Hashtag TrackingInstagram Marketing

How to Use Instagram hashtags for your brand (With Tips to Track & Analyze Them)


Presently, Instagram sits as one of the most popular social media platforms, among other giants such as Facebook and Twitter. The popularity of Instagram is increasing continuously, with many new accounts opened every day. As of June 2018, Instagram has around 1 billion monthly active users. Almost 60% of Instagram users log in their accounts daily. As a result, you can find an untapped pool of organic reach on Instagram with numerous followers. 

But how can you do something different so that people will notice you? In the following discussion, let us find more about Instagram hashtags and their significance for brands. We shall also try to find out the best practices for using Instagram hashtags for business and summarize their benefits.

What are Instagram hashtags

First of all, let us find out the definition of Instagram hashtags with certain examples. Hashtags came into existence for the classification of online Twitter content. Chris Messina developed hashtags in August 2007, and now they are implemented widely across various social media platforms. 


Instagram hashtags are the instruments for classifying different posts to enable the discovery of new content and improve the reach of a specific post. The mechanisms of Instagram imply using a hash sign with a keyword to create a link. The link refers to other content on Instagram that is tagged with the same keyword. The content could be photos, stories, or videos. 

For instance, you can find posts related to ‘travel’ by using Instagram hashtags with the keyword ‘travel’ to find all posts that contain the tag. An example of a hashtag that you can use in this case is #travelphotography. You can see all the public posts on Instagram with the hashtag #travelphotography classified into ‘Top’ and ‘Recent’ categories. That surely seems like an easier way to find content, isn’t it? 

Another interesting way to define Instagram hashtags is to look from the perspective of a search engine. If Instagram is the search engine, then hashtags are the keywords you enter to find information. Examples of some of the popular Instagram hashtags in 2018 include #love, #foodporn, #fashion, #cute, #instagood, #instamood, #me, #follow and #dogstagram.

What is the Importance of hashtags for brands

Many major brands and businesses are using branded hashtags. Some examples include the #gopro branded hashtag of GoPro or the brand hashtag #jeep by Jeep. So, it becomes important for businesses to focus on using hashtags. Here are some of the key factors which can show the importance of Instagram hashtags for brands. 

Hashtag Increase the visibility of brands

Brands need their content to be visible to their target audience. As we noted above, hashtags are designed for helping in the easier discovery of content. Brands invest considerable time and effort in preparing their social media marketing materials. For example, clicking the perfect snapshot and coming up with a striking caption can be a highly intensive task. 

The hashtag #Russia2018 trended during the FIFA World Cup 2018 held in Russia. In addition, the hashtag #FranceVsCroatia was trending during the final match. So, Instagram users could easily find out the events happening at the World Cup without having to go to the stadium. 


Therefore, brands can use hashtags to make sure that users could find their content easily through the hashtags or by tapping on related posts for a specific tag. When a photo or video is tagged with the hashtag of a brand, Instagram followers of the brand could view it immediately. Furthermore, brand-specific Instagram hashtags narrow distinguish the posts of business from 1 billion other active users on the app. 


Here is an exclusive article on How to Do Marketing On Trending Hashtags to Grow Your Brand Following


Hashtag Drive user engagement

Brands should also ensure user engagement with their posts. Another reason for the importance of Instagram hashtags is its potential for improving audience interactions. Brands could use their own branded hashtags to encourage their customers to generate content, thereby ensuring user interaction. 

For example, renowned sports goods brand Nike has community hashtag #nikewomen. The hashtag is successful in promoting brand-associated lifestyles and developing a sense of community among the customers. Nike drives user engagement by focusing on its customer community on Instagram through #nikewomen. As a result, the brand shows recognition for the female demographic in its customer base. Therefore, hashtags on Instagram build a sense of association between customer and brand.


Hashtags can help you share your content easily on other social media platforms. Hashtags are also popular on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. With simple changes in settings, you can make sure that every photo you upload on Instagram is published on other social media sites. As a result, your brand could gain wider user engagement across all social media platforms.

