How to utilize Instagram Hashtags Part 2.  Hashtags has become a crucial part of our social media marketing these days and can cause some frustration when you are unsure how to use the right ones at the right time. In out last article we covered a few tips and now we continue in this second part to help you with hashtag dilemmas.

Custom Hashtags:
These are much better to use for small to medium businesses to make sure you get some exposure in the vastness with the huge businesses.

Niche Hashtags:
Hashtags like this are used to connect you to your target audience and your brand. It is the few used to your unique signature business. Be specific when using these hashtags. The more you are straight forward, the better the chance to get to a broader audience.

Branded Hashtags:
It can be something as simple as your company name or tag line because it has to be something your customers can use to connect directly to you or your business.

Event Hashtags:
If you are hosting an event or attending one where your product or ideas will be showcased, using event tags can get a lot more people to notice your company and therefore give you a broader exposure to potential clients.

Use Topic Channel Hashtags:
This is a fairly new way users can search for topics and can be used to bring more light to your products.

Use Hashtags to build communities or get followers:
A lot of people use these types of hashtags and it helps to get your brand shared and it gives people something more to connect to your brand with. Say for an example: challenge people to take a picture of what is in front of them and call it power hour, the challenge being to stop using anything electronic for an hour and just go outside and have a break. After the hour is up they take a picture to show what they were doing tech-less for an hour. This is just one example of something you can use weekly or so to get your brand more exposure.

Avoid Banned Hashtags:
Not all the tags they ban are bad, some they just ban because it does not connect with anyone and they want you to have an audience so if the tag attracts no one they can ban it. Here are some tell-tale no-no banned ones not to use: Instagram bans violent, offensive, pornographic, illicit drug-related, firearms transaction-focused, and hate group, organized crime, and terrorism-related hashtags.

Monitor Hashtag performance:
On any post you have put up go to the “view insights” underneath and see how many people were reached or interacted with that post, it is a very valuable tool in your Hashtag bag. In the normal posts you can only view these stats for 7 days and 14 for stories but it is still something to do to see if your posts are reaching who you want.

The no-no don’ts of Hashtags:
• Avoid using tags that are too long to remember.
• Never add tags to posts already posted, they do not appear in searches.
• Never use lowercase tags, instead use uppercase in the first letter of tags, it improves readability.
• Never neglect to tell people what your tags mean and how to use them to avoid the tag being used for the wrong reason or      posts.
• Hashtags are great but always respond to comments quickly and be friendly. This way you are sure to get more clients and      everyone appreciates swift service.

At the end of the day hashtags can be a key tool to get more interactions with your brand or business. The right hashtags have the power to inspire people to start conversations with you about your brand and business and helps grow your audience. I hope this article was of some help to you and that your business. #GrowAudience