Since there are different types of hashtags, the right choice for a post can be quite difficult. In this blogpost we will show you the different types of hashtags and when to use which hashtag.

But why use hashtags at all?

You can link people or topics to your pictures by using the @ or # symbols in the caption of your post. Topics are linked with a hashtag before the word and people with the @ sign before their username. You can use a Hashtag to categorize your content and assign it to a specific topic. Other users can search for specific topics they are interested in by using the hashtags and your post will show up in that search, which increases your range enormously.  

The great thing about hashtags is that you can not only use them as a description under your posts, but also follow them with your own profile, so your newsfeed will always show you the newest post under this hashtag and you will not miss any content featuring your favorite hashtags.

Some hashtags, like #love or #travel, are particularly popular and are therefore used up to 1,000 times a day in uploaded images. As a result, posts with popular hashtags are quickly pushed out of the feed. This means that the post only has a small chance to make new followers aware of your brand. To find the right hashtags for your post, we have compiled 5 categories of hashtags for your consideration.

General hashtags

General hashtags are usually the first thing that come to mind when you start thinking about a certain topic. Good examples are very generic terms such as #journalist, #photography or #fashion. General Hashtags often refer to a profession or general idea. We recommend that you don’t exclusively rely on these kinds of hashtags to promote your post. Unless it receives super high engagement in a very short time period, chances that your post will be listed among the top ones are very low. Another clear disadvantage of a general hashtag is that it attracts spam and bots. Instead, you should rather use hashtags for a short, easy description of the topic your post is about.

Source: Instagram

Niche hashtags

These types of hashtags are similar to general hashtags, although they are little more precise. By using a niche hashtag you address a more specific target group. Rather than using a very generic term such as #yoga, try to be slightly more precise and perhaps use #yinyoga instead. You will increase the chances that someone will actually find your post because niche hashtags usually see higher engagement than general hashtags. Another benefit is that they look a lot more organic and authentic.

Community hashtags

They connect like-minded people on a specific subject. #catsofinstagram or #mytravelgram are good examples for communities that work extremely well on Instagram. Different kinds of people can use their group hashtags to reach other users who have the same interests and share tips and tricks with them. Obviously, it goes without saying – like with any other community – to not be passive and wait for people to engage. Instead, try to like and comment on other people’s posts. This way you will connect with other community members and let other users know if you like something and give them positive feedback.

Location hashtags

These hashtags, as the name suggests, indicate where the picture or video was taken. This kind of hashtag can help increase sales if you are offering a product or service, as it will be much easier for others to find you. With a simple click on the shown address, a map opens on which you can see exactly where the linked shop, café or company is located.

Source: Instagram

Stories hashtag

Instagram is heavily pushing their “Stories” feature and wants the community to use this feature. Hashtags work the same way in stories as they do on any other post. The good news is the chances of your content being featured in stories is a lot higher than on normal posts. People tend to use a lot less hashtags as they would do on a normal post and therefore your content could become visible to a larger audience. In stories it definitely makes sense to use general hashtags, but keep in mind that there is not a story for every single hashtag.

Source: Instagram

FYI: most people think that you can only use one hashtag at a time in stories – in fact you can actually use up to ten hashtags in each story.

How to track your Instagram Hashtag Success

As soon as your Instagram account is a business account, you have the opportunity to get individual insights to your post via the "Post Insights". The Instagram insights allows your company to know which hashtags are most effective for your posts. This means that you are able to analyze which hashtags have the most views or impressions on your posts. Easily you are able to find out, if you have chosen the right hashtag for your strategy. To access this data, just open one of your posts and click the “View Insights” text below it. In addition to the information about the hashtags, you also find a full page of data about that post, including your profile views, followers, reach and how and where your post was found. Fast you can discover how many users have seen your post through the homepage, your profile or the hashtags you used.

Source: Instagram

If you like to get more information about hashtags, you should download our free hashtag whitepaper here.

Cover Photo: by Unsplash