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The Right Way To Use Hashtags On Instagram For Business
Wait.. wait…

There’s a right way and a wrong way?????

Well, honestly, it depends on your intention.

As far as business goes, personally… I’d prefer to use Instagram as a way to find quality leads.

What’s a quality lead? Well.. that’s someone who is more likely to be interested in my product or service.

Quite often, if you litter your caption with a sh** ton of hashtags, you may be inviting spammers to pay you a wee visit.

It’s like you’ve got this huge bright yellow sign that says… “HEYYYY! I’M OVER HERE.. COME SPAM ME!”

That is definitely a waste of time and can bring me down because I just want to provide value to the right person.

Ok.. let me back up.

With my intentions of utilizing Instagram as a channel to find the right customer/client (and dude.. yours too right?)…

There _IS_ a right and wrong way.

Come along with me on this journey so you too can find quality leads who will enjoy the value you give them.

IG has a 30 #tag limit. Who cares?!

And I’m kind of hoping you don’t litter your captions with that many tags.

When I see a photo full of garbage tags in hopes to get interaction on the wee little post this is what I’m thinking:

Ughhh, God… spammer.
Desperate for attention?
No thought in filtering out the baddies and the goodies?

In the next few posts, I’m going to show you exactly how to search yourself for users who are most likely going to follow you and potentially sign up to your list or visit your website.

And it’s very similar to how spammers look for the exact tags that a newbie would use… except there’s a bit more thought into it.

If you’re going to use tags at all, there are two types of #tags I would recommend.

Two Types of #tags You Should Use
Keep in mind these are just recommendations based on our experience growing IG accounts.

We’ve been able to organically grown a few accounts from 0 to 30k in 6 months.

Not trying to show off here, buddy, but just want to let you know what our experience has been so that we can share it with you so you can go ahead and implement.

And we actually have a dirty little secret that I will share with you below, but before then let’s get onto these two types.

1 – Quality #tags

Quality #tags vs crappy #tags… what is the difference and is there really such thing?

With a bit of time and effort (which really doesn’t take long at all), finding quality #tags to attract quality followers is essential.

First of all, what’s a crappy tag, you ask?

Well.. a crappy #tag is generally generic a #tag that is used by the masses.

It doesn’t even really have to be used by the masses, but it’s a #tag that is used by a TON of people.

What’s a ton? Think…. a few million.

There are other people who target a lot of these #tags with bunk accounts and terrible images.

A quality tag?

Well.. if you know much about keyword researching for SEO then I would compare it to a long tail keyword.

If you don’t know much about keywords and keyword research it’s basically a #tag that’s used by less people.

They tend to be slightly longer and not as generic.

There was a bit more thought put into creating the tags and can be missed by many people.

How can you tell how many people are using the tag?

Search for it.
IG gives you the exact numbers you are looking for.

You can even check on your desktop by using Iconosquare:

Iconosquare is a cool Desktop Instagram viewer, but it also has some pretty cool analytics tools.

So what’s a good number?

I suppose it really depends on your target market, but I reckon a few hundred to a few thousand would be good.

That way.. you know that #tag is actually being used, but not abused.

You’ll notice too that these tags tend to be longer and definitely not generic.

2 – Personalized/Branded #tags

Branded #tags are actually quality tags… but they’re specific to you and your brand and you.

This really isn’t meant for people to outright find you with, but you can use it so that people can track your previous posts.

It really is meant to give someone the option to ‘stalk’ you.

You use it on your post.. people click.. they see all the other tagged posts.

The trick is.. to make sure it’s not being used at all.

And how do you do that?

*pointing up* 

So, just pick a tag and search on it.

What you’re looking for when you search on this awesome new #tag is either it’s not used at all.. or there are very little posts using it.

That will give you the chance to dominate.

For example, we use #courageouslyFreeTravelers or I’ve even used #headstandingaround.

They’re long.. they are either my brand or personalized to me. Other people will use the #headstandingAround hashtag, but not many people were using it when I first looked at it.

Dirty Little Secret
Uh.. ok.. the cat is out of the bag.

Um.. I can’t believe I’m telling you this.

Ok.. our dirty secret is.. you don’t really need hashtags to grow your IG gallery or get interaction on your posts.


Uh. Yes.

You don’t.

We grew quite a few IG galleries up to multiple 5 figures of followers WITH NO HASHTAG.

We do use them now sparingly.

We have tested a specific strategy using hashtags, but we won’t divulge THAT secret because it is reserved for our paying clients and for those who have purchased our training.

So, that’s that.

Hashtags absolutely can be useful and you can create strategies around it, but you don’t need to.

Regina van de Velden
Courageously Free Since January 2014

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