Observation of industry trends by analyzing Instagram hashtags

Another notable reason for the significance of Instagram hashtags for brands is the facility of insights on industry trends. Hashtags are a great way to find out what exactly is “buzzing” presently in your industry. Brands can use  Instagram hashtag analytics tool for observing competitors closely. You can find out more about your competition, their offerings, and advertisement strategy.

Information about hashtags used by competitors and the response of the audience to their posts can help a lot. You can find out exactly what worked out for them and what did not work out for you! Brands need to understand that hashtags keep evolving constantly and they have to stay updated with the trends. Instagram helps brands stay updated with current news and trending hashtags. As a result, businesses could help in making a brand trustworthy and credible.

Best practices for using Instagram hashtags and tracking

Now that we have explored the importance of Instagram hashtags for business, let us find out the best practices for using them. 

Thorough research

The first thing that you need for using Instagram hashtags is research. As you may have known by now, using hashtags is not just piling up a bunch of words that you like. Therefore, you need to find out relevant keywords to use with your hashtags. Various Instagram hashtags tools could help you find the most promising keywords. 

Also, you can use the search bar on Instagram to find out possibilities for a productive hashtag idea.

Most important of all, Instagram hashtag analytics tools can also help in finding out the actions of your competitors. As a result, you can take some inspiration from the insights on competitors.

Keep it organized!

You need to keep your hashtags organized at all times. This is highly essential to find out the keywords which perform the best for your posts. Brands can track the Instagram hashtags associated with their popular posts and easily find the high-performance hashtags. A simple Excel sheet could help keep track of Instagram hashtags. Gradually, you can need advanced tools for data tracking with the increase in the frequency of Instagram posts. 

The different Instagram hashtag analytics tools can track branded hashtags and help in finding out other hashtags that are used frequently with them. For example, Socialert is an Instagram hashtag analytics tool that helps in evaluating and tracking your hashtags. The analytics tool can help in finding out the most relevant hashtags for your marketing strategy.

Use the right amount

As discussed before, piling uploads of hashtags would never work out as you think! So, it is essential to find the right number of hashtags that can ensure success for your posts. Generally, you can use seven to thirty hashtags in a particular Instagram post. Try to experiment with the number until you find your magic number. Please take a look at the following post for an idea about the number of hashtags that you should use 

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Try the specific ones

Hashtags should be refined to relate to the specific needs of users. For example, #fitness can imply a broader domain. On the other hand, #yogafitness shows the use of yoga, and users could access content relevant to Yoga. 

Follow your branded hashtags

Following your hashtag on Instagram is also one of the proven measures for marketing. Brands could be able to find out users talking about them and interact with the users. This serves as a reliable method for engaging with users interested in the brand. 

Use Campaign hashtags and track them

Finally, you could rely on a brand campaign hashtag for better user engagement. Therefore, campaign hashtags use the branded hashtags of a brand with some clever twists that can appeal to followers. For example, the #mycalvins community hashtag of popular apparel and accessories brand, Calvin Klein. 

Tracking your branded hashtag will help you to know whether it has reached the right audience or not.


The benefits of using hashtags for brands are the primary reasons for which Instagram hashtags are popular marketing instruments presently.

Here is a list of the major points that we learned from this discussion. 

  • Instagram hashtags are the most reliable tools for increasing brand visibility and user engagement if used properly.
  • Major brands such as Coca-Cola, Nike, and Audi have used branded, product as well as community Instagram hashtags successfully.
  • Instagram community hashtags are successful in developing a strong association between customers and brands.
  • Research on the market, competitors, and target audience base are crucial to coming up with unique and highly productive hashtags.
  • Look closely into the performance of your competitor’s and renowned influencers’ hashtags. 
  • Follow the best practices of using Instagram hashtags according to current trends.
  • Use Instagram hashtag analytics to your advantage for tracking the performance of your Instagram hashtags and posts.
  • Keep the hashtags relevant to your brand and your posts.


On a final note, Instagram hashtags are easily the most powerful marketing instruments in the present times. However, the key to getting the best out of them lies in understanding hashtags and the best ways to use them to a brand’s advantage.

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