Instagram stories are a great way to use this innovative — and super popular — social media platform to its fullest. But there's one thing every story needs, and that's hashtags.
Hashtags were originally introduced by Twitter, which took off around 2009. But today, they're a core feature of Instagram and Facebook, too.
They're the number one way that people actively look for new content.
Without them, your chances of attracting new followers drops dramatically.
Of course, just having hashtags is one thing, but there's also the issue of using the right hashtags.
You can add tons of them, so it's tempting to put 20 different tangentially related hashtags on each Instagram post or story, in an effort to come up in more searches and get more exposure.
But ultimately, this doesn't really bring a whole lot of benefit.
Five to ten genuinely relevant hashtags can be a lot more effective.
In a recent post, Social Media Examiner explains exactly why hashtags are so integral to instagram marketing, and how local businesses in particular can benefit from them.
Why Hashtags Are Important in Instagram Stories
For location-based, service-based, or online businesses, hashtags are helpful in getting found on Instagram. You can use hashtags related to your business industry, topic, style, or another factor.
Hashtag searches will populate content that includes the corresponding hashtag in their post captions or comments. Just as with location stickers, the list of hashtag search results will populate and tapping on the desired hashtag result will open a gallery of content associated with that hashtag.
When you add hashtags to your Instagram stories, those stories may also appear in hashtag search results.
Similar to the location-based search results, if there are stories related to a hashtag you’re searching, the round icon with the Instagram-colored ring will appear at the top of the search results page, allowing you to view those public stories.
Hashtags are one of the most common ways people search for content on Instagram.
If you use the right targeted hashtags related to your brand or industry, adding them to your stories will increase your chances of getting found by potential customers who are looking for that content.
Using more specific and targeted hashtags will generally help you get better exposure than using overly popular hashtags that are broad in context.
As with location stickers, diversifying your Instagram content to include stories featuring a key hashtag will ensure your content is visible to more people on Instagram. That exposure may help drive more Instagram followers or even more website traffic or sales to your business.
You can learn more about hashtags and marketing on Instagram from our friends at Social Media Examiner.