We looked at the power of hashtags in a previous blog. Hashtag usage is one of the most significant factors that will increase your followers on Instagram and give you sustainable success on this social media platform. Of course if they were easy to master, then we would not see the plethora of so called social media guru’s selling their ideas and theories. There is no quick fix, as with most aspects of marketing it takes time and effort to analyse the data you get from your content and fine tune your hashtags to achieve your goals.
Here are some best practices to get you started, however I always recommend monitoring and managing your own hashtags relevant to your audience and objectives. Although these are focused on Instagram, most of these will apply to other platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
· Get organised, you want to create a system that allows you to analyse the effectiveness of a set of hashtags against a set of objectives, so you are not repeating the same and getting the same results, unless the results are positive of course. You can use the various social media platforms own insights or a third party to help gain the data.
· List your branded hashtag on your profile.
· Keep your audience engaged by using any entertaining hashtags at the very beginning of your hashtag list, where they’re most likely to be read. You want to keep both humans and algorithm happy.
· Use relevant hashtags to your post, monitor this and adjust accordingly. The limit is 30 hashtags per post. However, numerous case studies have found that somewhere between 8 to 11 hashtags for each post will be the sweet spot, especially if you diversify the types of hashtags.
· Switch up your hashtags, but again don’t switch too many at once, otherwise it will be hard to identify which are working. Don’t use the same hashtags on every post, for instance if you are a hair salon and do a post on blondes, don’t use the same hashtags for every blonde post.
· As part of being organised, create groups of hashtags that you can cycle through for different posts, make use of the copy and paste function. This will give variety to your reach and it will stop your account from being flagged as spammy by Instagram.
· Take time to explore each hashtag. This can help you discover new hashtags to target, and ensure that you don’t accidentally use a banned hashtag.
· Monitor and review your content and hashtags on a regular basis. Follow key hashtags relevant to your audience.