Updated: Aug 8
There is a misconception floating around the social media rumor mill that social media hashtags are so last decade. We’re not sure who started it, but let’s squash that right here, right now. If you’re not using hashtags, you’re seriously missing out on valuable organic reach for your Instagram account. Hashtags are a free way to boost the visibility of your content to relevant audiences that are not already following you. How can anyone argue with the value in that? Here are five Instagram hashtag trends service-based businesses should hop on right away.
Prioritize Expertise Hashtags
Choosing which hashtags are best for your post is a bit of a science experiment. While there’s no secret formula, there are definitely proven strategies you should be implementing. This first hashtag trend focuses on getting your content in front of your ideal clients. Consider which hashtags your audience will be searching through when looking to hire someone. Using these hashtags can help you establish yourself as an expert in the field and make it simple for potential clients to find you.
Throughout this post, we’ll use the example of a social media manager to demonstrate each hashtag trend. With that in mind, some expertise hashtags you may want to add to your posts include:
A potential client who could benefit from hiring a social media manager will likely follow or search through these types of hashtags.
It is important to note that you should always thoroughly research your hashtags before hitting that post button on Instagram. From time to time, hashtags become irrelevant or even banned by Instagram. At that point, using them will hurt your content. (All hashtags included here are active at the time of publication!)
Leverage Instagram Community-Based Hashtags
Our next hashtag strategy is all about leveraging Instagram hashtags that are widely used for networking and community-building within your industry. This will be especially key if your brand takes a community over competition approach. (Something we’re huge fans of!) Unlike the goal of expertise hashtags, the idea behind a community-based hashtag strategy is not self-promotional. Targeting this bucket of hashtags will likely attract an audience of similar service-based businesses. These hashtags can help increase your reach by exposing you to other industry experts who are likely active within those hashtags as well. You can mutually grow your reach and your network by supporting one another’s content. You may be pleasantly surprised with the number of “Instafriends” you make that you can potentially collaborate (or commiserate) with each week.
Examples of social media manager community-based hashtags include:
Create a Branded Hashtag
A branded hashtag is 100% unique to you. It should be created by your brand, for your brand only. Branded hashtags serve two main purposes. Firstly, this hashtag type helps create a collection (or collections if you’re creating unique campaigns) of your content that fans and potential clients can follow until they’re ready to make a purchasing decision. Use it consistently throughout all of your Instagram posts. The second reason to include this hashtag type is to help build a bank of user-generated content. If you are starting a coaching service or launching a new course, you’ll want your clients to act as brand ambassadors by using this hashtag on all posts related to your services. Though the intention isn’t necessarily to increase traffic to your feed, you may start to build up that momentum over time if it gains enough traction.
Branded hashtags for a social media manager can feature your company name or even a fun tagline. Here are a few ideas we could implement:
Select Hashtags Strategically for Greater Visibility
Please resist the temptation to simply Google the most popular hashtags for your industry and paste them into your post. Chances are, your content will never reach the surface. Before it has an opportunity to hit even the top of the “Recent” section, it will be drowned out by all the noise. We recommend selecting hashtag sizes based on the type of engagement your posts get. Most importantly, we suggest tracking the performance of your hashtags to adjust and implement changes over time. By choosing relevant and very specific hashtags instead, your post has a higher likelihood of being seen by an engaged audience. Our recommended hashtag sweet spot is between 50K-500K posts per tag. The goal is to consistently land your posts within the “Top” section of a trending hashtag - the more relevant the content and specific the hashtag, the better.
For example, #socialmediamarketing, though relevant, has 14.5 million posts and counting. If you have a low engagement rate, you likely will be buried within the amount of content aggregated there. Instead, opt for hashtags like:
· #Socialmediamanagers (126K)
· #socialmediamanagerservices (18.6K)
· #socialmediamanagement (25.1K)
· #socialmediamanagerlife (48.1K)
Rotate Hashtags to Stay Relevant
Rotating hashtags is last but not least on this list of Instagram hashtag trends. While you should not copy and paste the same exact set of hashtags across all of your posts, you don’t need an entirely new set each time either. Think about it like your wardrobe; you probably have a few staples for bottoms, and consistently rotate the tops you wear with them. You don’t need 30 different jeans, just like you don’t need 30 fresh hashtags for each post. The idea is to ensure all hashtags used are relevant to their respective graphics and captions.
As a social media manager, there will be some basic hashtags that you’ll always want to include. Beyond these, the “filler” hashtags (which should be equally as well-researched) will rotate based on the content pillar or day’s topic. If you’re sharing information about social media branding one day, the hashtags should include a few on that topic. If you’re highlighting the importance of a consistent posting schedule the next day, that branding set should rotate out, while a scheduling set should replace it. Here are some other Instagram trends you may want to use to educate your audience.
Instagram Hashtag Trends are Central to Your Social Media Strategy
These popular hashtag trends on Instagram are key to growing your following and building awareness within new audiences for your brand. We want to be clear, though. Without quality content, hashtags will not do much good. A successful social media strategy has many layers. When it comes to hashtags, it’s about creating targeted, strategic content and complementing it with the right hashtags to boost reach.
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