Instagram is one of the favorite social media networks for many businesses. It allows engaging existing and potential customers in a fun and easy way while creating brand awareness and actually selling products and services, all on the same platform. No wonder online marketers love it so much.
As any modern platform, Instagram is evolving and changing. And 2018 proves to be the year to master the hashtag game.
Hashtags have always been effective in getting more followers and increasing engagement. But simply using the same hashtag over and over again won’t do you any good, in fact - it might damage your marketing efforts. The Instagram algorithm will most likely see this as spam and this will inevitably affect your visibility.
So why do we insist that you have to use hashtags, especially now? Well, because the rules have changed and you have to make them work for you or lose big time.
Instagram now allows users to follow hashtags, not only accounts. In fact, a user can now follow your hashtag without following you. What does this mean for your business? Only that your posts can now automatically appear in the feeds of potential customers, which greatly increases your visibility.
Be careful though, while the users can now follow your hashtags, they can also mark your hashtagged posts as something they do not want to see in their feeds. This makes it especially important to use relevant hashtags that make sense. While this feature is not designed to hurt your business, but to allow the users to have exactly the content they want to see in their feeds, too many posts marked this way can and will raise a red flag.
So how do you use this new feature to your advantage?
First things first - invent a branded hashtag (if you haven’t already) and encourage your existing Instagram followers to follow it so you could connect with your community more easily and efficiently.
Follow your industry-related hashtags and your competitors' hashtags. This way you can discover potential business opportunities, partners, and relevant hashtags to use for your own posts.
Hashtags in Instagram Stories is another relatively new thing. This is one more chance for your business to get discovered by your potential customers and new audience!
You can add hashtags to stories in two ways. First one is by adding a hashtag sticker, and the second one is by using the text tool and typing the hashtag in.
Instagram allows for up 10 hashtags in a story, but we recommend sticking with two or three to avoid cluttering the picture.
Measuring the performance is essential to the success of your marketing campaign, this includes the hashtag performance as well as the more obvious metrics like the number of subscribers. By analyzing the impressions and reach a particular post had from the hashtags you used with it, you can see how effective your posts are and how your hashtag strategy can be optimized to get better results.
Below are the top tools to help you measure the performance of your Instagram hashtags.
A command is an all-in-one analytics tool for Instagram. The app allows you to see exactly which hashtags are working best for your business, the best engagements these hashtags brought you and the number of likes and comments they have. The only drawback of this app - it’s available for iOS users only.
Simply Measured is a complex tool that provides very comprehensive reporting and analytics. If you want a truly professional touch in measuring your Instagram stats this is the tool for you. Simply Measured allows you to see how all your hashtags are doing in one report and to analyze each hashtag individually to compare the results.
This awesome tool provides deep insights into the hashtags. Including the links to the posts with a hashtag, you want to analyze, most engaged users that used your hashtag with their posts, geographic location of the accounts that used that hashtag, and even the best time to post with the hashtag you are analyzing.
A Keyhole is a popular tool among big brands. It allows to measure the hashtag performance in real time, isn’t it just awesome?
Other measurements you can get with Keyhole are the number of impressions your hashtag got, the number of posts with the same hashtag, the status of the hashtag on both account and real-time levels.
Implementing a well thought through Instagram hashtags strategy can do wonders for your business success. It is an awesome way to connect with your customers, find influencers and build fruitful partnerships.
The new rules Instagram implemented this year prove to be very effective. And with the tools to measure your hashtags performance, there is no stopping you now on the way to unparalleled success!
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