This month we have been talking all about Instagram and how you can implement using this platform as a tactic within your content marketing strategy. Social media sites like Instagram have become the new search engine for people seeking other people, businesses, products, and services.
Social media marketing has opened many doors for marketers who now have the ability to reach many more individuals from all across the globe. Instagram uses an interesting method called hashtags, which are used to target certain individuals who are seeking a particular topic. Without researching proper hashtags, profiles become very cumbersome to manage for small business owners.
Why Hashtags Are So Important
Engagement is everything when you are growing your business online through social media sites like Instagram. For many small business owners, gaining the necessary attention on social media can be a bit slow and daunting at first. Hashtags are a way for you to attract certain individuals who are interested in the content you are pouring your heart and soul into curating and designing. The purpose of hashtags is to categorize specific content on relevant topics to encourage engagement within social media platforms. By using these hashtags, you are creating a searchable and linkable word or phrase. For example, a great way for users to search for posts on the same topic is by clicking on a hashtag. From there, you will be taken to a page with all the posts that have used that same hashtag.
As a small business owner, it is vital to understand how and why you need to use hashtags in every post that is published. Instagram allows up to thirty hashtag words or phrases. Be careful as to not add any more than that, for you may get shadowbanned and not seen by anyone. Many brands take advantage of using hashtags to gain more likes, comments, and new followers. There is a strategy behind choosing the perfect hashtag and it starts with making sure your profile is set to public. Obviously, if you are a product or service based business, you are going to want to set your profile to “public,” as it can then be seen by anyone who stumbles upon your profile, search your chosen hashtags, or maybe they saw your post on the top trending page of Instagram!
How To Select The Right Hashtags
Research. Research. Research is the absolute best way to get ahead at anything. The more you know, the easier it is to strategize. By using relevant hashtags that are inline with your brand will increase your visibility to new users. A great place to start researching is to check out your competitors and influencers posts and hashtags. It’s just as important to know your target audience as it is to know your competition. Use their choices as a base for choosing different types of hashtags that you can include into your posts.
There are many types of Instagram hashtags you can choose from, which all depend on your goals, intentions, and graphics you choose to use. Listed below are a few types of hashtags to have in your collection.
- General hashtags
- Niche hashtags
- Community-related hashtags
- Location hashtags
- Branded hashtags
Creating a perfect combination of these different types of hashtags will generate more engagement throughout your published posts. There are many hashtag tools out there to help save you time when researching relevant hashtags. Instagram offers an easy and simple way to do that. Simply click on the search icon then tabs. From here you will type in each hashtag to see how many posts are currently attached to it. Other programs will tell you if a hashtag is being overused, good, or great to use.
Some other areas to add hashtags to are within your Instagram stories. You can hide up to ten hashtags behind an emoji and your story will show up in the top ten posts for that hashtag. Also, consider adding hashtags to your bio. It’s a great place to tag your next event!
Styling Your Hashtags and Creating a Backup Database
Styling your hashtags are simple. Simply use the pound sign (#) followed by one of your chosen keywords or keyword phrases. Be sure to not include any spaces and use all lowercase letters. For example: #marketing and #socialmediamarketing. When adding your hashtags to your Instagram post, it’s best to add them as a comment preceded by four dots. Here’s an example of how to format your hashtags:
#socialmedia #marketing #texas
Now that you’ve chosen your most optimal hashtags, you will want to keep them in a secure database that is being backed up often. The last thing you want to happen is to lose this priceless information and all the time it took to create it. A cloud-based software program like Google Drive is amazing program to use. Your documents can be accessed from anywhere you are at and saved instantaneously.
Another important aspect of using hashtags appropriately is that the hashtags you chose should be relevant to the graphic you are posting. Graphics or images that look alike won’t stand out. Do a research of your hashtag to see which of your graphics stands out the most. This brings us back to our last blog post about creating graphics in Canva for Instagram. By creating a pattern that looks appealing in a grid format, it will help make that hashtag/ graphic stand out amongst the others.
By understanding how to market your business to customers appropriately, will help you develop a great strategy for using hashtags. Instagram is an amazing platform that can give your business a ton of attention when done correctly.
Join us next week for our last blog post of our four-part series on how to grow your business online using Instagram. We will be talking about how to schedule your posts.