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Over the past 10 years, the age-old pound sign (#) has morphed from being a simple symbol for weight to the universal symbol of the hashtag. If you aren’t submerged in the world of Instagram or Twitter, you may be asking “what is a hashtag?” and wondering why it carries such weight in the modern world of marketing. 

Simply put, hashtags allow social media users to categorize and search for information by keywords. For example, if you tag a post with #bluearcher, your post will automatically appear in a search with all other posts with #bluearcher. With around 95 million photos posted daily to Instagram, these simple keywords help your posts get discovered by the people who are most interested in seeing them.

While a common practice, cranking out 50 industry synonyms is not the most effective method for generating hashtags or getting your posts noticed. To help you maximize your brand’s potential on Instagram, we’ve put together this simple guide to help you compile the most effective hashtags.

Figure out your magic number

According to Hubspot, an Instagram post with at least one hashtag averages 12.6% more engagement than a post without hashtags. However, that doesn’t mean adding 10 hashtags to your post will elevate your engagement to 126%. Most top brands use less than seven hashtags per post, but that may not be the magic number for your business. Test a different number of hashtags on your account, then stick with the number that generates the most engagement during the trial period. 

Fine tune your hashtags

It may seem logical to use a generic hashtag to cast a “wide net” in the social media world, however, more specific hashtags are actually more beneficial for brands. With lesser-used hashtags, your post is competing against fewer other brands to be noticed. Hashtags tailored for a specific topic are also more likely to land in front of your targeted demographic.

For example, if you search #webdesign, you’ll discover a broad range of posts, while #webdesigntips  will present posts much more more tailored to your specific interests.

For inspiration, type a hashtag into Instagram’s search bar and view the related terms that appear in the scroll-down menu. Another great method for building your hashtag arsenal is researching the hashtags your followers and competitors and the influencers in your industry are using.

Stash your list

Now that you’ve found your magic number and fine-tuned your list of hashtags, be sure to save them to a Word Doc or Excel spreadsheet so you can easily copy and paste them into future posts. As you go, take notes on which ones correlate to your most popular posts so that your list becomes even more refined and effective over time. 

Need Help?

Whether it is strategy, campaigns, or advertising, we can give you a hand with your social media efforts. 

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