiful way to give back to fans. What this can create is a snowball effect, with fans posting more content about your products or services because it gets rewarded, resulting in more user-generated content for your brand. User-generated content is particularly important in building trust through social proof, so don’t neglect going through hashtags referencing your brand to get this going.

Hashtags can help break out budding brands and build upon established businesses. Whatever stage you’re at, we hope these tips help you get to the next level. You can access a wide number of metrics using Minter.io including graphs for your top hashtags and most effective hashtags. You can also track specific hashtags to group all content using a particular hashtag into one place.

Track all the metrics you need for business growth on Instagram.
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Sarah Rachel

Fan of tea, rock music and fluffy animals.