Used right, Instagram is a goldmine of engagement and sales for your business.
For people to engage with you and buy what you sell, they need to see your posts. Hashtags are proven as a free way to attract more attention to your Instagram posts.
This article will itemize some of the best Instagram hashtags for small businesses in Nigeria.
What are Instagram hashtags?
Instagram hashtags are words or phrases used to categorize Instagram posts.
Adding the hash symbol (#) before a word or phrase in your caption tells the Instagram algorithm that your post is related to that word or phrase.
Over 90% of users on Instagram follow business pages, people can also follow hashtags if they are interested in content marked with such hashtags.
Therefore, like brands they follow, content categorized by hashtags they follow show up on their feeds.
Why you should use Instagram hashtags
Hashtags look ugly in post caption, yes?
So why should you bother?
They are free, and when you use them right, they drag curious people to your profile.
Depending on how you set up your page, this could result in more followers for you or even sales.
Here are three benefits of using hashtags in your posts.
More post views
Hashtags increase the reach (number of people who) on your Instagram posts.
Instagram is programmed to show people posts that are similar to the ones they engage with.
This keeps them on the platform – sneaky, right?
Marking your posts with hashtags increases your chances of them reaching those people interested in your type of content.
Instagram shows users posts that are similar to other things they’ve looked at.
Hashtags are like search terms people use on Instagram.
Therefore, when users search for words related to certain businesses or content, they see posts related to such.
Hashtag your posts for visibility.
Increased Post/Profile Engagement
Imagine you enjoy eating mushrooms, so you follow the #mushroomeater.
When you see beautiful posts about mushrooms, what do you do?
Yes, you like or comment.
That’s what happens when people who enjoy your particular type of post stumble upon your content.
They engage with it – they like or comment just to show love and appreciation.
Remember the mushroom posts you like?
Sometimes, it hits different and you wish to learn more about the brand that posted that particular mushroom content on Instagram.
You visit their profile and find out they have several other mushroom-related posts.
They are hosting an Instagram Live event for mushroom lovers in some days time.
How do you keep in touch with this mushroom brand you’re falling in love with?
Simple, you follow them.
Some people who find your content due to hashtags visit your profile.
From your profile, they can get hooked on your previous posts.
Ultimately, some people follow you on Instagram to see your future posts.
How to use Instagram hashtags correctly
Hashtags could give you a windfall of impressions that could change your business forever.
However, you need to be careful not to misuse hashtags and face the wrath of the Instagram algorithm.
Not every hashtag is a good hashtag.
You shouldn’t use a hashtag because it worked for another business.
Research the appropriate Instagram hashtags for your business and use them wisely.
Here are tips on how to use Instagram hashtags correctly for your business.
Use only hashtags relevant to you
It is tempting to shove #davido in your post. Everyone likes Davido.
Is my post related to Davido?
How would I feel as a Davido fan when I see a pharmaceutical company’s post on my feed for #Davido I follow?
Not only does your trend-jacking annoy people, but Instagram is also watching.
When your hashtag use does not translate to engagement, this tells the algorithm you used the hashtag dubiously.
And they punish your future posts with low reach.
Use relevant Instagram hashtags only.
Use hashtags specific to your post
It is tempting to use broad hashtags because millions of posts already use them.
You feel this translate to more reach.
Yes, it could, but how do you feel when your post is seen by someone in Singapore.
Do you sell to people in Singapore?
It is recommended to use hashtags used by 20 thousand to 1 million posts.
Type your hashtags in Instagram’s search bar to be sure before you use them.
Separate your hashtag from your caption
Blocks of hashtags put people off. Most people don’t want to see your hashtags.
The sensible thing to do is place a gap between your main caption and your block of hashtags.
You can use the hyphen (-) or the underscore (_) symbols to demarcate your caption and hashtags.
You can also try using #hashtags with words in your caption where they fit.
Avoid banned hashtags
Using banned Instagram hashtags prevents your post from reaching people.
“I didn’t know” is not an excuse.
If you do it too often, you could get him with a drastic downgrade of reach.
The streets call it ‘shadow ban’
There are lists of banned hashtags. However, these lists are inconclusive and subject to change.
How do you know an Instagram hashtag is banned?
Simple, type it in the search bar, click on it and see what happens.
If you get the message;
“Recent posts for #searchedhashtag are hidden because some posts may not follow Instagram’s Community Guidelines.”
Ok, just omit that hashtag from your post, it is banned.
Do not use banned Instagram hashtags.
How do you find the best hashtags for your posts?
When looking for the best Instagram hashtags for your post, you need to be careful.
Do away with popular (broad) hashtags that have been used by millions of posts. They won’t get your posts noticed.
Popular hashtags work for popular brands, use hashtags your page can handle. Start with Instagram hashtags used by 20,000 to 1,000,000 posts.
You can find such hashtags by doing the following.
Research your competition
It is unwise to copy and paste hashtags from your competitors’ pages.
However, you can look into their page to figure out hashtag use that gave them the most engagement.
Avoid competitors at the same level as you.
Check out brands occupying where you wish to be in future. Look into their hashtags.
In business, starting from where your competitors end helps you move quickly.
Build on what they have done and do better.
The ocean is vast for a lot of fish to swim 😉
Research influencers in your field
Influencers are not always those guys with millions of followers.
Real influence is more than numbers.
People are more loyal to influencers than businesses.
Influencers make money by being informed about the latest in their field or industry.
Therefore, they are likely to use the best hashtags for their posts.
Gather hashtags used by the influencers in your industry and check back regularly to get trending hashtags.
Don’t be selfish, engage their posts while you’re there.
Create your hashtag
Instagram hashtags go beyond getting more reach for your post.
They are tags for Instagram posts which begs the question;
What is the best hashtag?
I’ll spare you the suspense, the best hashtag is your branded hashtag.
That hashtag that any other business will be silly to use.
That hashtag always calls attention to you alone in a sea of other businesses like yours.
Tell people on your bio to tag you with your specific hashtag when they use your product. This is free marketing for you.
Now that we know;
- what Instagram hashtags are
- how they can help your business
- how best to use use them
- and how to find them;
Here are 39 popular hashtags that contain the word ‘Nigeria’;
#nigeria #nigerianwedding #lagosnigeria #madeinnigeria #nigerian #nigerianfashion #nigerianweddings #nigerianfood #nigerians #nigeriawedding #thisisnigeria #buynigerian #nigerianbusiness #bigbrothernigeria #laughnigeria #nigerianbride #nigeriafashion #nigeriaweddings #pulsenigeria #nigerianwomen #myweddingnigeria #proudlynigerian #weddingnigeria #onlyinnigeria #igbankwunigeria #nigerianweddingpictures #nigerianblogger #nigeriancelebrities #nigeriandesigner #nigerianonlinestore #makeupartistinnigeria #nigerianmusic #nigerianbrand #nigerianphotographer #nigerianmua #nigeriancuisine #nigerianstyle #nigerianmen #nigerianvendors
Some of these hashtags are great for small business owners in Nigeria as they serve to tag your business as a Nigerian business.
Nobody can give you the best Instagram hashtags for small businesses in Nigeria – do your research to get what is best for you.
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