Instagram stories are fantastic for everyday content and stories to keep your audience engaged. But as always, it’s all about the content. And what type of content is best for Instagram Stories?
- An exciting story – preferably an interesting video or photo
- You can ask your audience questions and build relationships with them
- Give personal updates
- A glimpse into your daily life
- Use to promote your IGTV videos
Using these Instagram Stories hashtag tips can make or break your Instagram strategy.
Use them correctly, and you will have your posts seen all over the world. Get it wrong, and your hashtag strategy will not only be a fizzer but can result in significant damage.
To use hashtags effectively, you must understand how they work and then spend some time putting some thought into a real strategy.
What are Instagram Story hashtags?
Hashtags are made up of a combination of letters, numbers, and/or emoji preceded by the # symbol (e.g., #authentic).
They are a way Instagram categorizes content and makes it more discoverable to anyone searching.
Hashtags can be clicked, which means any person who clicks on an Instagram hashtag or conducts an Instagram hashtag search will see a page showing all the posts and Instagram Stories tagged with that hashtag.
To follow a hashtag within Instagram, tap it, then tap the blue Follow button on the hashtag page.
Why Use Instagram Story hashtags?
Hashtags are an essential way to grow your Instagram audience. When you use a hashtag, your post will appear on the page for that unique hashtag. That means when people search that hashtag, your Instagram Story will be included in the feed.
People don’t only search for particular hashtags; they follow them – like #lowcarb – which means they could see your hashtagged Instagram Story in their feed, even if they don’t follow you – yet!
Hashtag pages have an Instagram Story icon in the top left corner (red hashtag on the avatar). Click it, and you’ll see a collection of Instagram Stories tagged from people with public profiles.
There are 2 ways to add hashtags to your Instagram Stories.
The first is using a hashtag sticker on an Instagram Story. Or you can use the text tool and tag the Instagram Story the same way you would on a photo or video post.
You can hide these hashtags on the story by placing a sticker over them. This technique makes the Instagram Story more attractive, but the hashtag is still present.
Instagram hashtags are a great way to build an online community and get people engaged with your brand.
Common Types of Instagram Story hashtags
Product or services
These are basic keywords to describe your product or service, like #vodka or #yogamat
These are a little more specific, showing where you fit into your particular industry or field, like #uniquegifts or #foodblogger
Instagram community hashtags
These are communities on Instagram, and these hashtags help you find and join them. They exist for many communities such as #craftbeersofinstagram or #boxersofinstagram (you should go check that one out – completely adorable).
Even if you geo-tag your Instagram story, it’s still a great idea to include a hashtag that refers to your location like #vancouvercraftbeer.
Relevant phrase hashtags
These hashtags combine elements of product, niche, and community hashtags. They are phrases communities use on Instagram to connect to existing communities in a subtle insider way – like #wanderlust or #girlswhotravelsolo.
Now for the top three tips that will help you with your Instagram Story marketing strategy.
1. How many hashtags should you use on an Instagram Story?
You can include up to 10 hashtags on an Instagram story. But just because you can use that many hashtags, it doesn’t mean you should. The most frequent number of hashtags to use on Instagram Stories is between one and three. You’ll need to do some testing to establish what works best for your business.
2. Find the best hashtags for YOUR brand
Check out your competition
You don’t necessarily want to replicate your competition’s strategy, but looking at the hashtags they use can give you some clues into what is working for others in the industry. This may help you decide you don’t want to compete for the same eyeballs and develop alternative hashtags that work for you.
What hashtags does your audience use?
If your audience is already using a specific hashtag, then other people, just like them, are probably using it as well. Find these existing Instagram communities to expand your audience and reach people who are most likely interested in what you have to offer.
You do this by keeping an eye on your top followers to see what hashtags they’re using. Instagram also helps you out with giving you additional information if you are using your smartphone search function. The search tool will indicate if anyone you follow also follows the hashtag you are searching.
3. Create a branded hashtag
This is a hashtag you create to promote your own brand or campaign. You put your branded hashtag in your Instagram bio and highlight it in your captions and Instagram Stories. Lululemon is a company that is successful in this tactic with its unique #thesweatlife
Follow these hashtag tips, and you will be well on your way to mastering your Instagram Stories and improving your audience reach. This always results in more followers and ultimately better lead generation when you have an offer to share.