With around 95 million photos posted on it every day, it becomes difficult for Instagram to manage data and efficiently deliver the right content to the right people.
So what is Instagram's sorting process?
The answer lies with this small symbol of ‘# - Hashtag.’
Hashtags help your posts reach a target audience, attract followers in your niche, increase engagement, and develop a more positive and recognizable brand image. It helps your posts get discovered by viewers who are most interested to see it.
They make it easier for social networks to categorize your updates make them more visible on the search functions.They categorize information about specific topics, and build engagement amongst the audiences.
For example, by adding the hashtag #news on your Instagram post, you give the indication to Instagram that your post is about some news. This means that it will appear in the search results when users search for #news on Instagram.
Did you know, an Instagram post with at least one hashtag averages 12.6% more engagement than a post with no hashtags?
Source - Sprout Social
Yes!! Hashtags can take your business to new heights, but with a clear strategy in mind.
Tagging all your posts with hashtags is particularly important if you have a branded hashtag for your business but these hashtags should be more specific.
Let's continue with the same example for better understanding. If your brand is into posting B2B marketing news, then you must include two hashtags in your post- #b2bmarketingnews and #yourbrandname.
It gives you more specific, targeted reach. The audience searching for these hashtags are also trying to narrow their search to what you offer related to Marketing, so you're actually reaching more of the right people.
This helps your target audience to find you.
And if you use your branded hashtag, there’s a strong chance it will appear in the search results. It gives your brand an amazing exposure to prospects who will be interested in you.
Quick Tip: When it comes to branded hashtag for your business, it would be great if you integrate a related keyword and your business name into your hashtag.
Now you must be thinking what if one wants to increase the customer base?
Users who follow a particular hashtag can see your posts on their timelines even if they don’t follow you. In other words, by using popular hashtags in your posts you increase your potential audience.And if you share great content regularly, many of them will start following you.
But you must also keep in mind that practice of using the same exact long list of hashtags on every post might also reduce the visibility of your content.So make sure you mix and match every once in a while.
The quest for higher engagement doesn’t end here. If you want more people to look at what you have to say, it’s important your content ranks high on the hashtag page. Preferably in the Top 9. And, how high up on a hashtag page your post appears depends up:
- How often the hashtag is used
- How popular your post is (does it already have a lot of likes and comments?)
- The time at which you shared it (you find many old posts on hashtag searches)
- The strength of your audience (ie. do you have a large, engaged audience?)
The higher your post appears, the better visibility it has.
And since we are talking about higher engagements, the king is the content. Keep an eye on trending topics, discussions your prospects are having over industry-relevant topics and then target those users with hashtags. It will increase engagement and you will gain new leads in the process.
Now let’s see how to start with the hashtags.
First make a list of new and existing hashtags. For this you’ll need to brainstorm a series of hashtags that you’ll choose from and implement in your social messages regularly.
The secret to picking hashtags is to determine popular industry terms that are certain to pique the interest of your audience.
Top Hashtags For Your B2B Social Media Strategy
This is just a sample of the more popular hashtags, but you can expand your personal list to include PR, communications and social media industry hashtags.
Now that you have some hashtags ready to go, it’s time to put them to good use. Incorporate them as you start posting, and join conversations happening over them to engage people that matter!
If certain thought leaders, influential bloggers, or others that already have the ear of your prospects are using hashtags that directly relate to your brand’s purpose, it’s time to take action! Comment on and share such posts, and don’t forget to follow those users. This is your chance to chance to build influence.
Evaluation is as important as taking an action. Review the performance of your hashtags timely - The views, engagements, likes and comments; and update your B2B hashtag strategy accordingly.
Here are some ways you can keep tabs on which hashtags are beneficial, and which are not:
- Use a software to manage your hashtags - hootsuite, sendible, buffer.
- Research trending topics and integrate them into your social media content calendar
- Keep refreshing your list of hashtags -social media is ever-evolving!
Keep a consistent check on your social presence and track the hashtags that work. It will ensure that the hashtags you use have a place in industry chatter.
You need to view Instagram as a channel where you can connect with your audience and deliver content as per their needs. B2B brands from around the world have been embracing Instagram already and if you’re yet to jump on, then dive right in.
Hashtags are a powerful way to increase engagement and attract new leads throughout your social marketing outlets. Start using them in your posts, and you’ll strengthen and increase the engagement of your social campaigns.