More and more new entrepreneurs are using social media to expand their businesses and online presence. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube a little bit of Pinterest and LinkedIn there are platforms I’m using. Each of them has its own rules or ways how to best use them. Recently I was experimenting more about Instagram. I have my profile already a couple of years and wanted to learn more on how to best use it for my business.
I’m posting some inspirational quotes in my feed to reprogram myself for more, to change my mindset and to reshape my life, but Instagram stories are used for my daily activities. So far I had a quite good engagement and have connected some great people. But I knew that there should be more possibilities on how to use Instagram. Especially if it comes to hashtags. I was using random hashtags without any plan and mostly using very popular ones. Later in this blog post, you will see that it is not very effective.
Started to search for more info on how to use hashtags effectively for my business. I came across Soraya Goddard from http://www.sorayagoddard.com and her podcast. She has an episode about tips on how to use Instagram hashtags. She has mentioned 8 tips and some examples. So I compiled those tips in this blog post.
How to use hashtags effectively for your business.
1. Use hashtags – use all 30 hashtags
One of the core elements in Instagram is Hashtag. People are searching for hashtags to get desired information. Even more, people can follow (subscribe) to a certain hashtag. Every single hashtag exposure for more people. So it is important to use a maximum number of hashtags. Currently, Instagram allows to use up to 30 hashtags. Don’t limit yourself to less, if you use fewer hashtags say 15 you are missing out of some people. More exposure is better.
2. Use hashtags your target market would be searching for.
It always a hard question what hashtags to use? The answer could be found in the benefits of the product you are marketing. Make a list of the benefit of your product and this way you could figure out the list of hashtags to use. Another source is your target market. Think about what are the things your target market should be looking for.
Do not use the name of your product or company, focus only on benefits. People will not search for your product name.
3. Don’t use hashtags of your product or your network marketing company name
If you use product or company names you will attract 9 out of 10 only people who are in your company. But the goal is to find people who are not in your company.
4. Do conduct hashtag research
To get better results it is necessary to come up with a plan. Do some research, it can take 30 minutes to 1 hour. On your phone use search bar on Instagram. Search for the benefits of your product. How many times people have searched that hashtag, consider your target market.
Just take notes and create a list of ~45 hashtags. Yes, 45 is more than a maximum allowed 30, but you should be willing to test some of them to maximize return. Find some influencers look what they are doing, find similar companies, products, look at how they are marketed. Hashtagify.me is a free tool that can be used to view related hashtags.
This is the most important activity and it will make your money.
5. Do not use very popular hashtags or that is not relevant to your main feed.
This was my mistake so far. I was using very generic hashtags with multimillion searches. But basic words like #beach, #dad, #entreprenuer are waste of a hashtag. It is searched so much that you will get very small exposure time and you will be pushed down the list.
Instead of looking for hashtags that have ~5000-500000 searches. If it has more than 500000 you will be not seen.
6. Do not copy other people hashtag sets.
The easiest way to come up with a hashtag list is by copy one from others. But it is not recommended to do that. They may be in testing mode and that it could be an experiment and would not be relevant to your goals and you could be missing some opportunities. It is recommended to do your own research.
7. Do not change hashtag set in every single image.
Set your list of 30 hashtags and use that set for ~30 days. (At least 2-3 weeks before changing with different)
And track this hashtag set, if you change for every image you cannot track numbers. Later you can test another set and then compare results.
8. Track your engagement
When you change your hashtag set you won’t be able to compare. Here are some metrics that should be measured:
– How many people are messaging or responding to your CTA (call to action)
– How many people are watching your stories, do they which all of them or drop somewhere in middle.
– Likes are not a good measure. But you may be interested in and analyze extreme values. When there is a post with a bigger or fewer number of likes than others. That could help to figure out your best posts.
– A number of comments. Comments also have some issues, sometimes we see some commenting bots that are filling comment section. Use comments to engage with people.
– If your CTA is to click on the link in the bio you should be tracking that number. There are several services that can help to track this number.
9. Do not add hashtags in the post but in a comment
Don’t jam 30 hashtags into your post. Instead, consider posting your message with no hashtags. This keeps your post clean and is more likely to engage your audience. After your post is published, immediately add hashtags in a comment. The search list posts chronologically so waiting to add tags will only cause them to show up lower on the hashtag search.
Set some time next week to figure out your set of hashtags and experiment with that. If you have figured out any other trick with hashtags please share and put it in a comment below.
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