Hashtags are one of the most under-utilized and misused tools on Instagram. Does that mean that you should not use them? NO!! You most definitely should be using Hathstags with every single post - unless you are not trying to grow your Insta but let's be real - when are we not trying to grow our followings?!?!?!
When I say that hashtags are under-utilized and misused on Instragram I know that you know what I am talking about! You have heard a million times that you need to use hashtags on Instragram but do you know HOW to properly use them and utilize their full potential? Honestly, most people don't so please do not embarrassed if this is you as I am sure we have all been there!! The important thing is to figure out HOW to best use hashtags for YOUR business and What hashtags are best for your business. If you are want to be the best at hashtags keep reading!
Hashtags are how Instagram categorizes content and it is how people find you! Users not only follow accounts but they also like to "follow" hashtags as these are generally things that are trending or most important to them! This is why you want to know what hashtags your audience is using so you stay relevant, don't get lost in millions of posts and to attract your ideal client.
1. Use 30 hashtags! It is a fact that posts with hashtags get way more engagement and perform better in the Instagram algorithm better than tags that do not have hashtags. Now if you are a personal, private account your posts will still be hidden from the people that are not your approved followers on Instagram but you probably do not want strangers to follow you if you are not a business or someone who is hoping to monetize their Insta account.
2. Use Hashtags that have more that 5000 posts and less than 50,000 posts to start. You can build your way up to larger hashtag feeds but start small so that you can get into the Top Posts for your hashtags. Using a super popular tag like #coffeelover is pointless unless you have thousands of followers already as you will just get lost in the feed because millions of people are also using that tag.
3. Put your hashtags in the first comment ASAP. No need to clutter your caption with 30 hashtags (and it looks a little spammy) as you can place them in your first comment. *Remember though, if doing the first comment it is essential to post your tags ASAP. Even waiting a few minutes could lessen your chance of getting into the Top Posts for your hashtags. Adding tags to your post either in the comment or caption later does not boost your post. It goes into the algorithm as soon as posted and it ranks immediately so it is SUPER IMPORTANT to put your hashtags in immediately so people find you ASAP, like/comment on your post and you move in to the top spot!
4. Hashtag Breakdown:
Description Tags - 6 Hashtags: Should be pertinent to what the actual post/picture is about. If you are doing a post about National Coffee Day that should be what 6 of those tags are about - #coffeelover, #nationalcoffeeday, #butfirstcoffee, etc.
Community Tags - 6 Hashtags: These tags should be about you, your service/business or your community. These are the most overused tags I see and are great for quick likes but they result in followers that are similar to you or are your competition rather than your target audience. These followers are great to build your online community or support system but they do not target your ideal clients meaning, they generally do not turn into sales. An example of these tags if you are a handmade seller may include - #handmadeseller, #supportlocal, #madewithlove, etc.
Audience Tags - 18 Hashtags: These are your audience centric tags. These should be tags that your audience would use are NOT necessarily tags that describe your service or product. This is different for everyone because we all have a different service or product and target market. Spend the bulk of your time focusing on tags that your target market are using. Think of it as a hangout spot - you want to find out where your customers are hanging out and join them.
How do I find my Audience centric tags?
What I would suggest doing is checking out your competition or industry influencers and see who is following them. Choose an account with the same or similar target audience or niche as yours.
1. Check out their tags and the content they are sharing.
2. See what their followers are using. This will help you get to know your audience a bit better. While you are doing that I'd also suggest that you try to engage with them. Comment or like their posts.
Hashtags require some research and patience on your end. As badly as we all want overnight success it is just not the reality for most of us BUT you can grow your account organically and targeted to your ideal client with the help of some great hashtags!!
Instagram and hashtags are a lot of work. If you need a little more help with your #hahstags you can grab my Hashtag Research Workbook for only $9.99. The workbook along with a bonus training video is designed to walk you through the steps required to find your perfect hashtags and grow your loyal Instagram following.
Have a great day!
My name is Melanie Stoppler and I am a mompreneur! I am passionate about many things in my life including being a wife, mother, coffee connoisseur, wine lover & a social media marketing strategist.