The Official Instagram Strategy Guide
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I constantly hear my clients talking about their problems with finding the right hashtags to use on Instagram. With thousands of hashtags to choose from, business owners are often stumped or have no idea where to start brainstorming. Here are my top four ways you can remedy the hashtag headache.
Start by searching a general keyword related to your business. Once you’ve plugged that word into the search bar you’ll see several additional hashtags that are connected to that word appear in a list. Scan through the list to see if any of those hashtags would also work for your business. The hashtags are listed in order by most frequently used so you can see which ones are the most popular.
For example when you search the word #wine, the following few hashtags are #wineo, #wines, and #winery. So if you’re using the hashtag #wine you might also want to use these additional hashtags.
At the top of most hashtag feeds you’ll see a list of “related” hashtags. Take note of the hashtags listed and then click into one of them. You’ll then see some of the same hashtags, but you’ll also see a few different ones. You can keep clicking into each hashtag for a continuous loop of ideas.
For example, if I look up #wine, I’ll see related hashtags like #redwine and #whitewine. And then when I click on #whitewine I’ll also see #chardonnay.
Find a few similar brands on Instagram that are posting consistently with hashtags. Take a look at the different ones they are using and check to see if any could also be a good fit for your business. You might notice a few hashtags that you never considered. Be careful not to start using their unique hashtag. Crash-tagging is poor Instagram etiquette.
When you click on the Explore button on Instagram you’ll see an area where Instagram shows you the different hashtags that are trending on Instagram. Most days none of the hashtags will relate to your business or target audience. But occasionally you’ll see one being used that could do the trick. When that happens I recommend using that tag while the hashtag is still trending and keeping it on your list going forward.
The biggest way to gain targeted exposure by using hashtags is to use ones that your own followers are already using. So tap on your follower list. Scroll through a few of their photo feeds. And look at the hashtags they’re already using. While it might feel strange to add a hashtag to a list that doesn’t exactly describe your business, you’ll find that those are the ones that are most effective.
For example, it’s more obvious to use the hashtag #wine if you own a wine business. But your audience is probably more often using the hashtag #morewineplease. The more lingo you can use the more effective your hashtag strategy will be.
As a business owner I know your time is very limited, but you should take the time to go on a hashtag-searching spree. Conducting thorough hashtag research will provide you with a great opportunity to find unique hashtags related to your business. You can even begin your search by looking at the hashtags you’re already using. Maybe there’s a hashtag in that hub that you missed. You might even discover that your current hashtag strategy is not leading to the best hashtag hub for your potential customers.
Still feel the aches of a hashtag headache? Check out my new hashtag handbook! With over 35 niche industries listed, this is an excellent resource for all the tips and tricks you need to dominate your hashtag hub.