With so many businesses and brands looking to increase connection, community and reach, hashtags are a hot topic for getting there. But are you using hashtags effectively? Here we’ll run through exactly how to use hashtags for Instagram. So you can confidently share content with the right people. ContentsHashtags on Instagram in 2021What are hashtags?Keep Your Hashtags OrganisedHow to Use Sked Social’s Template ManagerFind Suitable Hashtags for Your BrandSearch for Hashtags used by Competitors and InfluencersSearch for Specific Hashtags Related to your IndustryUse Long Tail Keywords for HashtagsHow Many Hashtags Should I Use?Where Do I Put My Hashtags on Instagram?It’s Time to Get Hashtagging! Hashtags on Instagram in 2021 There are over 1 Billion monthly active Instagram users. And over 500 million of those are daily active users. That’s a whole lot of people who could be viewing your content. But how do you show your content to the right people? Why, hashtags of course! Without using hashtags, you lose the chance of increasing your reach on Instagram. With less reach, comes less engagement. And with less engagement, your followers might choose to jump ship too. Take note of these tips to not only increase your reach and engagement but also to help grow your following with a targeted audience. And as an added bonus, we’ll show you how you can use Sked (formerly Schedugram) to select, manage, store, and use your hashtags more effectively. Instagram for Business 101 Grab our ebook Instagram for Business to take your Instagram game up a notch! What are hashtags? Hashtags are a specific metadata tag which are used on various social networks such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Their purpose is to allow users to easily find specific content. Hashtags were originally invented by Chris Messina on Twitter. However, Instagram quickly adopted this feature due to its suitability for the platform. Because of this, the Instagram community has been able to easily find and interact with lots of content that would have been much harder to find. Keep Your Hashtags Organised You know the importance of using targeted hashtags to reach specific audiences. And since each of your strategised posts will have slightly different objectives – it’s in your best interest to use different groups. But how do you keep your hashtags organised? The easiest and most convenient way to find, store, organise and add hashtags to your posts is to use Sked’s Template Manager. Use it to: Keep all your hashtags in one place Divide hashtags into groups Add up to 30 hashtags to a post in just a couple of clicks Manage the hashtags of multiple accounts Randomise ordering of hashtag lists to keep them looking fresh Here’s how it works. How to Use Sked Social’s Template Manager Open your Sked account and click on Template Manager in the sidebar menu, as shown below. Next, select create new template and add up to 30 hashtags. From then on, simply add them to your posts in just a couple of clicks. We recommend arranging your hashtags into groups that complement your posting strategy. To create a group, type the Template name. In our case, ‘Tipsy Readcity Hashtags.’ Add your template content and click save. The Template Manager helps you to stay organised with multiple groups. When it comes time to add hashtags to your posts, simply type the list name and your entire hashtag list will appear. And there you have it — all your hashtags stored and ready to go with optimum choices on your list. Better yet, Sked Social’s Hashtag Recommendation feature makes choosing your hashtags even easier. While in your hashtag list planning stage, the Hashtag Recommendation tool will begin suggesting hashtag options to best suit your image. Instead of spending all your time searching for the right hashtags, Sked Social takes out the guesswork for you. Find Suitable Hashtags for Your Brand Finding hashtags is very easy, but finding targeted hashtags that get a lot of engagement can be a challenge! Before you go out hashtag searching, we’d suggest you do some research first to get the best results. Create a stunning Instagram feed your followers will love. Sked Social is your tool for designing your feed, growing your followers, and telling your brand story. Start your free trial Search for Hashtags used by Competitors and Influencers A good place to start is to understand what hashtags are working well for your competitors and industry influencers. If you’re struggling to find relevant influencers on Instagram, you can use tools (such as Buzzsumo) to discover these accounts. After finding the hashtags they’re using, create your own version of a list relevant to your business. Sked Social’s Hashtag Recommendations feature works to find complementary hashtags surrounding your findings. Search for Specific Hashtags Related to your Industry Next, search for more specific hashtags related to your industry, keeping in mind what your customers are likely to be searching for For example, let’s say you run a cafe and are looking to target people interested in coffee. The first few hashtags that come to mind are: #cafe #coffee #coffeelover. But the search volume of these broad