How to Find the Best Instagram Hashtags for Business
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While Instagram’s algorithm and features have changed a lot over the past few years, one thing that has stayed consistent is that hashtags make your content discoverable, which increases your likelihood of getting more engagement and real followers
Long story short, if you want to grow your business on Instagram, you need to master the art of hashtags.
However, figuring out the right Instagram hashtags for business can be a struggle. Do you just add the first few random hashtags you can think of and call it a day? Do you just copy the hashtags your competitors use?
Those are typically the approaches most businesses take when they add hashtags to their captions. But there’s a more efficient (and more effective) way. In this article, we’ll go over how to find the best Instagram hashtags for businesses, and how to use them to grow your account.
What Makes an Instagram Hashtag Good?
Before we dive into how to find the right hashtags, we need to define what a “good” hashtag is. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just a hashtag that has been used 100,000 times. The best Instagram hashtag for your business should be:
This is arguably the most important part of a good hashtag for businesses. While hashtags like #tbt or #goodmorning might be used millions of times, they’re not specific to your industry or brand.
The point of hashtags is to help get your content discovered by your target audience. So it only makes sense that the hashtags you use are ones your ideal follower or customer would search for on Instagram.
While popularity shouldn’t be the only thing you look at when trying to find Instagram hashtags for business, it is an important factor. Because if you’re using a random hashtag that nobody knows about, it’s not going to help you get found.
While there are no hard numbers on what makes a hashtag “popular”, you typically want to aim for hashtags that have been used at least 1,000 times. You can see how many posts have used a hashtag by searching the specific hashtag on Instagram.
There are certain hashtags that might seem relevant to your industry at first, but upon further review, they might have an alternative meaning. For instance, if you used the hashtag #bigbrother, that could associated with:
The reality TV show
Before you choose an Instagram hashtag for your business, make sure it doesn’t have a double meaning or can’t be mixed up with something else.
Let’s say you’re in the health and wellness niche. Maybe you own a juice bar or healthy meal prep service. You’ll likely gravitate to hashtags like #health and #fitness. While those are popular and relevant hashtags, they’re also pretty broad.
It’ll be difficult for you to show up when people search for that because those hashtags are so widely used, often times by larger brands with highly active followings
. Plus, people searching health could be interested in any number of health-related topics that might not be relevant to your business.
So, while you can still include those hashtags in your captions, also make sure that you’re including hashtags that are a little more targeted.
For instance, a juice bar might use hashtags like #juicerecipes or #juicingforhealth. These hashtags are popular, relevant and too broad. Someone searching for these hashtags is super interested in juicing, so they’d be much likelier to follow you and engage with your posts. These are the types of people you want to capture.
How to Find the Instagram Hashtags for Business
Now that you know what qualifies as a good hashtag, the next question is, how do you actually find them?
Use a Hashtag Tool
The easiest way to find hashtags that match all our criteria is to use a tool that does the heavy lifting for you. With tools like HashtagsForLikes
, you can easily plug in any hashtag and get tons or recommendations for related hashtags.
HashtagsForLIkes also gives you some helpful insights such as reach, the average number of likes posts containing the hashtag get and other data that’ll help you determine whether or not the hashtag is worth using.
You can simply copy all the suggested hashtags and add start adding them to your captions, and you’re done.
If for some reason you’d rather do a little more manual work to find Instagram hashtags for your business, another option you have is to analyze your competitors. We’ll warn you in advance, this method does take a decent amount of time to do right.
The basic process is:
Find a competitor in your niche that gets decent engagement on their posts
Go through some of their top posts and look at what hashtags they use
Jot down their most commonly used hashtags (many brands use different combinations of hashtags in their posts)
Start testing the hasthags in your own posts
You’ll likely need to track this in a spreadsheet, particularly if you’re analyzing several competitors.
Spray and Pray
When businesses have no idea where to start and take matters into their own hands, this is generally the route that they take. Rather than be strategic, they simply throw a bunch of random hashtags they think seem good and hope it works.
In all fairness, you might get lucky every now and then and strike gold. However, in many cases you’ll end up using a bunch of hashtags that do little to nothing for your business.
Analyze Your Hashtag Performance
Once you’ve found some hashtags that seem good, and start using them in your captions, the next step is to analyze their performance. You need to get an idea of which hashtags are having the biggest impact on your Instagram account.
Which hashtags help you get the most engagement and impressions? You can use a tool like Later to help you out here. Their hashtag analytics will show data on all your hashtags, including median likes, comments impressions and reach.
Once you have this data, you can use it to improve your hashtag strategy. For instance, you can keep using top hashtags from the report in future posts, and drop the ones that aren’t gaining any traction.
And if you want to take things to the next level, plug in those top hashtags into HashtagsForLikes to find related hashtags, then add those to your captions.
For instance, if the Later report shows that one of your top hashtags was #veganprotein
, you’d plug that into HashtagsForLikes and get a list of related hashtags:
Once you start using those hashtags, for about a month or so, check out your analytics report and see what’s earning the most engagement. Then repeat the process.
Test Different Hashtag Variations
A big mistake businesses make when trying to find hashtags is using the same exact combination of hashtags on every post. Even if that combination is working at the moment, you should constantly test different combinations to see if you can get better results.
For instance, if you use a set of 30 hashtags (the maximum allowed by Instagram) every time you post a photo of your product, try swapping out 10-20 of them with others and see what happens. You can even try completely different hashtags in those captions and see what happens.
Aside from potentially getting more engagement, another reason to do this is to risk getting shadowbanned if Instagram feels you’re automating your account or using an Instagram bot
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