Ah, hashtags. You can put 30 of them on your Instagram post and instantly tap into thousands of audiences. It sounds pretty simple, but unfortunately, it’s much more complicated than that. Just like everything else when it comes to social media, a strategy is necessary when it comes to employing the handy pound sign.
Here are the four most common ways we see hashtags working against marketing plans (and four solutions to fix them!)
You’re being too broad.
While it’s tempting to only use ones that have thousands of hits, this can actually hurt you. When we use simple ones (like #business #marketing #entrepreneur, etc.) we’re competing against posts that have millions of likes. It’s unlikely that users who visit these hashtags will scroll through hundreds of pages to see your post. Instead of using broad hashtags, get specific. If you’re a photographer, instead of using #photography, use #birminghamphotogrpahy. By getting specific, you’re able to get in front of the eyes of more locals who are probably more likely to use your product or service.
You use the same hashtags every time
It’s time to shake things up! While it might seem easy to have a handful that you copy and paste on every post, take a little extra time and add in the hashtags that are super-specific to that photo or video. Chances are, you put thought and time into whatever that piece of content is — so your caption needs to reflect that, too! It’s ok to use a handful of “staple hashtags,” like your business’s name, but also make sure to vary up your tags so that piece of content is being categorized in the right place. Plus, word on the street is that Instagram recognizes when we get lazy with our tags — crazy, we know. It’s an even bigger incentive to put time and effort into your hashtags.
You use hashtags in your “body” copy
Alright, let us explain this one. Almost all Instagram photos and videos have two portions. The top portion, which contains the caption, and the bottom portion, which contains the hashtags. Instead of bogging your caption down with hashtags (which can look salesy and be distractions), tuck all those tags in at the bottom. You can either “space it out” and put them at the end, or post them in a comment. Either way works. The only time when it’s really “ok” to put hashtags in your caption is when you’re specifically calling it out. Like, “make sure to use #(your offer) in your next post, and we’ll share our favorites!”