Most of us have a love/hate relationship with hashtags.
You love them because they help grow your reach, which also means growing your following, but you hate them because it takes SO MUCH TIME to figure out which ones to use and when!
Hashtags are a necessary part of Instagram and I have the recipe to help curate the perfect Hashtag Library for your business!
With this recipe, you can create a collection of Hashtags that you can store in your Notes App (or in Trello, like me!) so they're always just a click (or tap) away to be copied/pasted into your Instagram post, or comments.
But first, let's break down WHY you need to use Hashtags!
1. They allow your posts to be more discoverable.
2. They help you market directly to your ideal client/customer.
3. They help you promote specific products/services.
Now that you know WHY you need to use Hashtags, it's time to figure out HOW to use Hashtags!
As you may already know, Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post. That means you have 30 additional ways to reach a broader audience!
True or False: The larger the number of posts a Hashtag has, the better!
The answer is FALSE! The larger the number of posts a hashtag has, the less likely your post is ever going to be seen in a search!
If 1 million+ posts have been tagged with a specific hashtag, that means your post is now 1 in 1 million. Sure, some hashtags are just fun to use, and it's ok to use a couple per post, but try to keep it at 1-2 hashtags per post that have over 1 million posts.
My rule of thumb is to use hashtags that have under 500,000 posts. The smaller the collection, the more likely you'll be discovered!
A great way to use Hashtags is to categorize them, so you can then easily break them down into groups of hashtags you want to use each day.
I suggest breaking them down into 3 Categories:
1. Branded Hashtags - These are hashtags that help identify your brand. You'll use this hashtag on every post and also ask your customers/clients to use it when they share about your product/services so you can start building a collection of User Generated Content. You want to make sure this specific hashtag(s) have as close to 0 posts in it already. If there are already posts, make sure they're appropriate for your business and that you're not crashing someone else's branded hashtag.
2. Product/Service Specific Hashtags - These are hashtags that have to do specifically with the products/services you provide. This is when you could throw a couple 1 million+ hashtags in the mix. But, I do suggest to keep the majority below 500,000.
3. Ideal Client/Customer Hashtags - These are hashtags that your ideal client/customer might be using or searching. If you haven't already identified your Ideal Client/Customer, this is when you need to do it! Knowing WHO you're speaking to will make your online marketing SO MUCH EASIER! If you're marketing to business men/women, you'll want to search for popular hashtags other entrepreneurs are using. You can also market to specific locations by searching for location based hashtags for the cities around you! You'll be surprised now many cities are now using hashtags.
How many days per week you plan to post will determine the number of Hashtags to add to your Library.
I always recommend at least 3 posts per week to help you stay consistent. These three posts can help you stay on top of the algorithm when you post relevant and engaging content!
Based on posting 3 times each week, you'll need a Hashtag Library of about 60 hashtags - 20 for each day.
But, wait...didn't I say Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags? YES! The other 5-10 hashtags will be content specific, so you'll add those when you write the post so you're using relevant hashtags for each post.
Now that you know how to categorize your hashtags in your Library, it's time to break them down into groups to use throughout the week.
The first thing you need to do is decide which days you're going to post each week. Planning out your content at least weekly will ensure you stay consistent with posting on Instagram.
Create a Note for each day you plan to post in your Notes App. (You can also use an App like Trello to break these down.)
Pick a total of 20 hashtags from your Hashtag Library to use each day using the recipe below. Use different hashtags each day so you don't come across as spammy on any of the hashtags.
You can also break them down according to their Category and the number of posts. For example:
Create a note for Product/Service Specific Hashtags.
Break them down within the note by the number of posts:
- 50k - 250k
- 250k - 500k
- 1 mil+
My secret recipe for which hashtags to use on each post is:
1-2 Branded Hashtags
3-5 Location Based Hashtags
7-10 Hashtags between 50k - 250k
5-7 Hashtags between 250k - 500k
1-3 Hashtags with 1 million+
When you use this recipe on each post, you can ensure you're getting a good mix of smaller, more specific hashtags, and the larger, more popular hashtags so you can more easily be discovered.
The BIG SECRET to success with Hashtags is creating a Hashtag Library so they're just a click (or tap) away to be copied/pasted into your post on Instagram!
So, take some time this week to put what you just read into action by creating your custom Hashtag Library!
Need a little more help creating your Hashtag Library? No worries! I have you covered!
Send me a message and I'll send you my FREE All About the Hashtags Workbook!
This Workbook will take you step-by-step through the process of creating your Hashtag Library, as well as other tips and tricks to help you use hashtags to promote your business and grow your following!
You can send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and put ALL ABOUT THE HASHTAGS in the subject line to get your FREE Workbook!