A few weeks ago a twitter user named Jeremy posted, “I have been using Twitter and Instagram for quite a while now, but I must admit I am not very sure how these hashtags are created and how to use them effectively.” Well, hashtags can be a little baffling especially if you don’t spend much time on social media. This post has addressed some questions about hashtags, and how you can use them on Instagram.

So what exactly is a Hashtag?

A hashtag is a phrase or a keyword with the symbol (#) preceding it. It is a label for particular content. People often use hashtags on social media to make their posts or content readily accessible to any person with similar interests in a specific topic.
A hashtag is something like this: #SmallBizQuote. If you do a simple search of #SmallBizQuote on any social media platform, you will see a dedicated news feed with all small business quotes, photos, hacks, etc. If you post a comment using the hashtag, any person interested in this topic may access the content of your post even if they are not your friends or followers.

How is a hashtag created?

Anyone on social media can create a hashtag. You do not need any coding experience or software to create a hashtag. However, to create one, there are some technical requirements that you should know. As noted earlier, a hashtag can be a phrase, a single word, a combination of letters and numbers, or an abbreviation preceded by the symbol (#). If a hashtag is to be created with a phrase, there should be no special characters, spaces, and punctuation. You cannot create a hashtag using only numbers. There should be at least a letter within the numbers.

How do people use hashtags? 

A hashtag is added anywhere in a message (at the beginning, within, or at the end) so long as it is readable. One would, for instance, post: Customer satisfaction is the best business plan #SmallBizQuotes, while another would post #SmallBizQuotes quality is the best business plan.
People use hashtags for different reasons which include, among others;
– To promote businesses
– For research
– Share stories and updates on social media
– To increase engagement with a target audience

How to use hashtags on Instagram

The primary purpose of using hashtags on Instagram is discovering new content and finding new users to follow, thus, enlarging your audience. And by the way, a recent study found out that using at least one hashtag on a post increases its engagement by up to 12.6 percent.
To use an Instagram hashtag;
• Upload a video or photo
• Choose to add a filter and then, in the caption filed, type the symbol # followed by your phrase or word (example #Flowergirls).
• Tap ok, and select share
• If you have already uploaded a video or a post and you want to add a hashtag, you can edit (by tapping on the three dots at the top corner of your screen) the caption or add the hashtag in a comment.
It is important to note that you can only add an Instagram hashtag to your videos and photos. Again, emojis are allowed in hashtags, but no special characters (like $, &, _. etc.) are allowed. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags in one post. Often, interaction and engagement with a post will rise to high levels if you use more than ten hashtags in a post.

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