Pragati Basu from Talkwalker highlights the Top Instagram Hashtags in India and delves into essential nuances of Hashtags on the platform.
Move over Facebook and Twitter – Instagram is the (not-so) new kid on the block in India. Digital marketers everywhere are trying to crack the Instagram code and a very important part of that is – Instagram hashtags. A little more on Top Instagram Hashtags in India below…
Unfortunately only good content is not enough to get you noticed on Instagram. The hashtag game and the influencer game are especially important if you want to make your presence felt on this platform.
Instagram hashtags 101
So what exactly are Instagram hashtags? Let’s start with Hashtags – in general. Hashtags – indicated by a “pound” sign turn a word or a group of words into a searchable link. So if you search for #picoftheday on Instagram, you’re going to be able to see a list of the posts tagged with it.
Marketers jumped onto this as soon as they could because not only did it mean easier tracking for them, it also meant that they could come up with creative marketing campaigns involving the usage of hashtags.
Chris Messina, a former Google employee invented the hashtag, originally proposing that it be adopted for groups on Twitter. People didn’t seem to catch on to the idea of hashtags right from the start – however, things began to change soon. People started to use the hashtag symbol in 2007 to talk about the #SanDiegoFire and the rest is history.
Top Instagram hashtags in India
I’m sure you want to know which hashtags are the most used in India. It might be worth adding them to your post – provided of course that they are relevant and fit in with the theme of your post.
1. #india – No surprise there, the most used hashtag in India is…well #india. Instagram shows about 52 million posts tagged with the hashtag #India.
2. #love seems to be the next most popular hashtag used in India. I do think that this is more of a universal phenomenon seeing as there are over 1.6 billion posts with this hashtag associated with it.
3. #instagood is another hashtag that is used super frequently in India – there are roughly 1.01 billion posts with this hashtag on Instagram and the picture below couldn’t be more typical of India if it tried!
4. #photography is next in line – with around 448 million posts with the hashtag on Instagram.
5. #photooftheday with 695 million posts follows #photography. Note that on the whole, this hashtag has more posts on Instagram in general than #photography, but for India in general, #photography seems to work better.
6. #travel – Next in line is #travel with 421 million posts.
7. #instagram with 368 million posts is the next most used hashtag in India. It’s a generic hashtag but is pretty popular in India. .
8.#follow is another hashtag that is really popular in India. It has 493 million posts associated with it on Instagram. As mentioned before, even though this may have more posts in general, it’s possible that it is less popular in India than it is in other parts of the world.
9. #picoftheday is next on the list. Globally it’s a hugely popular hashtag with 506 million posts.
10. #fashion – Last but not least, on the list of the top ten hashtags is #fashion which has 701 million posts on Instagram.
Why are Instagram hashtags important?
Instagram hashtags are important because as stated previously, it opens up a whole new avenue for marketers. They can host giveaways and competitions on Instagram, track how popular their brand is and of course, keep an eye on the competition. Here are some creative ways in which hashtags are used:
Product launches – Product launches are always exciting. And building hype around the product before it has been launched takes it one step further. One such brand that has mastered the art of creating hype is phone company OnePlus. They roped in a number of influencers for their launch campaigns and there was a massive deluge of unboxing Instagram Stories before the launch of their OnePlus6 and OnePlus7 phones.
Promoting events – Tracking the popularity of events has never been easier. Instagram provides a way for those attending events to share their thoughts on it. Alternatively, events like the Met Gala even have their own Instagram channel to track the popularity of the event.
Competition – Competitive intelligence is the formula for success for any business. It’s easy with hashtags – look at the ones used by your competitors, track how often they’re used and voila! You can find out what’s working for your competition and what isn’t simply by using their hashtag rather than combing through all of their social media activity.
How many hashtags should you use on Instagram?
Everything on Instagram is a numbers game and hashtags are no different. You have to choose not only the right hashtags but also to make sure you use the right number of hashtags. Instagram hashtags are limited to thirty per post – but don’t make the rookie mistake of using only the hashtags with the highest number of posts associated with them. That can help to a certain extent, but it won’t actually help you get engaged followers.
Additionally using hashtags that are not actually relevant to your post can actually harm your post by making it seem spammy. For instance, if you’ve posted about your office, a hashtag like #workplace or #workstation would be way more relevant than #architecture. It may seem like it’s common sense but you’d be surprised at how many people use irrelevant hashtags. I’ve done it myself!
Now that I know better, this post would have benefitted from tea-related hashtags more than generic hashtags about Instagram photography or life in a city.
A good mix would be to use a couple of popular hashtags and then more specific ones. And of course, always, always hide your hashtags so that readers don’t come across it unless they expand your post.
How to find the best hashtags to use on Instagram?
That’s a really good question to which there is no simple answer. Simply put, it isn’t easy to find the right and best hashtags for your Instagram posts. But here are some good rules and a couple of tools you can use.
- Look at the hashtags that are trending in your industry. This doesn’t apply only to business accounts – if you want to talk about a beach adventure you’ve had recently, check out what’s trending in the travel industry and use a few of those.
- Hashtags are basically like keywords. Just like in a blog post, you need to choose the keywords to rank for, you need to choose the right hashtags that are relevant to your post and objectives.
- Use a tool to find the most closely related hashtags to your theme. This free tool – Later- can be pretty cool to play around with.
- Last but not least – it goes without saying that if you’re managing a business account, always, always make sure to use your brand hashtag!
Can hashtags help you increase your number of likes and followers?
The short answer? Yes. Hashtags are one of the most important elements for increasing the number of followers in an account, engagement and more! Hashtags if chosen and used correctly and wisely can really help you find new followers and enhance engagement for your posts.
But you also have to be careful about using Instagram’s banned hashtags. Usage of any of the banned hashtags from Instagram could mean your posts actually get less engagement because they won’t show to anyone except your followers. So it’s a tricky game really if you’re not sure which hashtags are banned. In such cases, it is better to be safe than sorry – so when in doubt about a particular hashtag, look it up before using it.
Additionally, if you want to experiment with using less than 30 hashtags, go for it – more often than not it’s just a matter of using the right hashtags, not the number of hashtags.
For instance, if you’d like to post about the Cricket World Cup on your Instagram channel, it could make sense to use the related hashtags #WorldCup2019 or #ICCWorldCup2019 to maximize reach, instead of #CWC19 only.
Hashtags and Instagram Stories – Is it really worth it?
Instagram Stories have slowly but surely started to serve as an alternative to Snapchat and this means along with the images and videos you post on Instagram, Stories can be an additional source of traffic provided you use the right hashtags. But again, you need to be careful and not use too many. Using the hashtag sticker is usually a could idea and you can also simply include a hashtag in your text if you have a caption. Another thing you can do in order to increase engagement is to use Gifs and stickers as often as possible to increase your audience’s interest since that always works like a charm. Keeping people hooked is key and Instagram Stories provides a really good medium for that.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em Instagram hashtags are useful for growing your presence on Instagram. It’s a tool that you need to use with caution. If you use too many hashtags then it’s surely going to be a problem because Instagram may view the account as spammy. If you use too little, then it could be an issue as well if you don’t reach your target audience. Therefore it is worth investing some time in finding the best hashtags for your Instagram posts so that you use the “right” ones. It’s important to note that Instagram hashtags aren’t about quantity but more about quality.
This article is authored by Pragati Basu from Talkwalker