Hashtags are a way of categorising Instagram posts within the community. A simple search of a hashtag will show you all the photos and videos associated with that hashtag. Instagram lets you add up to 30 hashtags to any post, they can be an incredibly useful way to get your content in front of your potential customers. Instead of just randomly writing slightly relevant hashtags on your posts, follow our simple strategy to maximise the potential of your hashtags.
1. Start with 5 very popular hashtags within your industry. These hashtags should have around 100,000 to 500,000 or more posts associated with them. For example if you were a bridal designer the popular hashtags you may use could be: #Wedding #Marriage #WeddingDress #WeddingPhotography and #Bride. These will create an immediate burst of engagement with your post as these hashtags are always being looked at by a huge amount of people!
2. Then choose 5 medium level popular hashtags, but still linked to your industry. These hashtags are more likely to have 10,000 to 100,000 posts associated at them. So, still very popular but you a better chance of staying on the first page for longer when people are searching for this hashtag. We suggest looking at related and suggested hashtags in the search to find the best options for these.
3. Next, you should focus on your businesses niche. What is your unique selling proposition? Then convert this into 5 niche hashtags! These hashtags may only have 10,000 or less posts associated with them but will be specifically targeted to people searching for something that your company offers! For example if you are Cafe specialising in gluten free food you could use the niche hashtags #GlutenFreeCafe #GlutenFreeLondon #GlutenFreeCakes #GlutenFreeCoffee and #GlutenFreeCoffeeShop. If people are searching for a niche on instagram hashtags your company will be at the forefront of their search.
4. Finally you should include 5 branded hashtags. These are the personal hashtags for your brand. Exclusive to your company, the only posts that should come up in a search for these hashtags should be your own content and content from your customers promoting your business. For example, you may have been at an event, such as a festival and have been told to share your pictures with their branded hashtag. Encouraging your audience to use your branded hashtags is basically asking them to advertise your brand for free!
When using hashtags your aim should be to be at the top of the search. By using this 20 hashtag strategy on every single one of your posts you increase your chances of being the top picture on a hashtag page. Once you’ve come up with your 20 hashtags, it’s easy to save them somewhere to simply copy and paste onto every post!
Now you have 20 hashtags that you can simply copy and paste onto every post, we suggest making the next 10 hashtags specific to the video or photo you are posting.
Remember that great engagement on Instagram starts with great content, once you have a beautiful image or video don’t let it get lost in the clutter! What is it about this image that you want people to see? What is so special about it? This is where specific hashtags can help!
For example if we were posting for a swimming pool in Birmingham called ‘Splash’ we could post this image:
Our 20 hashtags for all our posts would be:
#Swim #Swimming #SwimmingPool #SwimmingTime #LeisureCentre #SwimmingPools #SwimmingFun #OlympicPool #Birmingham #BirminghamLeisure #BirminghamActive #BirminghamPool #BirminghamFitness #HealthyBirmingham #SportsBirmingham #Splash #SplashBirmingham #SplashPool #SplashPoolBirmingham
In comparison, our 10 post specific hashtags would be:
#Swimmers #Athletes #Jump #Colourful #Blue #Race #SwimmingRace #SwimmingGala #SwimmingTeam #BirminghamSwimmingTeam
Through this example you can clearly see the difference in the two sets of hashtags. The last 10 hashtags clearly describe what is in the image rather than the brand we are trying to promote. Using post specific hashtags you are more likely to reach a wider range of people, people that may not be searching for your a business like yours but come across your image and therefore click on your profile to find out more.
If someone is looking for a specific hashtag they will come across your business and if they like your content, they are likely to follow. It’s all about being at the right place at the right time. When do you think your audience is scrolling through instagram? What are they searching for? What content do they want to see?
In this toolkit you will be guided through the steps to start building out a brand strategy for your business or yourself. This is going to help you fine tune your marketing efforts to make sure your brand is memorable and engaging for your ideal customers.
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