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Hash tags: They key to success for brands on Instagram?

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We all have that friend. Oh, you know the one. The friend who posts pics to Instagram and uses about 57 hash tags in the post.

It can be funny at times. At other times, it can be downright annoying.

But why would any brand contemplate taking such a strategy?

Because it might actually work.

According to a recent report by TrackMaven, brands with fewer than 1,000 followers (which has to make up a sizable group at this point) saw, on average, 77 interactions per post when they used 11 hash tags in an Instagram post.

11 hash tags!

Mercedez IG

For larger brands (with more than 1,000 followers), the average number of interactions per post was a paltry 21.

So, do hash tags actually work on Instagram for brands?

It probably depends–on many factors.

But, the bottom line is this: Hash tags make your visual content easier to discover on Instagram. And, unlike Twitter, there is not character limit. And, LIKE Twitter, content discovery on Instagram is key. After all, how does anyone find new people/brands to follow on Instagram?

Usually one of two ways: Using the Explore tab and simply searching by the most popular pics–or through hash tags.

So, what can you do to best take advantage of hash tags and build your community–and grow engagement–on Instagram?

1–Identify common–and relevant–keywords people would use to search for your brand. Use those in your hash tags.

2–Do a simple Statigram search and see what hash tags people are using to talk about your brand online. Be sure to use those in your pics, when appropriate.

3–Search for popular hash tags and attach them to your brand’s pics, when relevant. Don’t force it, but this is a nice way to take advantage of trends or popular tags.

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Hash tags: They key to success for brands on Instagram?

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