The Farm Biz Blog

Fresh on the blog, get free tips and tricks to grow your agricultural business online.

What You Need To Know About Hashtags

social media Jan 14, 2023

I’ve been a lot of feedback lately from this community feeling like they just can’t quite get a grasp on how to effectively use hashtags, so here’s a quick guide to how to best make use of this Instagram feature.

Let’s get to it!

What the heck is a hashtag?

Instagram uses hashtags to help sort and organize similar content into categories. When you add a hashtag to a post and as long as your account is public, Instagram adds your post to the corresponding hashtag page.

By using appropriate hashtags, we can get our content in front of the folks we want to be discovered by.

Below is an example of a post showing some hashtags I used in a post (left) and the page showing posts associated with one of the hashtags (right).

What hashtags do I use?

My number one tip when trying to grow your business is to use hashtags that your customer would use to try and find a business like yours.

It’s cool if you want to use #regenerativeagriculture but know that in doing that, you’re mostly going to attract other farmers who are likely not your ideal customer. Now that can help you get engagement which will in turn allow your content to be seen by more people, it’s important to also include hashtags that are more customer driven.

Some examples of types of hashtags to use:

  • Location based hashtags: This is especially important for those who sell in a local market. Examples include, #artisancheesepa, #bcfarms, #vancouver, or #cattleranchcalifornia

  • Industry hashtags: While this won’t likely get you many new customers directly, it can increase engagement which is important to growth. Examples include #grassfedbeef, #bceggproducers, or #cattlemen

  • Customer focused hashtags: These are things your customers might search to find you. Examples include: #thingstodoinok #farmersmarketsinbc #farmweddings

  • Branded hashtags: These are hashtags associated with your farm or business. Examples include: #centralparkfarms, #cpfeats, and #marketingforfarmers

Things to keep in mind:

  • Limit the number of heavily used hashtags because it reduces the likelihood of your post actually being seen when folks are searching that hashtag. An example would be #organic, while it might apply to your product it’s been used over 50 million times so unless you have a huge account your post will likely get buried in a sea of other posts.

  • Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags in a post so be sure to make use of them to increase your chance of showing up.

How do I find hashtags to use? I’m running out of ideas!

Since it’s important to not only use relevant hashtags but to also mix them up, it’s important to get a nice collection of options to use for your various content pillars.

Personally, I use the app HishHash to not only organize my hashtags by theme but to also research other options for those themes. Bonus, the app easily allows you to cut, copy, and paste 30 random hashtags for a specific content theme for your post saving you a ton of time typing them out when uploading content to Instagram.

Ideas of where to find appropriate hashtags:

  • Look at what popular accounts in your industry use. I’m not saying copy exactly but by all means add whatever hashtags that are also relevant to you to whatever system you’re using to store your lists of hashtags

  • Use an app like HishHash, Planoly, or Later to research your hashtags

How do I know if my hashtags are working?

Your Post Insights are a great way to know if your hashtags are working but keep in mind that you’ll only get to know if a specific group was effective not which ones from the group.

Now just because a set worked on a specific post doesn’t mean you should use that same set over-and-over because Instagram doesn’t like that… and unfortunately no matter how great the hashtags are, if your post doesn’t resonate with the audience searching for content under that hashtag, it’s not going to get the traction you’re hoping for.

That said, hashtags are still really valuable and they certainly aren’t dead. As you can see below, hashtags increase the reach on this post of mine by 9,092 people.

Copy of Untitled (2).png

So as you can see, as much as figuring out a good hashtag strategy can sometimes feel like a shot in the dark, it’s worth the effort.

If you’re struggling to get motivated you use hashtags then try out HishHash or a similar app, it’s helped me make the process much quicker.

Let's get growing!

Want Helpful Marketing Tips Direct In Your Inbox?

Join our community and I'll send you tangible tips to grow your business online.

You're safe with me. I'll never spam you or sell your contact info.