6 Types of Instagram Hashtags to Boost Your Reach and Engagement
Using hashtags on Instagram is a great way to help expand the reach of your content, join conversations, tackle social listening, monitor brand mentions, and join/follow conversations. They act as categories for content, enabling users to follow topics with a click. Developing your hashtag strategy should involve regular research and best practices to ensure you are using hashtags to your advantage. Understanding the different types of hashtags can help you plan your strategy and direct your research.
What Are the Different Hashtag Types for Instagram?
There are six hashtags types you'll routinely find on Instagram, including:
1. Branded and campaign hashtags
These are brand and/or campaign specific, so if you're starting from scratch, use might be limited to those interested or involved with a brand or campaign.
A few examples of brand and campaign hashtags are:
#shareacoke by Coca-Cola
#dreambigprincess by Disney
#shotoniphone challenge by Apple
#icebucketchallenge by ALS Foundation
2. Sector or Industry hashtags
These are hashtags specific to what your business does for your target audience. A few examples of product or service hashtags are:
3. Specialty or Niche hashtags
Niche hashtags take your industry hashtags further and drill down into your niche. A few examples are:
4. Community hashtags
Community hashtags connect users to specific online communities. A few examples of these hashtags might be:
5. Location hashtags
Location hashtags take your industry and niche tags another step further. If you are a local business, location hashtags are vital in your strategy as they can help you connect with an audience looking for local options.
Examples of location hashtags include:
6. Special event, holiday, and observance hashtags
Holiday and event hashtags are self-explanatory. They link up with special events that people might want to follow online.
A few examples of special event or holiday hashtags include the following:
Tips for Maximizing the Effectiveness of Your Instagram Hashtags
Find the right hashtags for your content - a good hashtag strategy starts with research. Start by brainstorming a list of relevant hashtags or use a hashtag tool to start your list, then check popular hashtags, similar hashtags, and all the statistics. Develop your hashtag sets and revisit your research often. Many social media scheduling platforms offer analytics tools to tell you which hashtags you are using perform best - use that information to your advantage as you redevelop your sets.
Use only 3-5 hashtags per post - seems like a small amount, right? I've even gotten some pushback on it from a few people, and read conflicting accounts of effectiveness. While Instagram does allow 30 hashtags, the guidance of 3-5 hashtags was released by Instagram's creator account last year and IMO, is a good practice.
Use hashtags in the first comment OR the caption. According to Later.com, "Instagram has confirmed that hashtags are effective in both your post caption and the comments section – so it's totally up to you where you want to share them." So, while it doesn't matter for the Ig algorithm, it can make your post look neat - but it is all personal preference. I tend to do a little of both for clients.
Avoid banned hashtags. What are banned hashtags? These are hashtags that go against community standards and guidelines. You can find up-to-date lists of banned hashtags with a quick google search.
If creating a hashtag for your brand or campaign, make sure your hashtag is specific easy to read, and isn't likely to be mistaken for any other phrase. There are plenty of examples of hashtag fails - seriously, proofread and ask a colleague to as well.
Types of hashtags include:
Follow hashtag best practices when developing your list of hashtags and implementing your strategy.