Instagram is currently the 3rd largest social media platform (behind Facebook and YouTube) with 800 million active users. And 500 million of us log in daily – a stat which is growing super fast as people embrace the platform.
It is a great platform to build and communicate your brand story because each post can be a micro-blog.
Instagram is for connecting and converting. Your aim is to take your audience on a journey of what their life would be like if they were a customer, showing them through your images and messaging, then directing them over to your website (in a non-salesy way!).
I follow a number of experts to learn as much as I can about Instagram because it’s constantly evolving.
There are always different opinions out there on what hashtag strategy will get you the most engagement or growth on your account, which can be confusing and have you end up going round in circles.
To save you time, I have compared the latest info from Hillary Rushford, Kerwin Rae, Tracy Harris and a few other keen Instagrammers to come up with these top 5 tips for Instagram hashtags.
1. Build a hashtag list using the search terms your ideal customer would look for. Include a wide range of hashtags; some local ones, some industry ones, popular ones and niche ones.
Why? It’s good to have a diverse range of hashtags so you spread your net wide to attract your ideal customer. If you use a niche hashtag that has been used less your post will likely stay near the top of the page for longer.
If you use a very popular hashtag, your post will be viewed by more people, however it will quickly be buried by the newer posts.
2. Use your quota of 30 hashtags, but don’t always use the same hashtags! Make sure you have a much bigger hashtag list to choose from and always try to throw in a new one or two.
There was a rumour that you should use less hashtags but this has been discredited. The more hashtags you use, the more searches your post will appear in. Simple.
Using new hashtags opens you up to potential new followers.
3. Split your hashtag list up into hashtag groups. Then you can select the most relevant groups for each post.
It’s important to make your posts unique, or Instagram will think they are spammy and push down your visibility.
If you use hashtag groups you can easily copy and paste your hashtags in, but mix up the groups you use each time so you’re cycling the hashtags. And adding a new one or two makes it unique!
4. Save your hashtag groups into your keyboard shortcuts on your phone to make it easy to insert them when typing your post.
This one is an awesome time saver for those of us who use their phones to write posts. Go into your phone settings / keyboard shortcuts to set them up. Thank you Amanda Harrington (ajharringtonphotos.com) for this one!
5. Post some hashtags in the comments. You can then go back and delete this comment after a few hours and add a new comment with more hashtags.
There are some who say to put hashtags in the caption and some swear by the comments. Why not hedge your bets and do a bit of both!
This tip about deleting the comment and adding new hashtags came from Kerwin Rae (kerwinrae.com).
I would recommend posting your niche hashtags in the second comment because you’re likely to get more visibility with less other people using them. The post’s timestamp doesn’t change so it will have already fallen down the feed on the most popular hashtags).
Do you have any tips I didn’t mention? Comment below and let me know!