Year over year, Instagram has proven to be a place for the small business owner and creative to thrive if used correctly. Last month, I talked about the dark side of social media, and I have talked about the Instagram hashtag for business a couple of times before, such as these five tips that people are still using. However, today I wanted to chat about using hashtags on Instagram correctly to see growth for your business. Instagram is not the same company we fell in love with over six years ago, and growing your audience has changed distractedly.
Hashtags In Your Instagram Bio
You might have noticed that influencers and business owners are focused on the new SEO style feature that Instagram has rolled out by utilizing hashtags in their bio and name section. For example, vs. saying your name in your bio, you could say “Mom & Lifestyle | Seattle,” as my friend Tiffany does. She is highlighting that she is a mom and lifestyle blogger based in the Seattle area. When someone is searching for those two things, she will appear.
Branding Hashtags and Campaign Hashtags
As a business owner, you want to create a hashtag unique to your business, such as; #Nike and #JustDoIt are being utilized for brand recognition. Furthermore, if you’re running a product campaign, you want to create a hashtag around that, such as; #JordanTrophyRoom or #ValentineAirmax. They are specifically used for the launch or campaign of that said product.
Niche Hashtags On Instagram For Your Business
Focus on using niche hashtags on Instagram vs. a compiled list of all of the popular ones. You will be buried under the popular accounts and will not gain traction. Focusing on smaller, more niche hashtags will have a better engagement with your current and new audience. Furthermore, you can find these hashtags by searching competitors, industry leaders, and your audience. A couple of years ago, I created a list of 101 hashtags to use for business.
Once you find a couple of, niched hashtags search related hashtags that appeared at the top of the hashtag search. You will be able to test these extra hashtags to see if they bring growth to your page and engagement. Recently, I cut from 30 hashtags to around 15 or less, and more niched down to what I am talking about. My engagement has gone from a couple of comments to have 50 comments on the post from my audience and people who find me under the hashtag. Also, beware of hashtags that are banned from usage. Your content will not show up to your audience timeline or be shadowbanned if used.
How To Get Into “Top Results” of Hashtag Search
If you can get your post into the “Top Results” section within 24 hours of posting, you are more than likely to get more interaction from non followers. You can do this by two factors the amount of engagement the post receives and how quickly you receive that engagement. For example, even though I had 60+ comments on a post one day, it took almost 10 hours for that to happen. If you can get your followers to engage within the first three hours or less, it will increase your reach.
Understanding your analyitics of Instagram
For the portion above to happen, you need to understand how analytics work on your post. Gone are the days of posting and your followers engaging. Remember posts are not in chronicle order, and Instagram rewards you based on other metrics. Find out when your audience is online, plan content to be posted 1-2 hours before they are most engaged online. Post hashtags as the first comment on your post, and share your stories.
At the end of the day, Instagram is forever changing its rules and guidelines. You will learn how to adapt on the fly, but remember to create content that resonates with your audience. Your audience and content are the two things that matter the most. Don’t think about what others are doing, but creating a unique plan for your business.