By Kerry White
May 10, 2021
Need to up your hashtag game for more reach on your socials? Here are our top tips for making an impact with hashtags.
If you only use hashtags with millions of followers, you’ll be a very small fish in a very large pond. The likelihood of someone coming across your post in those hashtag searches is very small. Instead, aim to be a big fat goldfish in a small tank. In other words, niche hashtags is where it’s at!
Rather than choosing all hashtags with millions of posts, Alex Toobey, Instagram expert, suggests using hashtags with between 5,000 and 500,000 posts. A great way to choose more niche hashtags is to search a generic hashtag, then see what other related hashtags come up. You can also click on posts that are using a wildly popular hashtag and see which other hashtags they are using on that post.
For example, instead of using #skincare (approx. 76 million posts) or even #luxuryskincare (approx. 825k posts), use #luxuryskincareproducts (approx.25k posts).
You can also niche down further by including your location in the hashtag, for example #luxuryskincareproductsmelbourne.
You can use a few relevant popular hashtags, but ensure most of them are much more niche as it gives you more chance of being seen.
You can use up to 30 hashtags in each Instagram post but using all 30hashtags all the time can look a bit untidy and 'spammy'. Experiment with the number you use. For Facebook, two or three hashtags will do.
Ask followers to follow your own branded hashtag (eg #[yourname]#[yournameyourprofession]). You can even ask them to use your hashtag in any content they post about you. This is an example of user-generated content that can increase your reach, which you can then repost on your own socials. This also works well for any campaign or promotion you run, so be sure to develop a unique hashtag for these.
Be sure you're not inadvertently using a banned hashtag as Instagram will hide your post because of it. Some of the banned hashtags appear quite innocent, so don’t get caught out! This list of banned hashtags is updatedfrequently:https://ideadeco.co/2019/05/14/list-of-instagram-banned-hashtags-updated-2021/
Remember to include hashtags in your stories. If you're worried about your story appearing too crowded with hashtags, you can hide them - with a sticker for example. Don't make the hashtags on stories too small otherwise Instagram won't register them.
If you nail your hashtag strategy, you should start seeing an improvement in your reach. Keep a note of the hashtags you are using and mix them up to see if your reach increases or decreases on each post. There are also lots of hashtag tracking apps available to make it easier for you.
How do you find the best hashtags? Do your followers use your branded hashtags? We’d love to know!
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