Ah, Hashtags! Where do we begin? Hashtags can make or break your business. And hashtags can be very tricky. Luckily, I’ve done some research and experimented a little. So I’m going to share my knowledge and tell you what has worked for me and what is absolutely a no go!
- Rule #1– Instagram gives you up to 30 Hashtags. USE THEM ALL. Sometimes I see posts with like 5 hashtags. How do you expect to get noticed with 5 hashtags? Think of it like this: each hashtag is a chance to get your business noticed. Bet you’ll use them all now J
- Rule #2 – Use Hashtags specific to your postat the time. For instance, if your photo is of a cute puppy sitting in the passenger’s seat of a car with a straw hat on, you’ll want to use hashtags specific to that photo like #cutepuppy or #roadtriptings or even #livingmylife. By adding hashtags that are off topic or random, you’ll ruin your chances of someone potentially finding you or finding you interesting enough to click on your profile.
Just imagine you went to the grocery store to find ice cream. You go to the freezer section and all they have in the ice cream portion of the freezer section is broccoli! You’re not going to say “Gee, instead of this ice cream, maybe I’ll take broccoli!” Ha! Nope, not how it works. If you want people to find you, add hashtags that are relevant to the post!
- Rule #3 – Don’t use generic hashtagslike #cute #happy #amazing and #life. Those hashtags have millions of photos under it, which will leave your post lost in the jungle of posts also using that hashtag. Your business may be undiscoverable, and you definitely don’t want that. Instead of using generic hashtags, try using hashtags that are relevant to your post. For instance, check out the photo below:
This is a photo taken in NYC. Therefore, you could include hashtags such as #NYClife #NYPhotography #ScenicViews etc. You get the picture!
- Rule #4 - Use Hashtags in your Instagram Stories – Yep, you read that right. Since Instagram has changed its algorithm, pages and posts aren’t being found the same way anymore. In fact, since Insta changed the algorithm, it’s much harder for businesses to see their posts have high engagement unless they’ve already built their following.
So you’re going to have to put in a little extra work with posting to your Instagram stories. If you’re at a local pub or bar, add your location to your story. That way users who are trying to find posts associated with the location can find your post, therefore, finding you!
- Rule #5 - Post up to 3 times per dayto make the most of your hashtags. The more you post, the more of a chance you have of getting found. However, I am going to say this: I have recently found that posting 2-3 or even 1-2 times per day makes my followers fluctuate as opposed to posting around 3 to 4 times per week. However, this doesn’t mean that since it’s working for me, it will work for you.
Also, I’ve seen my engagement increase by adding to my stories (with a hashtag), while posting directly to Instagram a little less.
- Rule # 6 – Spice up your hashtag life! Don’t use the same old boring hashtags for every single one of your posts. You’re not finding your way to new users by doing this. Switching up your hashtags allows users searching for different hashtags to find your brand.
- Rule #7 – Check the hashtags you’re thinking about attaching to your photos. Make sure the aesthetic for that hashtag is something you want to have your brand associated with. For instance, we know all entrepreneurs have #goals. But most of the content associated with the hashtag #goals is workout and fitness content.
So if you attach #goals to one of your posts, your content may not receive a lot of likes because its mixed in with a bunch of gym shots and healthy meal prep posts. So make sure you’re researching the content behind the hashtag before you hashtag your post with it.