Hashtags as we know are a must in any marketing done on Instagram. Twitter may have started hashtags but Instagram took it to a whole new level. Getting the right hashtags so that consumers can get to your service, product or business however is not easy.
Instagram Hashtags not only categorize your content but it also increases engagement and brand awareness, therefore if you are losing the hashtag battle, we are here to help. We will give a few tips on how to utilize hashtags to benefit your business.
According to research done by Agorapulse : Instagram posts with at least one hashtag got 70% more likes and 392% more comments than those without hashtags. You may already have the basic hashtags done but there is more that can be done to reach your target audience.

Focus on researching the hashtags you want to use:
First of all, you need to research the tags you want to use because the more refined and relevant the tag is, the better targeting of your audience will be and also they will engage more. Here are some tips on how best to research your hashtags. • Best place to start is in your own field. Research the tags that are in line with your business. Also the keywords that you use in your hashtags and the tags themselves is a good place to start. Here is how, go to Instagram and just tap the hourglass icon, then select “tags” from the drop down menu and enter your hashtags into Instagram’s search bar one at a time.                • Research your target audience. The best way to do that is to decide who you want to engage more with your business or brand and look out for the tags they use. Avoid the overused ones and make sure to look into what interests the audience of your choice, therefore finding common ground and getting more engagement with the right tags.                                                • Research leaders in your field. Following and researching the leaders and influencers in your field and seeing the tags they use can help you reach the same audience. More than likely giving you new hashtags to add to yours.

How to use tags to maximize your exposure:
Some of the top influencers and pro hash-taggers swear by using the maximum of 30 tags in each post will get the most exposure, but according to research done on the subject 11 tags per post will maximize and boost your exposure. One pro stated that “Being as specific as possible with hashtags also narrows the pool of targeted consumers, which makes it easier to build a highly engaged audience.”
Use daily hashtags:
Using tags everyday helps you keep in touch and engaged with your audience, maybe try something like: #MondayBlues, #TuesdayVibes, #WednesdayWisdom, #ThursdayThoughts, #FridayFun. Those are some examples that you can use for a daily tag and post to keep your targeted audiences engaging and sharing your content.

Structure your hashtags:
Sometimes using tags can look disorganized, cluttered and messy, therefore here is how to hide the ugly appearing tags:
“In captions
1. After ending your caption with a period, hit Return (be sure not to include a space after the last period).
2. Enter one piece of punctuation (a period, dash or bullet), then hit Return again and repeat four times.
3. Enter your hashtags after the last line”

Put hashtags in Instagram stories
When you put the tags right in the story it can help reach more people, depending on what content you use. It may help spread your brand, also add a geographical location. There is research that suggests that there is a 79% growth in engagement when using the location option in an Instagram Story.

In our Part 2 article of How to utilize Instagram Hashtags we take a look at specialized hashtags and how to use your own unique tags to best suite your business.