Remember when Instagram was all about which filter you picked? You were a nobody if your image didn’t have that sunny California, golden hour glow about it. Thankfully, times have changed. Instagram feeds are no longer full of faux sun-bleached shots of feet and beaches. They’ve repositioned their brand to be one of the most powerful marketing tools of the modern age. Their unique brand of image-based microblogging and live stories are particularly popular with millennials and Gen Z. With regular users set to surpass 111 million this year, it’s a platform you shouldn’t ignore. Of course, it’s a double-edged sword. You get a huge potential audience, but it’s a crowded marketplace. If you want to stand apart from the crown, it’s time to carve your niche and find the best Instagram hashtags for your business.

So, where do you begin?

Know Your Value

The first step to finding your niche, is understanding what the unique selling point (USP) of your business is. If you don’t know your own value, how will your customers? You need to understand what it is that you offer your potential community, that other businesses don’t.

But, don’t worry. You don’t need to read Nietzsche to understand your niche. It’s simple.

Do you have an unusual product? Or perhaps you’re offering a speciality service? What was it that inspired you to create your brand. It’s this passion and excitement that will draw people to your community. So share it.

Understand Your Niche

We know, we’re talking about niches a lot. But bear with us, because if you want to stand out from your competition, it’s a word that really matters. Understanding where your business fits in online is at the core of attracting people to your content. Brands with a strong tone of voice and personality are the ones that really stand out.

Think about Innocent. They don’t just excel at hyper-personal, friendly and anti-corporate marketing. They invented it. Consider the brand. Do you remember them for their products? Or for their excellently tongue-in-cheek tone of voice and social media presence? While their smoothies are delicious, it’s their strong personality that makes them memorable.

By knowing your niche, you can create a brand identity that sets you apart from the crowd. No matter what you’re selling.

It also helps to think outside of the box a little. Get weird. No matter what your business, you will have competition online. So, don’t go for the obvious niche, like ‘food’ or ‘digital marketing’. It’s taken. Besides, why share a niche when you can carve your own?

Make A Hash Of It

Or rather, a hashtag.

Once you’ve found your space. It’s time to don your specs, grab a coffee and research.

Read more on The Best Free Instagram Tools for Marketing.

Hashtags are vital to social media. Without them, customers will very likely never see your content. So, it’s essential to understand what the best Instagram hashtags are for your niche.

Look at what other influencers and businesses in your particular area of expertise are posting. Take a note of the hashtags they use. The accounts they tag. This is all valuable information you can use.

It’s also worth your while to scout out which weekly, or special event hashtags could benefit your business. #ThrowbackThursday will suit almost every business, while #MondayMotivation is also useful. If you have the #MondayMotivation (😉), you could find a special hashtag to use every day of the week.

While it’s good to keep using a few core hashtags, be sure to change up the others regularly. The Instagram algorithm actually punishes accounts that only use the same hashtags consistently. This doesn’t mean you should ditch your best Instagram hashtags, just remember that variety is the spice of life. Or Instagram.

Consistency Is The Key

If you want to leave a lasting impression, you need to be memorable. If you’ve followed our advice so far, you understand your USP and your core audience. You’ve picked your niche and you’re working towards building a community. All good, so far.

If you want to boost your business even further, be consistent.

Have visible, and instantly recognisable branding. If you’re regularly interacting with other Instagram users (and you really should be), you want your business to be recognisable from just the tiny-small icon that displays next to your name.

Post regularly. But with a focus on quality over quantity. How your content is delivered, even to your followers, relies on how well your post performs. Every interaction it receives sends a tick of approval to Instagram and boosts your audience.

Ignore the Bots

If you’ve been posting for more than a few days, you’ll notice a trend. When you post something, you’ll get a spike in followers. Then, with no explanation, your follower count drops again. This is because of people using either robots, or simply following their own ‘automated’ rules. They follow accounts to try to get followers too. It’s a spammy, ineffective tactic.

So ignore the robots: focus on the REAL engagement (quality comments, shares, etc) and measure your success in a different way. Like we’ve said before, the social media metrics that matter aren’t about follower counts.

We’re going to finish with hashtags. Create your own hashtag and use it regularly so that people can browse your content instantly. Think of it as a curated selection of posts that sum up your business. It won’t just boost your audience, but also your visibility. It’s a place when your fans and customers can tag their relevant images, too. Win/win!

Just remember to check how your own personal hashtag reads. We won’t be held responsible for any #susanalbumparty shenanigans.

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