Starting a new ecommerce business or looking to utilize Instagram to drive traffic to your existing store?
Love them or hate them, hashtags are an important part of your social media marketing strategy. Using the right Instagram hashtags can help you extend your reach, engage your audience, boost your brand visibility, and improve your performance within Instagram’s algorithm.
To get these benefits, you need to know the best Instagram hashtags to use and how to use them properly. Keep reading for our guide on the best ecommerce hashtags for Instagram.
Why use Instagram hashtags for ecommerce?
There are several reasons why you should be using hashtags for your ecommerce business. Here are a few:
- Grow your follower base – Use hashtags to discover who’s posting about your industry or niche. By following and engaging with these people, you can cultivate a follower base that is interested in your products. Then, each time you release a new product or promote your existing ones, your audience is already primed to receive your message.
- Boost awareness– Adding hashtags increases your content impressions, or the amount of people who are seeing your content. This means your content is more likely to reach customers who may not have heard of your products but might be interested in buying from you.
- Tap into a niche community – If you’re looking for a specific group of people who might be interested in your business, hashtags are a great way to tap into a specific niche.
- Increase sales – Using the right hashtag can increase sales by helping you reach users who are interested in your products. If you’ve already set up your store with shop tags, it creates a direct opportunity for customers to visit a specific product page and purchase directly.
Whether you’re an established ecommerce business or you’re gearing up for your first product launch, Instagram hashtags are a tool you need to be taking advantage of.
How Instagram hashtags work
Think of hashtags like SEO for Instagram: when you use the right tags or keywords, you increase the odds that your content will be seen. Even more importantly, it increases the odds that it will be seen by potential customers. Adding hashtags to your posts ensures they can be found by anyone who searches for or follows a specific hashtag.
More and more, Instagram is shifting to become a shopping platform. Each month, more than 130 million people tap on an Instagram shopping post. By using hashtags properly, you can be sure you’re finding the people who are ready to come to your page and shop. Hashtags can also drive traffic directly to your posts that feature products from your ecommerce store. More traffic = more sales for your business.
What hashtags should you be using for ecommerce?
The answer: it depends. Ecommerce businesses vary greatly in nature. There is no perfect, one-size fits all hashtag. Instead, you have to pick the hashtags best suited for your industry and the type of products you want to sell.
A good rule of thumb is to use a combination of trending, niche, and branded hashtags. We cover these three types of hashtags in more detail below.
Another good rule is to try and use a mix of highly popular and less popular hashtags. Popular hashtags will expose your content to a larger audience, while the less popular ones are more targeted and will give you a better shot at engaging customers with specific niches or interests.
The hashtags we cover in our list below apply to most ecommerce businesses, so make sure to save them and add them into your Instagram posts.
How to use Instagram hashtags
Hashtags can help your Instagram marketing efforts if used properly. However, they can also hinder you if used incorrectly. Here are a few suggestions on how to use hashtags for success:
How many hashtags to use
Instagram currently allows you to use 30 hashtags in every post. Using hashtags for Instagram makes your content more discoverable, so the more the merrier. The Instagram algorithm won’t penalize you for using all 30, so go ahead and use all 30 if you want.
The key is finding the right hashtags. Try to use a variety and always make sure they are relevant to the images or video content you’re sharing. If you’re packing your posts with irrelevant hashtags, you might annoy prospective followers or customers. Additionally, if you use the same hashtags every time, you won’t get a chance to try new hashtags that might produce better results. Make sure to switch things up from time to time.
Instagram feed posts
Inserting a chunk of hashtags too close to your caption can distract from your message and appear spammy. Instead, include your hashtags below your caption, or use a series of dots to separate the tags from the content. Here’s an example:
You can also insert your hashtags into a comment, rather than in the caption directly. Either way, the Instagram algorithm treats them the same.
Reels and IGTV
Although Reels and TikTok utilize a similar video format, the audience that you get on your Instagram Reels or IGTVs is more likely to be qualified and to become potential customers. Hashtags can help to make sure that you’re attracting the proper audience.
When it comes to hashtags, treat your Reels and IGTV like a normal post. Include your top hashtags just below your caption or use a series of dots to separate them.
When you place hashtags into your Instagram story, they won’t always be accepted into the hashtag algorithm. It depends on the engagement and the quality of the content posted.
However, it’s always worth a try! Even if it doesn’t improve the reach of your content, using hashtags in your stories is a great opportunity to build brand or campaign awareness. This works best if you have a specific, branded hashtag.
There are a few different ways to add hashtags to your story. You can use the hashtag sticker or type some text with the hashtag(s) inserted. For example:
Pro-tip: If you’re typing out your hashtags, shrink the text box and hide it behind another image, sticker or GIF to make your story look less cluttered.
When you include a hashtag in your bio, it becomes a live link that leads to that hashtag’s page. It also tells your followers what industry you are in and what your ecommerce business is all about right up front.
Our advice? Use a branded or industry hashtag in your bio. For example, if your ecommerce store is a women’s clothing store, you can use the hashtag #womensfashion in your bio description. If you’re a vegan food delivery service, try a hashtag like #vegan or #veganeats to give viewers an idea of the types of products you’re selling.
What to do after posting your hashtags
After uploading a new Instagram post, spending the next 10-15 minutes liking and interacting with other accounts using the same hashtags. The more you engage with similar accounts, the more likely they are to check out your profile and follow you.
