Instagram Hashtags: How to Use Them for Your Business

Seeing a post with dozens of #hashtags is a common thing, so we will assume that you already know the basic idea of hashtags. Technically speaking, hashtags are metadata, user-generated tags that allow people to find posts with specific content easily. And indeed, when you add the right hashtags to your Instagram posts, you will gain higher #engagement than you would without them.

Hashtags are social media categorizers. You want to buy a pair of Adidas sneakers but can’t seem to find that perfect model? Just type #adidas in your Instagram search bar to get a list of trending Adidas hashtags to choose from (#adidasoriginals, #adidaswomen, #adidasskateboarding, #adidasrunning, and the list goes on.) The best thing about them is that everyone can use them for their business promotion, but it must be done right to yield the best results.

1. Use Branded Hashtags

A branded hashtag is a hashtag that’s unique to a particular business or product. You can come up with your own hashtag and start adding it to all your posts to become associated with your name. Of course, it doesn’t have to be the name of your brand but also a value or a slogan. For example, Domino’s Pizza came up with #LetsDoLunch, while Airbnb saw success with their #WeAccept hashtag.

To get your consumers to remember it easily, keep it short and catchy, and it will widen your reach, engage your customers, and promote interaction with your brand. Hashtags bring convenience (and Millennials like convenience) because they allow people to know everything about your product with one click, without the need to browse through your website or Instagram archive trying to find what they need. All it takes is for a piece of your content to go viral, and your publicity will skyrocket.

2. Competitors’ Hashtags

You learned as much as you could about launching a branded hashtag, but didn’t manage to come up with a good one. No need to pull your hair because you can take a look at your industry competitors and influencers to see which ones they’re using and how they do it. Are their hashtags branded or not? Are their customers using it?

What about the industry influencers, such as thought leaders, promoters, bloggers, and vloggers? Skim through their accounts as well. Next, don’t hesitate to check the most apparent hashtags related to your business and find out what hashtags the top posts use. Visit their profiles, look at their follower base and their growth to see if their posts have been getting more likes and comments over time. No need to say that you shouldn’t copy them, but use their success as a guide and inspiration.

3. Tag Your Instagram Stories

The Instagram Stories feature is an excellent marketing tool. It lasts only 24 hours, includes photos and videos, and has the potential to quickly build your following when you use it for making special or premium promotions and offers. Instagram Stories has about 400 million users, and to make the content more personalized and attractive, Instagram improved it by adding stickers, fonts, and colors. Instagram Stories also allows you to add hashtags, and if your branded hashtag is used enough, a set of stories will be compiled for that hashtag.

4. Don’t Go Overboard

What happens when you see a post with too many hashtags? Don’t know about you, but I often don’t bother to take a look at any of them, it just takes so much time to focus. Don’t use every single word you can think of, but make a healthy balance of general and niche hashtags that relate to that post or your business. Use only those tags that will help you reach and capture more interested and engaged followers. What hashtags you’re using and how you’re using them affects your brand image. Don’t only aim to boost your sales, but focus on growing, as today’s consumers can easily see through aggressive advertising.

5. Don’t Give Up on Popular Hashtags

By using specific hashtags, you’re aiming to reach a more targeted audience which further means a higher chance of getting qualified leads and quality engagement. On the other hand, popular hashtags will boost your reach without making you spammy.

How do you know how your hashtags are performing? With some help from hashtag analytics tools, you can measure your Instagram hashtag performance to see whether you’re using them effectively. If you’re driving engagement for your posts, communicating with more and more followers, and attracting a new audience to your brand, then congratulations – you understand how to use hashtags for your Instagram!


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