How to Find and Use Hashtags on Instagram

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A woman is using her fingers to make a hashtag sign.

Everywhere you look on the internet and beyond, there seems to be someone using hashtags—but what are they, and what purpose do they serve?  

Hashtag usage began to gain traction in 2008 and 2009. They are words or phrases used to categorize and track content and topics on many social media platforms. Hashtags have a similar function to keywords—making it easier for your audience to find your content by boosting your visibility.  

Some hashtag practices are platform-specific. Today, we want to give you a thorough overview of how to create and implement a successful hashtag strategy on Instagram

Elements of a Successful Hashtag Strategy

You want to grow your Instagram account, reach the right people and market your business well on social media. Hashtags are a great way to make this happen, but an intentional strategy is necessary for allowing you to see the growth you strive for. 

There are many different factors to consider and work through when creating a successful hashtag strategy. You will need to:

  • Define your audience
  • Create short- and long-term goals
  • Do your research
  • Establish your baseline 
  • Go through a trial-and-error period
  • Analyze the numbers 

Who is Your Target Audience?

When you think about who you are marketing your products or services to—who is your target customer? Be specific. To ensure you are reaching your ideal client, you will want to think through their age, gender, location, hobbies, and even the typical times they’re online. Knowing this information will allow you to target them effectively and create long-term value for them. 

Creating Goals for Growth

Understanding your business’s specific goals is essential for seeing growth. Without a solid plan, you may find yourself floundering.  

Before beginning, determine what you’re trying to accomplish with your social media and hashtag strategy. 

Do you want to: 

  • Boost sales?
  • Build brand awareness?
  • Improve or build your reputation?
  • Gain more followers?
  • Grow collaboration? 

Establishing your goals will give you a clear direction on the type of content to create. 

Do Your Research

What hashtags are best for helping your business grow? There are many different ways to perform hashtag research, but believe it or not, the best place to start is your Instagram search bar! 

Using the search bar, you can search: 

  • Topics
  • Hashtags
  • Trends
  • Competitor’s Profiles

Although the Instagram search bar is a great place to begin, many hashtag research tools are also extremely insightful during the strategy and planning period.  

Our favorite hashtag resource is Flick! Flick simplifies the researching process, helps you organize your hashtags, and categorizes them based on popularity.

How to Find Hashtags for Your Niche-Perfecting Your Hashtag Strategy

To know whether your strategy is working or not, you must first recognize where you began! Your Instagram insights will be an invaluable resource to you as you work through creating and adjusting your strategy.  

Your hashtag strategy is unique to your business and will take a significant amount of trial and error as you learn what works for you and what doesn’t! You’ll want to be sure to rotate hashtags, use different size hashtags (macro, micro, and niche), and diversify where you’re using them.  

Give your strategy some time, and then begin to analyze the numbers.

Developing an Effective Strategy For Your Business

We’re committed to helping your business flourish in every area of social media marketing. 

Imagine how your business could grow if:  

  • You were able to reach the right people
  • You created content that increased your reach and engagement
  • Your Instagram stopped being a time-consumer and instead became a money-maker 

Our team of social media experts is ready to help you create and implement a hashtag strategy that will allow your business to gain visibility and reach your target audience. Apply for Social Media Management services with the Mama Hen Media team today!


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