Use the power of hashtags for audience growth and to attract the right audience!

I know you see hashtags all the time, but do you know how to really get the most out of them for your account? It takes time, but you can eventually learn which hashtags are drawing followers to you, what the most popular and effective tags in your industry are, how many tags are appropriate for each post (you can have up to 30!) and more.

This is why hashtags should be important to you:

  • Hashtags make your content easier to find: new followers can find you by searching hashtags on their own or tapping through related posts for a particular hashtag.
  • Hashtags encourage audience interaction. Posts including at least one hashtag have more engagement than those with none.
  • Hashtags can clue you in on industry trends. Consistently following tags can help you keep a close eye on your competitors as well as what people are saying about your own brand.

Here’s how to choose the best hashtags:

  • Community & industry-specific hashtags: pick hashtags that speak your ideal follower’s / customer’s language. You want a hashtag that’s popular enough that it’s getting used but not so popular that your post gets lost in the shuffle and never gets seen.
  • Use Instagram to find hashtags: curious to see if a hashtag is the right fit for you? Just search for it in Instagram and see how many posts are associated with it. A hashtag that has 1 million posts might make it hard for your post to be seen, right? But a hashtag with only 5 posts is probably one no one cares about. Include a nice mix of some in the range of 100-ish posts, 1000-ish posts, maybe even 10,000 or more. Explore and see what works for you!
  • Instagram Hashtag Tools: Look for tools like KeyholeSproutSocial or All-Hashtag to help you hone your hashtag research even further – especially to figure out your top-performing tags. The better you get at this, the better your audience-building will get (with the people who matter!).
  • Study Your Competitors & Top Influencers: Check out what hashtags they’re using. You can also use tools like the ones listed above to help.
  • Branded Hashtags: Eventually, you’ll want to think of a hashtag unique to you and your brand. For example, sometimes we’ll use #ADScharm or #authenticmarketingmagic (named after our eBook) or these ones for the challenges we run are fairly unique: #HelloFallChallenge or #HelloSpringChallenge. Put branded hashtags in your Instagram bio and infuse them in your marketing campaigns when appropriate (emails, etc.).
  • Holiday Hashtags: Don’t forget, with the holidays coming up, think about the best ones to use with your holiday posts and promotions!

How many hashtags to use?

  • You can have up to 30. It doesn’t mean you always have to have 30.
  • Play around with it. Many brands use as little as 2-5 tags. Many use 15+. Feel around for what’s right for you, just make sure they’re all relevant to what your post is actually about.
  • Where to put them? You can put them at the bottom of your post or sometimes people / brands like to put them in their first comment of their post. Again, something to play around with.

Hope that gives you enough to be dangerous! 😉 Cheers and have fun! DM us at @theadsagency on Instagram with any questions or you can also ask them in the A-Listers Group on Facebook. Happy gramming!


Andrea D. Smith
The ADS Agency