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Instagram Stories: 7 Ways to Use Hashtags Effectively

Instagram is one of the most effective social media platforms to showcase or expand your business. From following hashtags to adding the trending ones in your stories, the gram has evolved a lot in the past few years.

Well, probably the reason you are here is – you already know that using hashtags in stories is a necessity but, the question is ‘How?’

Let me clear the air about Instagram hashtags by discussing 7-ways in which you can use them ‘effectively’ in your stories.


What is Instagram Stories?

When Instagram stories rolled out, many of us didn’t know how to use them. But, they have slowly emerged as an influential tool to grow the reach of your business. While posts appear on your Instagram wall, the stories are accessible from your News Feed page.


Why Hashtags?

Though Instagram has witnessed multiple changes last year, the importance of hashtags remains constant. You can attract customers by using relevant and trending hashtags which results in more engagements, reach, followers, and ultimately, business growth.


How do Hashtags Work?

Instagram hashtags work by categorising and organising stories, posts, and videos just like Twitter. You can use up to 30 relatable and relevant hashtags in your single post and up to ten in your stories. Earlier it wasn’t possible to use them in stories, but thanks to a recent update, you are allowed to follow the hashtags and also add a few of them in your Insta stories.

So, hashtags transfer your posts in the hands of the right audience rather than the ones who aren’t interested in it.


7 Ways to Use Hashtags in Your Instagram Stories


  • Use Location Tags

location instagram

Using location tags in your stories gives your business exposure locally. If you wish to target the audience of a specific area, location tags can be surprisingly beneficial for you. People are nowadays searching locations through Instagram and, that is when your story will be available to them.

But, it’s not that easy to be pulled out into the larger location story in the News Feed. Your stories have to be engaging and of good quality to make it up to the larger platform.

However, you can only tag one location per story and, you have to do it by using the location sticker (no text allowed).



  • Go with the Campaign Trends

campaign trends

Instagram is famous for campaigns and the hashtags associated with it. Not to forget the recent #10yearchallenge campaign. Though it’s unclear as to who started the trend, it went viral on both Facebook and Instagram.

You can think of innovative and design pictures or videos related to your business that would fit into the campaign. If you are still struggling to emerge as a large business, unfortunately, it’s hard to guarantee that your campaign will have its own hashtag aggregated Instagram Story.

However, there might be a few brand campaigns that are trending right now and suit your business needs. So, you can always use the trending brand hashtag to get yourself included in it.


  • Stalk your Audience

instragm stories audience

Yes, you heard that right! If you want to draw customers and build up your market, never hesitate to keep an eye (positive eye) on them. Stalk your audience and look which hashtags are trending among them.

For example, there can be a hashtag like #marketingstrategy trending within your audience that perfectly matches imagery of your brand. So, you can also post a story with the same hashtag so that it appears in the aggregated #margetingstrategy stories.


  • Use excessively

According to an analysis by TrackMaven, posts with nine hashtags receive the most engagement. Hence, don’t hold yourself back from using up to ten hashtags in your stories as long as they are relevant and related to your brand. But, refrain yourself from always filling up your stories with ten hashtags.

#followmeback will certainly get you new followers but, the chances are high that they will be spammers or people who aren’t interested in your business. As a digital marketing company, you can use hashtags like #marketing, #digitalmarketing, #socialmediamarketing, #digitalmarketer, and so on.


  • Be Specific

The more specific hashtags you use on Instagram, the more relevant audience you will be targeting. And, a quality audience implies to engaging posts and stories.

For example, as a digital marketing company, you can’t go with #foodlover, #beautyessentials, or #fashionaccessories just because they are in trend! However, if you are more on the creative side, you can think of ways in which some of these hashtags can suit your brand and fit in your business needs.


  • Take Help from Instagram

take help from instagram

Whenever you search for a specific hashtag, Instagram will show you other related ones too. I searched for #digitalmarketing and, it showed me other options like #digitalmarketer, #searchengineoptimization, #marketingtips, #marketingstrategy, etc.

You can use a few of these hashtags in your stories to be a part of the extensive hashtag aggregation.


  • Take Inspiration

Why not get inspired by people who already have made an influential impression in your industry? You can check out the hashtags in their stories as well as posts. Also, you can take ideas from them for designing stories. Such people are well-established with the same audience whom you are targeting and, hence that makes sense.

Wrapping up the guide, I would like to quote that social media is all about new trends and a bit of experimenting. Something that works for you might not work for someone else! Just follow the media rules and try not to over-use something as you may end up being in the blacklist.

Do let me know in the comments section below, what do you think about Instagram stories and the hashtags.

Author avatar

Shekhar Malhotra

Shekhar Malhotra is the founder of King Crescent. He has helped companies grow online and has a proven track record for growing businesses in disruptive markets. Having built a strong niche in the fields of e-commerce, B2B, and B2C businesses.

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