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Using hashtags on Instagram is a quick and easy way to reach new audiences, increase engagement and expand your business potential. Business coach Alison Morgan shares her top six tips on how to use hashtags to grow your business.

Tip 1: Use 15 hashtags per post

Instagram allows you to include up to 30 hashtags per post, with 15 being the recommended amount to use. Whether you place these hashtags in the body of your Instagram caption, or in the comments of your post, does not matter: it won’t affect engagement. However, many businesses choose to place them in the comments in order to keep their captions looking clean and professional.

Tip 2: Create business-specific hashtags to increase your reach

By creating and using hashtags that are relevant to your business you will be able to reach a whole new audience – even those who are not following you. This is because Instagram allows users to search for specific hashtags and then view posts under that hashtag in their own feed, similar to the Instagram home page. By making use of hashtags that are relevant to your brand and what you are posting you will be discoverable to the right audience.

Tip 3: Produce 7 bundles of hashtags and use them on rotation

Instagram can penalise you for repeatedly using the same hashtags on your posts. To avoid this, Alison recommends creating seven bundles of varying hashtags that can be used on different days of the week – so one bundle of hashtags per day. These bundles can contain up to 30 hashtags each, and preferably should include a minimum of 15. By creating these bundles, you will be able to reach new audiences and grow your presence across Instagram.

Tip 4: Ensure your hashtags are specific

Using hashtags that are too broad and used often can mean that your posts get lost among others. Instead, it is important to keep your hashtags specific, so that your audience can easily find you. For example, if you run a café and use the hashtag #cafe, you will be competing with cafes from around the world. Instead, use more specific hashtags such as #cafesydney or #sydneycbdcafe. By making sure your hashtags are specific to your industry, location or community, your audience will be more likely to find your business.

Tip 5: Understand your target audience and create hashtags relevant to them

Alison emphasises the importance of understanding your target audience in order to get the most out of Instagram, and using hashtags to grow your business. The target audience of your business is those who are interested in your relevant industry, so it’s likely that they would follow hashtags related to the industry. This gives you the opportunity to take advantage of these hashtags, to make sure you are reaching the right people. For example, if you work as makeup artist, it is likely that your target audience would be interested in makeup, and may follow hashtags such as #makeupinspo, #makeupartistsydney or #sydneymakeupartists. Be specific when we can.

Tip 6: Use online hashtag generators

Online automated hashtag generators are a great resource to find hashtags relevant to your business. These generators allow you to search for a broader hashtag e.g. #cafe and will then give you similar, more specific hashtags to use. Make sure you pick the most relevant hashtags from your list and include any standout hashtags in your hashtag bundles moving forward.

Fun fact: The most popular hashtag on Instagram is #love, with over 2 billion posts.

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