The Ultimate Guide to Hashtag Categories

July 13, 2023

Are hashtags dead?! We get this question all the time from clients! The answer is a strong NO. Hashtags are thriving on Instagram. In many instances, when done properly, you can get 50-80% more reach when adding hashtags and caption keywords. Instagram is a search engine much like Google. When people are searching for your content, they will put it in the Instagram search bar and type in “beauty salons,” “marketing,” and “retro restaurants.” Whatever their latest interest or trend people are directly searching on Instagram. Use this powerful search engine to your advantage and increase your online reach.

We will walk you through five important strategies to consider when creating your “hashtag bank” for your social media.

Table of Contents

Are Hashtags Still Helpful?

To put it simply – yes! Hashtags are still useful. However, hashtag use has evolved, leaving many feeling like hashtags are dead.

This is simply not the case. If you are using hashtags at random with little or no direction, then they won’t boost your content in any way. But with careful planning, hashtags are a key tool for reaching your target audience. They can help you organize your content and find related posts, but they also cannot be relied upon as the only way to boost engagement.

Furthermore, even the most popular hashtags cannot make up for boring or irrelevant content. First, focus on high-quality content that brings value to your audience. Then, with the proper usage, hashtags become an additional tool for boosting engagement.

General Hashtag Tips

Before delving into the categories, here are some key things to remember when choosing your hashtags.

  • Be specific and avoid over-saturated hashtags.
  • Use up to 30 hashtags, don’t be afraid to use the max number of hashtags allowed!
  • Use location-based hashtags to draw in your local audience – this also applies to events!
  • Consider trending hashtags and use them to your advantage.
  • Research your hashtags before using them to avoid issues like shadow-banned hashtags.

Now that we’ve laid out some of the basics of hashtag use, let’s dive into the five main categories.

Five Main Categories

1. Post Specific Topics

When creating social media content, be sure to include topic-specific hashtags. Choosing the right keywords surrounding your post topic will make the content easily discoverable by the right people.

These will vary based on your industry and post topic, but some examples include #digitalmarketingtips and #fitnessmotivation. Your post specific hashtags can be somewhat general.

2. Ideal Client Keywords

Once you identify your ideal client, use hashtags that directly appeal to them. Try to be interest or demographic specific. By carefully selecting hashtags that resonate with your target audience, you’re more likely to attract potential customers and grow your online following.

Some examples of demographic specific hashtags are #millennialmom and #seniorfitness. These appeal to age groups, but demographics can also encompass gender, income, location, and so on. Some examples of interest specific hashtags are #plantparentlife, #technerd, and #beautyjunkies.

3. Niche Specific

In addition to the post topic, include general hashtags related to your industry and niche. This will help draw in users interested in your field.

For industry hashtags, some examples include #fashionista and #travelblogger. Examples of niche-specific hashtags include #veganeats and #mentalhealthawareness.

4. Geohashtags

Geohashtags are a great tool for building your audience in a specific area. This approach will help you better reach your ideal client by focusing on a specific location or event.

Local hashtags include #nycfoodie, #londonlife, and #socalhikes. For events, consider hashtags like #Olympics2024 and #NYFW2023.

5. Branded Hashtags

Branded hashtags are a fantastic way to encourage user-generated content (UGC) and build brand recognition. Create a sense of community and collect valuable content by inviting your audience to use your branded hashtags.

Some examples of branded hashtags include #NikeRunClub, #CocaColaSummer, and #AmazonPrimeDay.

Proper hashtag usage requires research and strategy and it is possible to build your audience through hashtags. If you want to step up your hashtag strategy and reach more viewers than ever before, contact us so we can create a customized and curated hashtag bank for your social media. 

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