Tried, Tested and Proven: Here’s how to use Hashtags to Ramp Up Client Engagement
Instagram Strategy: How to Drive Engagement and Increase Clientele with Hashtags
First, what is a hashtag?
Don’t stress – there are no stupid questions here. Now recognized as a key element across social media, the #hashtag is a tool that provides additional context of your content and helps you expand your reach – getting you discovered by your target audience. By adding the # sign to any word or phrase, it allows other users to find you when they search all the posts containing that hashtag.
Here’s a great example: If your law firm is based in Toronto, by adding the hashtag #Toronto to your content, your posts will be discoverable by all the Instagram users who search #Toronto – and, who would this be? Torontonians, of course! You’ve just successfully placed your Toronto-based law firm on the radar of Torontonians – your target clients.
Adding hashtags to your posts is absolutely critical to enhancing your discoverability. So that means you should just slap any and every hashtag on your posts, right?
You shouldn’t use all the hashtags!
Hashtagging is an art in itself. At Third Eye Insights, we have the art of hashtags down to a science.
“How many hashtags do I need to use on Instagram?” is a question many companies ask themselves in developing their social media strategy.
Instagram has a limit of 30 hashtags. Should you use all of them? Should you try to find a few niche hashtags and stick to them? Should you try to stay on top of trends and memes? This article will help you answer all your burning hashtag-related questions.
According to a recent post from Instagram’s @creators account, you should aim to use between 3-5 hashtags.
Make sure your hashtags are:
- Relevant and specific to the theme of your content
- The same hashtags that your followers use (do your research!)
- A combination of well-known and niche, which will optimize your reach
Why does Instagram recommend 3-5 hashtags?
Selecting a few, relevant, and very specific hashtags will allow your content to be organized by Instagram’s advanced SEO tools – your posts will be featured in specific content streams – along with similar content that your target audience is browsing – like Instagram reels feed or hashtag search tabs.
Most users will aim for a maximum of 30 in the hopes that it will provide more reach.
However, the data tells a different story.
Using all 30 hashtags, while in theory seems like it would provide you with the greatest reach, may actually be counter-intuitive because you’re trading quality for quantity. And quantity does not guarantee success. On the other hand, having 3-5 hashtags may also be too few: you may not have an optimal reach.
The sweet spot is 20-30 hashtags.
More is more, to an extent.
With around 20 hashtags, paying careful attention to specificity, as well as using a combination of popular and niche hashtags, you capture a desirable reach without creating bloat, or waste.
In an in-depth analysis, Later analyzed over 18 million Instagram feed posts, noting that the posts that performed the best had 20 hashtags, but those with ~30 hashtags also performed really well.
It’s not just the number, however – using the right hashtags is critical. Your hashtags should clearly represent your brand, company, and the products and services you provide. You must pay attention to specificity, and you must use popular and niche hashtags. This will allow you to target the widest audience possible.
How to personalize your hashtags, and expand your reach
Your brand and company will set itself apart with authenticity and personality. Hashtags are a great way to infuse character into your social media, while also reaching a defined audience. They can tell more about the services you offer, the quality you provide, or the location that you serve – connecting you to your target clients.
These are the types of hashtags you should be focusing on:
- Location-based hashtags, like #LibertyVillage, #GreaterTorontoArea or #DowntownToronto
- Branded hashtags for campaigns or events
- Industry hashtags that describe your niche, like #TorontoLawFirm
- Community-focused hashtags to bring your community together, like #TorontoLiving or #HomeIsToronto
- Descriptive hashtags which describe the content of your actual post, like #RealEstateLaw, #LegalMatters or #ClientFirst
Don’t use the same hashtags over and over again – the key to attracting new clientele is by changing it up. New hashtags will help you access new clients, and there are endless tools out there to help you discover them.
How to discover the perfect hashtags for your content
There are so many resources out there to help you find and discover the perfect hashtags for your content. Here are a few that we recommend:
- Online hashtag tools will help you find and discover the best hashtags based on performance, popularity and trends. They function as “hashtag search engines”, where you can search hashtags and find popularity metrics, related hashtags, and recommended hashtags. A great one is Hashtagify.
- The Instagram explore page is an amazing resource that will help you stay on top of the world of hashtags. For example, type in your product or service (eg. #lawyer), browse through the posts, and take inspiration from the hashtags are used in popular posts.
- Use Instagram’s hashtag search tool to find related hashtags. As you scroll down, you’ll find variations that are still popular but have less competition (tip: make sure you use these!) and you will be able to see how many times they’ve been used. When you tap on a hashtag, you’ll be able to see the type of posts that get the most engagement (in the Top tab), and use them as inspiration for structuring your content.
Instagram hashtags are not just for your posts!
Hashtags have permeated Instagram culture. They are now integral in other elements of Instagram, including your temporary stories as well as your profile bio. Adding hashtags to these spaces will allow you to be even more searchable and discoverable, connecting you to potential clients.
In summary, hashtag strategy is everything.
A great hashtag strategy takes time, so experiment and see what works for you!
Or, you can have all the hard work done for you. Unlock your true potential with Third Eye Insights’ incredible boutique digital marketing services. We do everything for you, from design, to plan, to market – ensuring that you only have to worry about your clients.