In the social nebulous that is Instagram lies a core fundamental characteristic that all accounts are striving to achieve. That is discoverability and reach. No matter how much value you provide or how majestic your content is, without being seen you might as well be doing it on paper and leaving it on your desk.
In the good old days of social media, it used to be if you had stellar content your account would grow and prosper. However, due to the ever-increasing number of social users, it’s becoming harder to carve out a piece of social real estate to start your brand or business.
Until you create a strong Instagram hashtag strategy for growth! Let’s dive into how to do that down below.
What is an Instagram Hashtag?
Instagram Hashtags act as the organizational library for social content on Instagram. When accounts use hashtags, their content is uploaded to these subcategories for all eyes to see.
For example, if you took a breathtaking image of a serene lake, #lake #wildlife #nature would all be viable hashtags to implement in your post. This will allow people interested in these topics to find your content and other similar content. It’s just like being in a library and going down your favorite section to find books you like.
Hashtags allow individuals to surf through all the glorious content that the world has to offer. Allowing for a categorical break down of content, that makes it easier for Instagram users.
Instagram Hashtags Create Communities
Alongside being a perfect place to store all the content that is related to one another. Instagram gave users the ability to follow Hashtags, meaning that entire communities of real users can be built around a specific hashtag.
This has allowed for a massive overhaul in the User Generated Content section. As more and more users start to create specific hashtags for their communities. Their fans & friends create content and utilize the hashtag to join the community.
This community bond has brought new life to hashtags and has increased the user-generated content for these hashtags.
Best Instagram Hashtag Strategy to Grow?
When it comes to creating a proper Instagram Hashtag Strategy there are some key rules of thumb to follow in order to get the best results for your account.
The process that we utilize is called the “Stair-Stepping Method” it is similar to the “Skyscraper” blogging method. Where blog content is constantly being updated to have the most value, typically this is seen in content that displays the number in the title. For example, an article might start as “How to Increase Instagram Story Views by 80% in 24Hrs” but later down the line it might switch to 90% in 12hrs.
The Stair-Stepping Method for Instagram Hashtags consists of utilizing a variety of hashtags of different size. The goal of the method is to rank for low competition hashtags and slowly walk up the levels of hashtags like stairs as your content continues to rank higher over time.
The reason you start small and go big is that high-level influencers & viral content dominate the high competition hashtags. In order to get your content to rank for those Hashtags, you need to build up momentum from the smaller hashtags.
Let’s think back to our lake post from earlier. If we were to use #nature, our content would have to out rank over 288 million other pieces of content! No matter how pristine your content may be that is an almost impossible venture for anyone. But if we look deeper #wildlifeaddicts has only 274,000 posts, which is only 10% of the competition level of #nature.
Instagram Hashtag Rotation Strategy
Instagram allows every user to use 30 hashtags per post make sure to take advantage of each one. When creating your list of 30 Hashtags it’s vital that you don’t overuse certain hashtags.
Since Instagram’s Algorithm Update, they have been cracking down on botted accounts and spammer accounts. Due to this, even hyperactive accounts are getting hit in the crossfire. Which is causing many users to lose access to their account, in some cases indefinitely.
To avoid any unwarranted attention it’s important that you rotate your hashtags on a regular basis. This helps to keep your list up to date with trending hashtags as well as keep them relevant to the content. But most of all it reduces your chances of getting accidentally hit for spamming.
As a rule of thumb, we suggest having 10-20 hashtags that are fixed hashtags with the remaining amount being rotated for every post. The fixed hashtags should describe your account in its entirety as well as some of the hashtags you wish to rank for.
Try Branding an Instagram Hashtags
Trying to build a name for your company or business? Then you need to create a branded hashtag that allows users to interact with your account or product.
For example, #supreme is a huge clothing company that does collaborations with high-level fashion players. When you go searching this hashtag you see nothing but their brand’s clothing line and accessories. Some content uploaded to this is customers or clients showing off their latest and greatest article of clothing. This interaction between client and business is huge for creating personal connections on Instagram. Branded hashtags allow for user-generated content which act as testimonials.
Trending Instagram Hashtags
Nothing helps your account gain more exposure and followers like going viral. What better way to do that, than to take advantage of a currently viral hashtag!
Some of the easiest ways to generate some attention on your account are to look for trending hashtags. These hashtags typically have a ton of users creating content in order to tag the hashtag on their posts. This allows for some of that viral attention to trickle down to these accounts. Which in turn creates more follows and leads for your business.
Typically, you can search for Trending Hashtags by focusing on what the big influencers in your niche are doing. Alternatively, you can focus on the explore page to see if any content is gaining a ton of traction. Check to see the hashtags that they use in order to get an idea of what they could be ranking for. Then simply create your own content with the hashtag.
Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned Instagram veteran. Having a strong Hashtag strategy can pay out huge dividends to your overall growth in following and influence. Utilizing the stair-stepping method will give your content the best chances of going viral by utilizing lower-tier hashtags to gain momentum for your content. Lastly, focus on creating branded hashtags and taking advantage of trending ones to build out your community and gain some extra exposure.