Getting the Most Out of Instagram Hashtags

2019-04-22 by Ronn Torossian
Getting the Most Out of Instagram Hashtags
Getting the Most Out of Instagram Hashtags

Hashtags have carved an interesting path in the world of social media: starting off on Twitter, they never quite took off on Facebook, and have instead become the backbone of Instagram marketing. Just the mere adding of # symbol to your post can turn any word or phrase into a clickable, followable topic, with the entire Instagram world at your fingertips.

After users click on a hashtag, they are taken to all the public posts associated with that hashtag, and are even given the option of following hashtags that interest them. By doing so, they are able to effectively subscribe to a stream of content via relevant hashtags, even if they do not follow the user posting the content. This is a great way for users to find new content they are interested in, and for businesses to reach new, and interested, users.

Here are six key types of hashtags that are key for any e-commerce firm to integrate into their marketing strategy:

  • Branded hashtags

Most brands should have a unique branded hashtag to attach to every post, place in their profile, and encourage users to attach to posts that they’re sharing as part of user-generated content. This kind of hashtag can include your brand name, but it doesn’t have to.

  • Contest hashtags

This type of hashtag is formulated for use in tandem with a specific contest. They are often used to identify contest entries for photo submission contests, which are another great tool for collecting user-generated content. In addition to your original branded hashtag, you can also add hashtags like #instacontest and #giveaway.

  • General appeal hashtags

Certain hashtags have broad appeal and can be used to maximize the reach on your posts. Popular examples include #nofilter, #ilovemyjob and #puppylove.

  • Niche appeal hashtags

Every industry will have phrases and keywords that are relevant only to their target audience. While these hashtags won’t have the same reach as the general appeal hashtags, they will ensure more relevant traffic to your account.

  • Timely hashtags

Current events and seasonal holidays make great hashtags, especially when you consider sales-focused holidays like Christmas or Valentine’s Day. Users are much more likely to be searching for content that is relevant that instant, so take advantage of holiday-specific hashtags like #valentineformyvalentine and #stockingstuffer.

  • Humorous hashtags

They won’t boost your reach, but they will definitely add character to your posts and entertain your audiences. In fact, depending on your audience, they may be key to helping your brand find its own voice and stand out from your competitors. These kinds of hashtags have only one purpose: to be funny, or clever like #thisiswhymondayssuck. You might also design a chain of hashtags to create your joke, like #thisiswhymondayssuck, #youknowitstrue, #isitfridayyet.

For the best results, be sure to do industry-specific research and check out what your competitors are getting up to. Be sure to include a mix of these types of hashtags in every post, and you will be well on your way to reaching the largest and most relevant audience possible.

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR.

Ronn Torossian: Insights from a Native New Yorker and CEO of 5WPR

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 250 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities