More and more social networks are incorporating the hashtag to their repertoire and this means that learning how to use this tool properly on each platform is of utmost importance. Adding hashtags to your social content is a great way of expanding your reach and getting to a wider audience.  However, in the process, one must be cautious of the potential risks of using the hashtag. Today we are focusing on the Instagram platform so let us discuss a few tips on how Instagram hashtags can help expand your reach.

When using hashtags, never use too many, and never use irrelevant ones. As a general rule, every image or video post on Instagram should have a caption. Although this can accommodate up to 30 hashtags, don’t use more than three to five. Overuse of hashtags to reach more consumers simply comes across as desperate and blatant marketing. Furthermore, it might be tempting to use highly popular hashtags such as #love which has more than 184 million posts. However, if the post does not relate to the term, then you are not doing your business any favours.

Consumer engagement with Hashtags on Instagram is a popular, yet old concept. Whether it is brands, lifestyles, holidays, events, or times of the day, there is a hashtag for everything. By being a part of these various hashtags, marketers are easily able to interact with Instagramers in a simple and fun way. By adding a hashtag to your post, brand reach can be extended because that post will be filtered and will show up in that particular hashtag search.

Instagram hashtags are also an important tool for building and managing a brand. Hashtags allow brands to monitor what is being said about them by consumers and they can also show some brand personality of their own. For example, Starbucks is doing great when it comes to managing their brand on Instagram. They have over 1.5 million users following their account and over 5 million posts that are tagged with #starbucks. They post plenty of pictures, not only of their products but also of people on holiday, enjoying their delicious coffee and such. This rapport gives Instagram followers a feeling of brand personality. Furthermore, by monitoring all #starbucks posts, they can keep an eye on all conversations surrounding the brand.

‘Social media gold’ is another term for user generated content. There is nothing better for brands who are able to get their followers to share their own pictures, personal thoughts and comments on Instagram. This shows that consumers have an attachment towards the brand and they feel included. As a result, the brand feels that they have succeeded in building relationships with social media. Coca Cola is a brand that does this really well. It has over 1.8 million photos on Instagram tagged with #CocaCola, which is a universal hashtag that is understood across the world.