Today’s tips are all about hashtags These are easy to implement but should have a big impact on your page. As with all social media keep testing to see what works for you, and be ready to pivot and try a different strategy at any moment.
Why use hashtags? To help users find something they are interested in or is relevant to them. Use them to put your brand in front of the right people to grow your audience, increase engagement and build your business if that is one of your goals.
How many should I use? The maximum number allowed is 30. Should you use all 30? Maybe not. Using the top hashtags can help you find followers, but are they the right type of follower that will engage you? A good number to shoot for is 12-15 relevant tags.
Where should I put them? Caption or comments? If you’re interested in hiding your hashtags you can put them in comments so that after a few others make comments they are essentially buried unless someone searches all the comments. Alternatively, you can hide hashtags below the comments by using dots or line breaks.
Research your hashtags
Users – what does your target market look for and respond to? You can look back at your own posts or check out your competitors for that. Which leads to …
Competitors – use the same or similar hashtags to try to get the same type of results or move in the opposite direction and use completely different ones.
Influencers – they are influencers for a reason so you should take cues from them. No need to mimic what they do – keep it natural and true to you.
Instagram suggestions – go to your search bar and enter a keyword and click on tage. Instagram provides alternate hashtags and the number of public posts with that tag.
Whatever path you choose, keep it relevant to you, your brand, your audience and the photo. You don’t want to use #happy when the photo shows something that certainly is not happy.
There are 4(ish) types of hashtags you should look at when deciding what to use to help get the results you are looking for. I have already mentioned popular vs very target, niche type tags. #love or # photooftheday can reach a lot of people and may be good for some easy likes to help boost engagement quickly and thereby helping your post appear at the top of other pages. But a very targeted and not so popular tag such as #squishyfacedogs is going to lead to a more engaged audience than #dogsofinsta will. Another way to approach your hashtags is more relevant to those who want utilize their Instagram for business. As a social media manager, I like to stay on top of what others in the industry are doing, and will likely get good interaction using something like #smm. The interaction is great but an industry specific hashtag such as this is not likely to be the ideal client I want to put myself in front of. Yes, you can definitely argue that maybe someone is going to search for a social media manager by searching the tag #smm. Conversely, you should use hashtags that are industry specific to your target market. So if one of my target markets is auto repair shops I could use the #mechanic with 925,578 public posts, #mechanicwork with a significantly lower number of public posts at 6,926 along with something like #socialmedia and then the mechanic searching for his industry posts may see your post talking about how a repair shop can benefit from using social media.
Finally, to keep track of the hashtags you are using or would like to use, just pop them into Google Sheets. With this tool you can categorize to your liking, keep track of the number of public post, how many times you have used the hashtag and the responses you have received and it is easily accessed on mobile.
What hashtags are you going to use? Do you have industry-specific hashtags?
Leave me a message if you have questions or if you are ready to claim back some of your time and want to leave social media to someone else.