You know you need to use small business hashtags, but you're royally confused and frustrated on how to find leads, build your following, and expand your reach on your entrepreneur Instagram account. Instagram is your platform of choice, so your goal is to build followers so that you can generate leads and turn them into sales, but how? Here are all the hashtag hacks for Instagram that you need to know to grow your following and build your ideal audience.
Basics on Hashtags for Instagram
Why are hashtags so important? Using hashtags will allow you to show up in various searches. There are three places you can put hashtags on Instagram. In your Feed, Stories, and in your IGTV.
How many Hashtags should you use?
Many recommend using minimum of 15 - 20 per post within your feed or your IGTV.
However, I recommend that you use ALL 30!
Think about it....If you were given 30 lottery tickets would you scratch em' all? Exactly! Use them and maximize your exposure!
That may seem like a lot of work, however when you have them planned out it can be as simple as copy paste.
You are able to post 30 hashtags in your Feed, 3 hashtags within your Stories and 30 within the description of your IGTV.
What Types of Hashtags Should You Choose?
In order to get the most engagement, your strategy will need to be varied. In order to see how many posts are within a hashtag you can go to your feed, select the magnifying glass, select, "tags" and then type in the hashtag you are investigating.
Of course once you use these hashtags, there is no guarantee that your posts will actually show up in these searches because they are sorted algorithmically.
When it comes to searching. Head to your magnifying glass at the bottom of your feed, then hit the search bar at the top & then search for the hashtag you are looking for. Once you select the hashtag you will find two tabs. One is, "top", the other is, "recent"
Everything in the top is algorithmic, everything in recent is the most recent posts in that hashtag.
The algorithm shows you based on what you have told instagram that you like to see, based on your likes, searches and viewing time, that said, algorithms are individually based.
Even though you are not guaranteed a place in the search due to the algorithm, you are 10X better off using hashtags, because the alternative is that you will not even have the opportunity to be found in hashtag searches.
How to choose Hashtags for Your Feed & Your IGTV?
The best way to choose the right hashtags is to think about where your audience is.
Consider the people who are looking for your service and what types of things they are looking for. Think about the different types of problems they have and the solutions they may be searching for.
Be sure that you are selecting hashtags that are relevant to what you are posting! If you select irrelevant hashtags, Instagram will begin to score you on those errors and your posts will begin to rank lower all in all.
Another great tip:
Do a little hashtag research 30 minutes a month. Don't try to do it right before a post. Create your hashtags and then store them where you can easily copy and paste as you post content.
Then characterize your search through these 5 steps.
Step 1: Popular Hashtags
Combine a variety of hashtags, pick 3-5 as popular hashtags below 900K and above 400K.
This will provide you with an initial boost of content for a few minutes as these highly sought after hashtags are used a lot and that means you are competing for visibility.
Step 2: Moderately Popular Hashtags
Choose 5-7 hashtags in the 10K - 400K hashtags.
These moderately popular, smaller hashtags that will keep your content relevant for a longer period of time for more like hours to days.
This is where you want to spend the majority of your time.
Step 3: Super Niche Hashtags
Choose 3-5 super niche hashtags relevant to your customer and / or industry.
Because these are so niche if your content is relevant and a top performing post, you may be in the top slot for months.
That means when your potential customer sees you at the top of the feed, you become relevant for that user, they click on your post and it could be a potential lead!
Step 4: Branded Hashtags
Create a branded hashtag that you can use every time you generate content. No one person owns a hashtag, however when you create hashtags that are relevant for your business, you can urge your users to use them when you have contests, giveaways or when you're looking for them to promote your content. Try to use 1- 2 branded hashtags every time you post.
Step 5: Local Hashtags
When it comes to promoting your business locally, you may find it to be useful to use local hashtags. Choose 2-3 local hashtags each time you post to stay relevant in your area.
What else to consider as you add Hashtags to your IGTV's?
Use a similar strategy as you would on your Instagram feed posts.
You can either go live on Instagram and then upload your video to IGTV or you can upload your video to Instagram.
If you are uploading a video, select the magnifying glass then select, "IGTV," from there you can upload your video, then add a Title and Description. The description is where you explain what's happening in the video. It's also where you post your hashtags.
Change Up Your Hashtags
Keep in mind that your business discusses a variety of topics and therefore your hashtag strategy should incorporate these ideas.
One of the easiest ways I create my list of hashtags is by looking at my brand content pillars.
Once you have identified your sub topics (content pillars off of your brand message,) you can then get more in tune to what your hashtags should be by topic. Then you can store those topic based hashtags so they are easily accessible.
How to Know if the Hashtags You're Using are Working
There are two secrets to learning if the hashtags you are choosing are working on your feed.
Go to your Insta post and click the button that says, "insights."
Then scroll down to see how many people have taken actions from your post, visited your profile, followed you, and found you through a hashtag.
Leverage your Direct messaging! Ask the people who provided you with new likes or who are new followers, where they came from! Introduce yourself like you're meeting someone at the grocery store, then tell em' what you do and ask how they found you...that simple.
Not only does it give you reason to conversate, but it allows you to chat about something that they did (engage with you). Then you can lead them into a conversation about your services and offers.
How to use Hashtags in Your Stories
Stories only last 24 hours. You can only use a max of 3 hashtags in stories. It's important to know that you should be using broad hashtags in your stories rather than narrow hashtags, like in your feed!
You can add hashtags in two ways.
Technically you can use both....
1: Add hashtag to Story through Text:
You can add up to three hashtags through typing text to rank, technically you can go up to ten, but 3 is more of a guarantee. You will want to ensure that they have an underline once your done typing.
Also Instagram knows when you try to hide your hashtags or put them behind things. If you want your story to be seen, then make sure your hashtags are legible and visible.
2: Add Hashtag to Story through the Hashtag Button:
Select the sticker button, three buttons in from the top in order to add the hashtag button. Then select, "hashtag." From here type in your hashtag. You are only able to add one hashtag in this format.
The benefit for this feature is that it stands out a bit more (used for events, promotions etc).
Is there a guarantee that I will show up in that hashtag now that I have used it? Nope, but it increases your chances, so give it a shot!
Hashtags can be an incredible tool for you to grow your following of engaged users and potential customers. It is so important that you take the time to get clear on your Instagram strategy so you can grow your audience and attract the right people to your brand.
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