Since hashtags came to fame on the twittersphere, we’ve seen them grow in popularity and usability.  They have become our vehicle to link and label all like content, and for a consumer, it allows them to browse like messages and topics throughout the social media universe.

For marketers, hashtags are a vehicle to grow your audience within Instagram.  Hashtags can improve your photos visibility in searches, but there is certainly an etiquette to help you achieve best results and not alienate your audience.

  1. Use keywords that relate to your photo
    In your photo or video description, it’s ok to throw in some keywords in there. Put a # in front of your keywords.  You can also add some hashtags at the end of your description that relate to the content of your photo. For example:  #Baking some fabulous #strawberry #lemonade #cupcakes today for our grand #opening!  #ribboncutting #bakery
  2. Use hashtags related for your business and industry
    In order to find more targeted reach for your photos and videos, you will want to include hashtags that relate to your industry. For example, if you are attending a special conference that has a hashtag associated with it and you are posting a picture from that conference, be sure to include that hashtag so people from the conference can find your photo.That same cupcake shop may include #bakery at the end of each of their descriptions.
  3. Don’t use unrelated hashtags
    In other words, don’t hijack hashtags that have no relevance to what you are posting. You wouldn’t include #Kardashian in a description of a picture featuring summer flowers.
  4. Don’t use too many hashtags
    Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags. However, if you have that much to say you are rather long winded and that is really overkill.  I recommend using 5-10 hashtags in your description.
  5. Get the best mix
    The best mix of industry related hashtags, descriptive hashtags and popular hashtags is your best cocktail for success on Instagram. For some of the most popular hashtags  go to Tags for Likes.  5-10 hashtags is the best number of hashtags.  Keep in mind that if you use extremely popular hashtags (i.e. #love), your photo or video may appear among a very popular search, but it will get drowned in the mix quickly.  That is why it is important to also include hashtags that may be more unique and will hold their search for longer.

Your turn.  Let’s see those hashtags!

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The Best Ways to Use Hashtags on Instagram
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