Started an Instagram account but don’t know how to use Instagram tags? You’re not alone.
With 5 million active users monthly in Australia alone and 70% of those between 18-34 years old, Instagram is the perfect place to share your brand’s unique way of seeing the world.
But while most businesses know how to post photos and keep a regular schedule, they’re missing out on the most potent strategy for finding new customers – and it’s because they haven’t taken the time to master how to use Instagram tags.
Instagram tags are in most cases the difference between averages of 5 likes and 500 likes on your images. It’s the reason some Instagram accounts are constantly growing followers and others get left in the dirt (and forgotten).
Learning how to use Instagram tags effectively on your images is actually quick and easy, and once you know what to do, you can apply the same strategy to every single post you make. This 10-minute read could make or break the next 3 months of your Instagram results.
Below are 5 quick and powerful tips you can start applying to your posts today.
1. How To Choose Effective Instagram Tags
Most businesses choose their Instagram tags by including what first comes to mind. Dog on your construction site? #dog. Sexy new nails? #nails. While this may appear relevant and useful, it’s actually not.
Your tags are crucial to your Instagram success because it’s how you get found. Tags work like Google keywords. When you want to find something, you type in a description and Google brings up whatever seems most relevant. Instagram is the same. The difference is it’s used for images – which don’t have words attached.
You use tags to describe what your image is about, or what it can be associated with, so Instagram users can find it easily.
Here are some tips on how to use Instagram tags effectively with your posts:
- Include a variety of Instagram tags, from popular ones (#dogsofinstagram) right down to specific ones (#pugsofnorthmelbourne). #dogs will have 17 million posts whereas a specific one will have a few thousand. Use a mixture to help get your content seen.
- Use a brand-specific hashtag. Create something unique for your own business and use it in every post.
- See what your competitors are doing. Research other Instagrams in your niche for hashtag ideas and consider adopting them.
- Research your audience. Look at your current followers and see what they use when they post an image similar to your business.
2. How To Add Your Instagram Tags
Imagine you’re running a newspaper campaign and the account manager asks if you would like 5 ads or 30, at no extra cost. What would you choose?
Instagram allows a maximum of 30 tags, and you should use every last one of them.
We know what you might be thinking – that 30 is quite a lot, and you don’t want to become ‘that person’ who posts a wall of hashtags bigger than their actual image. And we completely agree. Which is why we recommend using a clever trick.
When writing your image caption, include a small and conversational image description along with a few distinct tags. Now here’s the cool bit – immediately after posting your image, open a new comment and add 5 dots (periods) on 5 lines, then write in all your Instagram tags. Post the comment straight away.
This will collapse into […] in the newsfeed, getting rid of the clutter and focusing the user on your vibrant photos instead.
3. Save And Categorise Your Instagram Tags
If you want your Instagram to keep growing (of course you do), it’s critical you keep your tags saved in categories.
This is for two reasons.
Firstly, it means you can add them quickly. As soon as you’ve posted your image, as we mentioned above you can open a new comment and copy and paste your Instagram tags across from your phone or computer’s notes. This means you can post them all really quickly, where ever you are.
Secondly, when you want to make a change to your Instagram tags your try different combinations, you can save and add them quickly too. Keeping notes ensures you have a record of what you’ve used in the past so if something works really well you can test out why and do more of it.
Keep your tags saved somewhere.
Number 4 – Update Your Instagram Tags
It’s important to update your Instagram tags regularly to stay current with how your audience is finding you.
Some industries in particular (like hairdressing and fashion) move fast and respond well to trends so you need to keep up with that to stay relevant and draw potential customers to your posts.
Monitor your week-by-week stats of who is engaging with your content, and take note of which tags seem to attract more interest.
If you know how to use instagram tags when a new trend starts, you have a much bigger chance of finding potential customers. When there’s a trending tag you can make use of, whether it be a one-off event or a new craze, do some research to find out what tags are being used with it and weave them into your strategy. For some inspo on how to create posts relevant to trends, see our article on Facebook post ideas.
Number 5 – How To Use Instagram Tags For Your Promotions
A popular and effective marketing strategy involving tags is holding Instagram-based competitions with cool prizes.
If you make the competition entries include an Instagram interaction, for example posting a particular photo or using a specific hashtag, both your current audience and new users create original content to promote your brand while also being able to connect with others with similar interests.
It creates a sense of community, connects you with your customers and advertises what you do to a range of new people. Just make sure you tell everyone to use your campaign and brand tags in their images.
What do you think of these tag tips? If you have a tip that’s worked for you, let us know in the comments below!