How to choose the right hashtags for Instagram
What is a hashtag?
Hashtag is a singular word or a phrase with a hashtag # in front of it. They are a way to categorize where your post is seen on Instagram. Facebook and twitter use this as well. Instagram released the feature this year, where you can follow a certain hashtag. If you love dogs, you can follow #dogs. This will in return change your Instagram feed, and show you more dogs.
Why should I use Hashtags?
If you like audience for your Instagram account, you must use hashtags. Used incorrectly on the other hand, is like skipping them all together. Hashtags can not only bring you new followers for your account, they can bring you the right follower! That is incredibly powerful. We are all looking for our ideal client. If they are on Instagram, you can find them through hashtags.
Hashtag tip #1
This tip is the most powerful and the most important tip of all hashtag tips you will get. (Tip is a weird word). Go for hashtags that fit the size of your account. If your followers are in the 100’s you can’t go for hashtags that have millions of posts. There are so many people posting to that hashtag, that your post will be gone within a second you post it.
Hashtag tip #2
Follow the tags where your clients are. For me, I manage Facebook ads for local businesses, it makes sense for me to use local business hashtags such as #denverbusiness. If you aren’t restricted to local, you can go with a broader hashtag.
Hashtag tip #3
Focus on hashtags that are large enough to have top posts, but don’t have more than 80K posts. When you grow, you can grow that maximum number. The goal is to get on the top post grid. If you post in a very large hashtag that has hundreds of thousands of posts, and you only have 300 followers, it is unlikely you will even be seen.
Hashtag tip #4
Be consistent. You can use 30 hashtags. Use as many as you can. And keep using the same ones. That way, you are getting your content in front of the same crowd on a consistent basis. This also means, you have to have a social media strategy in place. Some might think that with switching up the hashtags, you get in front of more audience. That is simply not true. I am going to break it down to you not so gently. You are not special enough to stop people in their tracks with one single post. Your content is not unique enough to make people flock after you like groupies. It’s all about consistency and quality. They need to see your posts 7-9 times before their brains even registers you. (This is where personal branding becomes powerful).
Stop being inconsistent with your hashtags. Use the same ones. If you post manually, copy them to your phone and then copy paste them. If you use a social media management tool, save the hashtags there.
Hashtag tip #5
Figure out the right time of day to post your content. There is no right formula for this. Your audience is different from mine. Test and review. For me, early morning (before I even think about opening my eyes in the morning) seems to be the best. I’m not a morning person, so I use a scheduling system. It takes time to test this.
[quote]Hashtags can really lift your business to the next level on Instagram. Growing your account organically is tough and it takes patience. Just like running a business, building audience is a marathon. Here are some bonus tips for how to get the most out of your account.[/quote]
Bonus tip #1
Create a consistency. The reason I recommend personal branding for Instagram users is that showing your face frequently allows your audience to get to know you. If you are in the nutrition business and you keep posting photos of food, you aren’t doing anything different from others. Pretty photos of food will not distinguish you from the other nutrition-based businesses. Photos of YOU cooking, or eating the food, is much more noticeable. They get to know your face and the more often they see you, they start wondering, what does she/he have to say. I should pay attention.
Bonus tip #2
Quality over quantity. Don’t spam your audience. Create a 3 month’s plan and use a scheduling system to post once a day. Most Instagram users post 5 days a week, the more hardcore ones 7 days a week. They aren’t spamming you, and when they post, you listen because they give you quality content.
Bonus tip #3
Give value. You must build a relationship with your clients. Show them your knowledge, give them valuable tips. To start off with, they don’t care about you, they care about themselves, and the information you give them. Once that relationship is built, they start caring a little bit about you. Ask yourself, how can I serve my audience today, who is this post for, and how will it be of value to them?
Bonus tip #4
Go for engagement. The number of likes doesn’t matter if you have no engagement. Often you can see which accounts purchased followers. Those are the accounts with little to no likes and comments regardless of having 10K followers.
If your followers comment on your post, answer them. Thank them for their comment, like their comment. It shows you care. When people feel taken advantage off, or that they don’t matter, they will hit that dislike button!
Create engaging posts, and always have a call to action. This can be something like, “tag someone who needs to hear this” or “If you agree double tap this post”.
Nurture the followers you have, and they will become your biggest fans and help your growth!
I hope you liked this post, let me know in the comments or what’s even better, join my Facebook group which is filled with support and helpful content for small business owners!
I would love to connect on Instagram!