Promoting Print on Demand with Instagram: All About Hashtags

Like all social media platforms, Instagram has become an important marketing tool in recent years. The correct use of hashtags is absolutely essential and can be the difference between success and failure when it comes to using Instagram for marketing purposes. In this edition of the Pivotal Prints blog, we'll look in more detail at the use of Instagram hashtags and help you to use them to best effect for marketing your print on demand product portfolio and brand awareness.

A hashtag is a brief label that helps to categorise content and consists of a word or phrase preceded by the # symbol. When used on an Instagram post, the hashtags can be clicked individually; this provides the user with a page that lists all other posts that have been tagged with that particular hashtag.

When you use a hashtag on a post, that post will thus appear on the relevant page for that hashtag. Instagram users often choose to follow particular hashtags, which could mean that they see your posts on their feed even if they are not following you on Instagram.

A hashtag can consist of quite literally anything. They generally fall into specific categories such as:

  • Product or Service Hashtags. These are the most basic and consist of keywords that describe the product or service, such as #CustomTShirts or #Perso­nali­sed­Gifts
  • Niche Hashtags. These allow you to be a bit more specific in order to reach target audiences and could include things like #Garmen­tDe­signer or #Fanta­syC­lothing
  • Instagram Community Hashtags. Instagram is home to a number of online communities and this type of hashtag helps you to connect with them. Think things like #Fashi­onis­ta­sOf­In­stagram or #StyleGurus
  • Special Event Hashtags. You can use these to share news of special offers, promotions or new products. They're also great for tapping into existing audiences in your particular field: #Inter­nati­ona­lT­ShirtDay is a great example. In case you're wondering, International T-Shirt Day is absolutely genuine and takes place on 21st June each year across Europe!

On a regular Instagram post, you are allowed to include up to 30 hashtags; this figure drops to 10 for Instagram Stories. Though this is the permitted figure, it doesn't mean that you have to use so many: in fact, this can be coun­ter­pro­duc­tive and can be seen as annoying by Instagram users.

You can find out what hashtags are trending by searching for a hashtag on Instagram, which will show you the number of posts that have previously used said hashtag. The search also returns a lost of other similar hashtags currently popular on the platform. If you're using a mobile, simply enter the search term and then click 'Tags'. From a desktop or laptop, you'll need to search for the hashtag by including the preceding # symbol.

It is important not to keep posting the same list of hashtags on all of your posts. As well as appearing lazy, it can also have serious negative effects on the success of your posts. Posting repetitively like this will be picked up by Instagram's algorithm, which will penalise your content in search results and lead to less people seeing your posts.

If you're not using Instagram as a marketing tool already then you should seriously consider it. Not convinced? Check out these statistics, all sourced from Hootsuite...

  • 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day
  • The potential advertising reach on Instagram is a massive 928.5 million
  • 63% of people who use Instagram check the app at least once every day, with 42% opening the popular app multiple times per day
  • 81% of Instagrammers use the app to research products and services before making a purchase
  • Nine out of ten users follow at least one brand on Instagram

No matter how well you think out and implement marketing strategies, whether on Instagram or anywhere else, you need to be able to back it up with top-quality custom-printed products and reliable, fast and seamless drop shipping services. That is where Pivotal Prints can help. Find out more about our products and services on the Pivotal Prints website and do not hesitate to contact our experienced team for further information, advice and support.

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