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Instagram Hashtags: For Followers vs. For Branding

Instagram Hashtags
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We know hashtags are essential for growing your audience on Instagram. If you don’t use hashtags, you’re only speaking to your unique (and probably small) audience, rather than to an entire network of users who may be searching popular hashtags. Hashtags can be tricky though! While it’s tempting to use hashtags you know will bring in followers and likes, it can eventually hurt the credibility of your business. It could be just as tempting to only use your own hashtags that are unique to your business, but they probably won’t be searched by anyone outside of your network. Below are a few tricks to use hashtags on each of your Instagram posts to meet your goals of building followers or boosting your brand.


Hashtags for Followers and Likes


Hashtags for followers (and likes, and popularity) are a great way to bring in new followers and build your network.


The followers will not be targeted and may not be relevant.*

Examples include:

#me #tbt #instagood #iphonesia #picoftheday #love #cute #instamood #photooftheday #igdaily #happy**

*To be seen as a credible business, never use hashtags that encourage spam, for example: #like4like, #followers4followers, #l4l, #f4f, #followback #likeback

**Notice not one of these tags directly relates to staffing; however, some can be spinned, like #photooftheday, #tbt (Throwback Thursday), #picoftheday


Hashtags to Boost Branding


Hashtags to boost branding bring in more targeted followers and build a community of similar interests, increasing awareness in your local area.


Followers will grow at a slower pace which can be frustrating, especially with new accounts.

Examples include:

#staffing, #recruiting, #staffingandrecruiting #staffingsolutions #staffingagency #staffingfirm #staffinglife #recrutinglife, #recruitingnow, #nowhiring

Include hashtags unique to your location. For example, Haley Marketing Group is located in Williamsville, which is a suburb of Buffalo, NY. These are the top hashtags in Buffalo and surrounding areas: #buffalo #buffalony #buffalove #buffalonewyork


Unique Hashtags


Help your business branding.


Very few people will be searching for them.

Examples include:

I’ll use Haley Marketing Group as the example here. On every Instagram post, I use #haleymarketing. The reason I use this and not Haley Marketing Group is because most of our clients, and our internal team, refer to us as Haley Marketing. I regularly search this hashtag during conferences and events that we attend to see if we’re being tagged in other businesses’ posts. I do not expect this hashtag to grow our followers or produce likes. To do those things, I also include #marketing, #staffing, #digitalmarketing, etc.


Instagram makes it easy to see how popular specific hashtags are. Simply start typing a hashtag into your post and the numbers of times that hashtag has been used will display next to the term. I recommend using the most popular hashtags (as long as they are relevant) because it’s more likely to be searched, thus it’s more likely your post, and business, will be found.

For more information on hashtags and strategies for Instagram, contact the Social Media team at Haley Marketing.



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