When it comes to marketing your fitness app, hashtags are essential. If you’re new to marketing a business and are unsure how to use hashtags, it’s important to understand how they can help drive awareness to your content. The right hashtags can boost your business: According to HubSpot, some hashtags on Twitter led to over a 1,000% increase in engagement.
Generic hashtags like #YogaLove or #FitnessGirl won’t get you there, though. You need a strategy that helps you stand out from the crowd while increasing brand recognition — we’ll walk you through how to do it.
With over 95 million daily posts on Instagram, the competition is fierce. Using trending hashtags can help you get on the Instagram Explore page, which half of all Instagram users browse at least once per month. Here’s how to find hashtags manually:
Open the Instagram app and click the search icon at the bottom left.
Type a keyword hashtag related to your niche, like “crossfit,” into the search bar and click the search icon.
Then, tap “Tags.” Instagram will show you the number of posts for the keyword you searched, plus related hashtags.
Write down hashtags related to your content for later use. Since the popularity of hashtags is ever-changing, you’ll want to repeat this process regularly (we recommend monthly!) to take advantage of new and trending hashtags. Put a note on your calendar to research hashtags at the beginning of every month to boost your chances of being discovered.
If you plan to market your business on TikTok — and with 100 million active monthly users, you should! — the platform has a similar process for finding trending hashtags:
Open the TikTok app and go to the Discover page.
Type a keyword into the search bar, such as “fitness TikTok,” then click search.
Click on the “Hashtags” tab to see how many views your search term has, plus related hashtags.
Write down hashtags related to your content for later use. Remember, you want to repeat this process regularly!
Finding hashtags that your competitors use can cut down on the legwork of manually finding trending hashtags. First, identify the top three to five competitors in your niche, then analyze the hashtags they use and how many typically use per post.
Most likely, your shared audience is following these hashtags, so they’ll be more likely to see your post if you use a few of the same hashtags. You can create a spreadsheet on Google Sheets, Excel, or Notion to keep your competitors, hashtags, and content ideas organized.
In addition to doing your research and analyzing competitor hashtags, a hashtag generator may be worth a try.
Hashtagify.me lets you search any hashtag and analyze it for popularity on Twitter or Instagram. For example, a quick search shows that #hiitness has 28.4K views on Twitter and 764 posts on Instagram. On Hashtagify, you can find the hashtag’s overall popularity, recent popularity, and trends for the upcoming month and week.
RiteTag is another tool for finding hashtag suggestions — just type in your post caption and upload the accompanying photo, and it’ll generate hashtag ideas.
Generic hashtags like #fitness are super popular (488 million posts and counting on Instagram, to be exact) but aren’t the most effective for reach due to their high volume. Instagram recommends using a combination of niche and popular hashtags to reach a broader audience.
Hashtags with half a million posts or less will help increase your visibility, while industry-specific or niche ones — such as #crossfitathlete or #triathlons — can connect you to a specific community. Here’s an overview of hashtag categories based on their volume:
Super high competition: Over a million posts. Only use these hashtags sporadically once you have a substantial following of 1 million or more.
High competition: Over 500,000 posts. It will be hard to rank in the top posts for these hashtags, but they can still get you a couple of likes or new followers.
Low competition: Less than 500,000 posts. Your chances of ranking for these hashtags are higher since the competition is lower.
Extremely low competition: Less than 100 posts. Unless it’s your personal brand hashtag, consider not using these hashtags until their popularity increases.
You can also try including your location to narrow your audience down further, such as #newyorkfitness, or use hashtags with emojis.
Social media platforms treat hashtags differently, so make sure you know how to use them best depending on where you post.
Twitter: According to Twitter, it’s best to use one to two hashtags max per tweet. You can go to Trending Topics on Twitter to find hashtag ideas, and should place them at the beginning of a tweet, middle, or end for context.
Instagram: Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags in a post or reel, but case studies show that 11 hashtags is the magic number for engagement. You can include up to 10 hashtags in Instagram Stories as well.
TikTok: On TikTok, there’s a limit of 100 characters in a caption, so you’re limited when it comes to hashtags. To keep your content from looking messy, restrict yourself to a maximum of five hashtags.
Facebook: As a general rule, too many hashtags can make your content look cluttered. Use two to three hashtags maximum in the post or in the comments. Keep in mind that hashtags can also be useful for grouping content when posting in Facebook groups.
Hashtags help social media algorithms categorize your content so it can show up on potential customers’ explore pages. People also search and follow hashtags, which can help your content get seen. No matter which platform you post on, hashtags can be the secret sauce to help you grow your audience and app!
About the author
Cierra Loflin is a health and wellness freelance writer and the founder of B-Well Content. She's worked with brands like Get Me Giddy, Altitude Sports, Partner Portal, and now Playbook! When she's not writing, you can find her practicing pole fitness, making a recipe she found on Instagram, or exploring a small beach town in Mexico.
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