Hashtags Smashtags! Top 5 things you need to know

Hashtags: you know you need them but who the hell knows how to use them? I feel your pain.

First things first. Using hashtags on your Instagram posts is an important part of Instagram marketing because they increase your exposure and can even encourage certain actions from your followers.

And lets be honest, you could spend hours each day trying to find the right mix, but if you are a small business, your time is precious, right?

So here is a quick list of the top 5 most important things you need to remember.

1. How do I find the right hashtags for my brand?

  • Create a list of key words your customers would search for or words that are related to your industry. Aim for 30.

  • Check your competitors, industry leaders and see what they are using. Add them to your list.

2. Shouldn’t I use the most popular?

No. When you use the biggies (over 100 million lifetime posts) like #peace or #love you’re making it much harder for people to find your content, because thousands of people are using those hashtags the same moment you are. You might get a quick burst but then it will die off. Or you get that annoying burst then they all unfollow. This is usually spam and automated so don’t take it personally.

  • You should aim for hashtags that are 10K-500K lifetime posts. Instagram pros recommend this tactic as you will be seen for a longer amount of time and you might even land in the ‘Top Post’ section of the hashtags you are using.

  • Try to putting the most popular hashtags in first.

3. How many do I need?

  • You can add up to 30 hashtags to each post so take advantage of this.

  • A popular format is the 10/10/10 strategy. Use 10 location-focused hashtags, 10 general appeal hashtags, and 10 niche interest hashtags in order to reach as many potential members of their audience as possible.

  • Try not to be repetitive – Instagram doesn’t like it.

4. Where do I put them?

In the caption is the best place. But it doesn’t matter too much if you decide to put them in the following comment if you want your post to look less spammy and more about your content.

Don’t’ forget to include them in your stories too!

5. How do I streamline this?

If you are using a scheduling tool like Planoly, the app allows you to group them and save them. So you can just drop them in to your post. If you don’t then copy and paste them into a note document on your phone so you can cut and paste as you need.

So there you have it. It's a bit of trial and error but once you have your hashtags sorted, you'll see a great increase in engagement with the right audience for you. Good luck and let us know how you go.

Need more info or help?

Did you know we run workshops and do 1:1 sessions?

We have a Digital Marketing planning ½ day workshop on February 2nd and a workshop to Learn how to Master PR and influencers for free (or cheap!) publicity on Saturday 23nd of February for 1/2 day. Find out more about the workshops and to grab your tickets!