hashtags is enormous. Remember: The volume of a hashtag is how many people are using the hashtag. Not how many people are searching for it. When hashtag volumes are high, your chance to be featured on the explore page for that hashtag is low. Plus, with tonnes of people using the hashtag, you’re likely to get lost on the hashtag page altogether. For example, within five minutes each of these posts had used the term #coffeelover in their hashtags. Then, just four minutes later, none were to be seen at the top of the screen. And each was replaced with a new influx of other accounts using this broad term. A good idea is to look for lower volumes in the user stats. This way, you’ll have more chance of being discovered when someone searches the hashtag. Sked Social’s Hashtag Recommendation tool allows you to easily find more targeted hashtags, instead of sifting through hundreds. So, how do you use hashtags on Instagram to stand out? Be specific, targeted and choose hashtags you can genuinely be discovered for. Use Long Tail Keywords for Hashtags Think of long tail keywords or other similar related keywords. This is very easy, yet not many people actually do this. When you start to type a hashtag into Instagram’s search, it will list other hashtags that other Instagrammers tag their content with. But instead of finding what you’re after in the massive scrolls straight from Instagram, simply use the Sked Social Hashtag Recommendation feature. What used to involve searching for related hashtags in Instagram, can now all be done in the Sked Social Interface. Sked Social’s Hashtag Recommendation Tool learns about your preferences as you type hashtags in. When you’ve added a few hashtags, more targeted recommendations will appear. Provided your content is catchy, engaging and you are using hashtags on Instagram, you’ll notice higher reach and potentially, engagement. How Many Hashtags Should I Use? As the saying goes, the more the merrier. By using as many hashtags as you can, you’re likely to maximise your engagement. Keep in mind, the hashtag limit on Instagram is 30, and we recommend using 20-25. Editor’s note: At Sked, we typically recommend people aim for 20-25(ish) hashtags as some users experience higher error rates when you use 30 for every single post. However, some of our customers use 30 every time. It seems to depend on the Instagram account and hashtags used, so it is worth experimenting! Where Do I Put My Hashtags on Instagram? It’s entirely up to you where you want to put your hashtags on Instagram. You can either: Place them in your caption Add them to your first comment automatically with Sked Social Where you decide to publish your hashtags on Instagram is up to you. You can either hide your hashtags in your first comment. Or use a series of asterisks (*) in your caption to have less distraction from the text itself. With Sked, you can add your hashtags in the first comment or the caption of your scheduled posts, depending on your preferences. To try it out, open Sked and click on Upload Posts Next, select your accounts and upload the image/s and video you want to use. Media can be uploaded from your computer, Dropbox, Google Drive/Photos. Alternatively, use an Instagram URL or Canva. If you plan on creating more than one post, you can upload all of your images in bulk to save time. Click ‘Continue’ and review your posts. Click ‘Continue’ to proceed to photo editing. Edit your photos using the Magic Crop & the Image Editor. Click ‘Continue.’ Then, click on the hashtag symbol in the first comment and/or caption fields. Now, choose the hashtags/hashtag groups you want to add from the drop-down list. All that’s left to do now is to queue or schedule your post and Sked will publish it for you automatically. Takeaway: Enter your hashtags as a first comment to keep your caption clean and professional. New Ebook: Social Media Planning for professionals Grab Your Guide to Social Media Planning Success. Carve hours out of your workflow with this advanced ebook. It’s Time to Get Hashtagging! Knowing how to use hashtags on Instagram is an invaluable tool. Sure, it takes some time in the beginning. But once you have created your hashtag lists, adding them is a breeze. Using 20-25 hashtags on every post will help to increase: Your account’s discoverability Connections with a targeted audience Here are some key takeaways for you to put into action. Check out your competitor’s hashtags Organise each of your hashtag lists using Sked Social’s Template Manager Use Sked Social’s Hashtag Recommendation tool to find the best hashtags for you Add hashtags to your first comment automatically in the scheduling phase with a single click Sked Social’s Hashtag Recommendation tool and first comment hashtag scheduling feature mean you’ll get more done in less time. Plus, you’ll offer your clients higher quality hashtags and post aesthetics. To carve out hours in your social media workflow, start by signing up for Sked’s 7-day free trial. As an all-in-one, social media platform that allows its users to post directly to Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and more, Sked is the first step in engaging authentically with your followers.