When you click on a certain hashtag, you’ll be able to see the top posts and recent posts for that tag. Interact with a mix of top and most recent content for optimal results.
How to do hashtag research
There are tons of great (and free!) tools out there when it comes to hashtag research. You can choose to use an app or tool or do your research organically.
If you’re conducting your research organically, try looking at competitors’ content and see which hashtags they’re using. You can also search a hashtag related to your business (e.g. #clothingstore) in the Instagram mobile up, scroll over to the “tags” tab, and look for similar tags.
When looking for hashtags to use, look at the number of posts the hashtag currently has on Instagram. If a hashtag only has 100 posts, it’s likely not that well-known. However, if it has 10,000 or even 100,000 posts, that’s an indication that it has a decent following.
You should also check to see if the tag has recent posts on it. This will show you if it is being used regularly, which is usually a sign that it’s a good tag to use.
If you’d prefer to use an app or online tool for your hashtag research, check out these recommendations:
Sistrix Instagram Hashtag Generator: Provides up to 30 related hashtag recommendations for your content.
RiteTag: A tool for finding popular ecommerce hashtags for both text and images. It also breaks hashtag recommendations down into ones to use to get seen right away and ones to use to get seen over time.
All Hashtag: Generates up to 30 relevant hashtags by typing in a single word related to your niche.
Seekmetrics: The basic generator can provide up to 30 related hashtags, while their advanced generator can generate up to 1,000.
Sked Social: Built-in Hashtag Manager that allows you to search for relevant hashtags, provides hashtag recommendations, and allows you to schedule them with your content for added convenience.
Make sure you’re checking your analytics after you post to see which hashtags are driving the most traffic. Make a note of these in a notebook or an Excel spreadsheet that you can refer back to later.
The best ecommerce hashtags for Instagram in 2021
Now that you know why hashtags are important and how to use them, here are some of the top-performing hashtags for ecommerce businesses:
It sounds straightforward, but if you’re an ecommerce store owner, you need to be using this hashtag. #ecommerce has been used by 55 percent of ecommerce businesses across Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. While it’s one of the more popular hashtags, it signals to your audience right off the bat that there’s a shopping aspect to your business.
This is another popular but important hashtag to include in your Instagram posts. While your business might not be directly related to marketing, promoting your online store via social media is a form of marketing, and you should treat it as such.
A broad category, but well-used for a reason. To make your business stand out from the crowd, you can also try popular hashtags that describe the size and location of your business, such as #localbusiness, #smallbiz, #onlinebusiness, or #entrepreneur.#onlineshopping
This is what ecommerce is all about. Similar to #ecommerce, it lets your audience know that your business has an online shopping component and will drive them back to your profile to check out your store link or Instagram store selection.
A lot of eCommerce websites are built on one of these major ecommerce platforms, so it makes sense to include this hashtag in your Instagram posts for maximum reach.
Ever heard of branded hashtags? Branded hashtags increase brand awareness among the people that view your content. It works best if you use the same hashtag consistently, such as your company’s name or a hashtag for as campaign you’re running. For example, the North Face uses the branded hashtag, #NeverStopExploring. Whatever it is, it must be directly connected to your business.
Quick tip: make sure your company hashtag isn’t already being used. If it is, switch it up a bit to make sure people can find you when they click on it.
One of the best ways to get your content seen is to make sure you’re utilizing seasonal or holiday-based hashtags. As an ecommerce business, make sure to include holidays that are specifically built around online shopping, such as Christmas, Black Friday or Boxing Day. For example, you could use tags like #holidaygifts, #blackfridaysale, or #boxingday2021.
In addition to broader hashtags like #business and #ecommerce, it’s also good to narrow your focus. Including niche hashtags is essential for your ecommerce business, as it allows you to reach a smaller, more targeted community that is directly interested in the product or service you’re selling.
Conduct your own research to find the best hashtags for your industry. You can do this by visiting industry influencer or competitors’ pages to see which ones they’re using. You can also search for similar tags using the Instagram search function.
For example, if you sell jackets for dogs, you might want to consider using hashtags like #dogjackets, #doglovers, or #dogsofinstagram to reach your target demographic. If you sell clothing, you might want to try hashtags like #womensclothing or #mensfashion rather than a broader hashtag like #clothing.
There will always be hashtags that are popular on Instagram for various reasons. It could be a cultural moment or pop culture trend. If you’re going to use one of these, make sure that it relates to your business in some way, or Instagram may penalize your content for irrelevant hashtags.
For example, if there’s a large wildfire going on, you could mention that you’re donating part of the proceeds from your sales to fight wildfires. This way, you’re connecting your business to current events in a genuine way.
This one works best if your business is local to a specific geographic area or region. There’s been a huge move towards supporting local, especially as small businesses struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic. Now is the time to grab your community’s attention by using this hashtag. To narrow it even further, consider adding your city, state or country behind it (e.g. #supportlocalaustralia).
And as a bonus, here are a few other ecommerce related hashtags to try on your next Instagram post:
As with most things in social media, finding success with ecommerce hashtags comes down to trial and error. Experiment with different hashtags until you find the ones that work for you.
Want a faster, reach-ier hashtag strategy at your fingertips?
Sked Social’s Hashtag Manager allows you to find the best ecommerce hashtags for Instagram. You can search for relevant hashtags, browse hashtag recommendations, and schedule them with your content for added convenience. You can also store your frequently used hashtags in a template, so you don’t have to type or remember them every time. Try it out for yourself free for 7 days!