The beauty of social media is that there are so many intricate parts that when used correctly, magic can be created.
One key secret to that magic that you may not be using correctly is — HASHTAGS! You know, the pound sign (#) followed by a searchable topic — ex. #SmallBusinesses
Hashtags are designed to help your target audience discover your content. These are equivalent to key words you input in Google to potentially find a local Mexican restaurant or find out more about the next iPhone coming out. This is crucial for business owners who want to attract potential customers.
The right hashtags can be the reason why you gained 6 new clients while the wrong hashtags can be the reason why you haven’t had a new client since you opened shop.
This is why hashtags are a key secret to making magic on social media. Once you curate the right group of hashtags (30 for your Instagram post & 10 for your Instagram story), you will begin to see an increase in your Reach on Instagram; which can be found in your page Insights.
In short, Reach is the number of people who may have seen your content. Think of it almost similar to views on an Instagram video. This unique number is counted once, even if the viewer went back to see it 10 times. So even if you only have 100 followers, your reach can be double or triple that amount due to Instagram’s algorithm and of course, your hashtags.
Let’s take a look at the reach on one of my posts (see below):
There is SO much info in this post’s insights but we will only focus on the Reach.
This post reached 723 authentic accounts. That’s how many different people (unique accounts) saw this post.
At the time of this particular post, I had roughly 250-300 followers. So how did a page with only a few hundred followers reach almost a thousand people and the answer is — HASHTAGS! I had to create a hashtag vault for this specific type of post and others like it. #I #did #not #just #hashtag #every #single #word #possible. You are wasting your time thinking you are reaching anyone by trying to reach everyone. So I created a quick checklist to help you develop your own hashtag vaults.
1 – Target Audience Keywords
- When thinking of hashtags, think of keywords your target audience / customer would most likely use to find what you are offering and write them all down. This will help guide your hashtag strategy.
- For instance, if you sell phone cases, your target customer will probably search #cellphonecases or #phonecases and depending on the phone they have, their search may be a little more tailored and they search for #iphonecases or #galaxyphonecase. You just created 4 hashtags from one keyword “phone cases.”
2 – High + Low Count Posts
- When you search hashtags on Instagram, you will notice that some of them have millions of posts attached to them while others may have a few hundred. The higher the number of posts attached to a hashtag, the smaller your chances are of getting seen in that hashtag because so many people are competing for attention. That is why you need a mixture of high and low count post hashtags.
- Let’s look at the hashtags we created in the earlier example: #cellphonecases has 35.4k posts while #phonecases has 1.1M posts. #iphonecases has 545k posts while #galaxyphonecase has 9.9k posts. This is a great combination of high and low count posts because the variety gives you a greater chance for exposure.
3 – 30 hashtags
- As stated before, you can use up to 30 hashtags in a post. Some people say you don’t have to use all of them but I say, why not? So make sure you maximize your chances for exposure.
I hope you find these tips helpful. For those that need a boost to get their hashtag vault started, I created a working hashtag vault for small business owners (see below). Please be advised that these hashtags do not guarantee an increase in your reach because you need a customized Hashtag Strategy for your business/brand.
As always, thank you for reading. Follow me on Instagram for more Social Media Mgmt Tips for Business Owners!