As you utilize social media in your marketing and look to gain organic reach of your Instagram posts, the use of hashtags is the easiest way. As we shared before, hashtags are a way to denote a topic of conversation or participate in a larger linked discussion (e.g. #Christmas #TheVoice or #SocialMedia). Think of hashtags as a Google search engine for Instagram. I search for #WorldSeries and I find all the posts about the baseball championship.

Hashtags are a simple, effective and FREE way to reach more of the people or potential customers who might be interested in your product, service, or destination. Every time you add hashtags to your post it appears in the feed of that hashtag. There it can be found in the “latest posts” section by anyone looking through that feed. If your post gets a lot of engagement quickly, it may even be promoted to the “top posts” section where everyone who visits that hashtag sees it.

What are some hashtag basics?

Using Hashtags on Instagram Graphic

Use 9 to 11. Although you can use up to 30, Track Maven reports Instagram posts that use hashtags get more likes and comments, with posts containing 9 hashtags performing 2.5x as well as posts using just 1 hashtag.

Find Most Used. This requires a little research before your post. In Instagram, go to Search (the magnifying glass.) Start typing in the term you believe suited for your post. Say you have a pumpkin patch. Type “pumpkin” as you can see, Instagram will feed you suggestions.

Hashtag Instagram research

You will want to use #pumpkinpatch as it is popular. #Pumpkin AND #pumpkins should also be considered.

Scroll down and you will find #pumpkinart, #pumpkinfarm, #pumpkinfest and #pumpkinhead.

Hashtag Instagram research 2

Now, only use those if they truly apply to your pumpkin patch. If you offer art activities, use #pumpkinart. If you are in the heart of a city and nowhere close to a farm, using #pumpkinfarm would be considered spamming. Besides, you would not want to mislead potential customers.

Add a popular hashtag your community or district uses, perhaps your state hashtag, 9! See how easy it is to find 9-11 hashtags?

You can utilize hashtag generators* like SeekMetrics, Display Purposes, Preview App, and/or Tag Blender, but if you are just starting to use hashtags, keep it simple and then as you grow, look to use a service.

(*Not an indorsement by Back To You Marketing.)

Post In Caption or Comment. There are differing opinions. Those that post in comments like the clean look of the post and caption. It is suggested that if you wait even a few seconds and post your hashtags in the comments, the hashtags are worthless as the post will be buried in the hashtag feed when you add it.

If you post the hashtags in the Instagram caption, make them invisible by putting space between your caption and the group of hashtags. Type five dashes or periods, each one on a line by itself. THEN the hashtags. Don’t put spaces after the periods!

Key Is The Image. When it comes down to it, if you don’t have rockin’ images, your bleh image will be quickly scrolled by by those that are searching that hashtag. So focus on the images first, then the practice of using hashtags.

Good luck! If we can help, let us know. Thanks for reading.