One of the fastest ways to increase your brand awareness and get more attention on Instagram is through the use of hashtags and mentions.
If you would like more attention on Instagram, I recommend that you learn to use hashtags and mentions. Be professional and thoughtful, and make sure your hashtags and mentions are relevant.
Scroll down to see two fun examples of how @’s and #’s got two of my posts noticed by the right brands – Maui Jim and Zenni Optical!
What are Hashtags?
When you place a pound sign (#) in front of a word or phrase in your post, it gets added to keywords or topics of interest on Instagram. Whenever a user adds a hashtag to their post, it gets indexed by Instagram and becomes searchable, and can be discovered by other users.
Hashtags are Topics, Not People – There’s a difference between @abuzzcreative and #abuzzcreative. Hashtags are used mostly for subjects, topics, and conversations. For example, #webdesign and #socialmedia are conversations around topics, whereas @AbuzzCreative and @Mashable are specific accounts and brands that focus on those subjects in their posts.
Find Trending Hashtags – You can join conversations and find new people to connect with on Instagram by following hashtags. You can use the search feature on Instagram to find hashtags that people are using. If you find something you like, click the Follow button to always see these posts in your Instagram feed.
What are Mentions?
The @ is used to mention another Instagram user. Mentions are very effective because it notifies that person or brand that they’ve been mentioned. This increases your chances of being noticed.
For example, if you post an amazing photo of Michigan, you can mention @PureMichigan in your post or tag them in your photo. There’s a good chance your photo will get noticed and shared by Pure Michigan.
My Photo on Maui Jim
I am a big fan of Maui Jim sunglasses and have purchased quite a few pairs from our local Sunglass Shoppe. I recently purchased the Tail Slide style with the clear frame and blue lens and posted a photo of me wearing them while cruising Lake Huron. I used Maui Jim’s hashtag (#mauijim) in my post text and tagged them (@officialmauijim) in my photo. (Click photos to view larger.)
My Photo on Zenni Optical
I’ve been ordering prescription sunglasses from Zenni Optical for years. They are affordable and I don’t feel bad when I lose another pair, which tends to be the case with me! Zenni asks customers to post photos with their #justgotmyzennis tag for a chance to be featured on their website. I posted a photo of me wearing my newest prescription sunglasses, added the hashtag and tagged Zenni Optical (@zennioptical) in my photo by mentioning their official account name.