Using Instagram hashtags is one of the most effective ways to increase engagement and reach new audiences. Here’s how to develop a practical strategy to grow your business.
Step 1: Move your Instagram to a Business Profile. This provides you access to Instagram Insights and allows you to promote your posts.
Step 2: Research your target audiences, your competitors, and industry leaders and create a list of hashtags they are using/following. Also make note of related hashtags from the list of hashtags shown in Instagram. This is a good place to start as you test effective hashtags for your business.
Step 3: Once you have used a hashtag on a post, click “view insights” and see how your hashtag choices are performing.
Step 4: Swipe up to get the full view and pay particular attention to the “From Hashtag” number. This is the number of views your post received through your hashtags.
Step 5: Develop(or purchase access to)a system that will monitor your traffic and identify your best performing hashtags. A spreadsheet is likely the most lo-fi solution. Create columns with “Hashtag”, “category”, “number of posts”, “number of from hashtag”, etc. Keep this up to date and review your metrics each week.
Step 6: Create an ever evolving list of effective hashtags under 3-5 categories and then rotate through them in your posts. Using a variety of hashtags will keep your message fresh. Niche posts for your brand, category of business, lifestyle will likely yield the most quality engagements, new follows and new audiences.
Step 7: Use hashtags in your Instagram bio. Simply add a # before any words in your bio and that word will become a clickable link, leading visitors to that hashtag.
Step 8: Add hahstags (up to 10) to your instagram stories as well. You can put them in your text or use a sticker. Those who use the Search & Explore option will see you in there results if searching for your hashtag.
Once you’ve mastered this task, consider following your most effective hashtags. This gives you the opportunity to be shown on your feed and the hashtag feed. Showing in two feeds increases your views.
You can also consider creating a branded hashtag unique to your visit and then invite your viewers to also follow that hashtag. This will help to build your instagram community and promote your campaigns. A branded hashtag may be your brand name, your tagline, or a consistent theme related to your brand lifestyle. You can use more than one. The key is to get your followers to use these hashtags to help you reach new audiences. In my shoe business, I could use #roxannelava (my brand), #homeiswheremyshoesare (my tagline) and #handmadetoorder (a theme).
You can use community hashtags that are broad themes that relate to your business. Using my shoe business as an example, I could use #womensshoes (my large category) or #upcycled (a broad theme of my work).
You can also use campaign specific hashtags. These are generally shorter term hashtags that are related to a specific story or promotion. For example, I am launching a bridal collection. To promote this on instagram I might use #specialshoesforaspecialwomanonherspecialday.
Get started today. Track your success and within a few weeks you should see an improvement in your Instagram strategy.
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