Hashtags are IMPORTANT. You know this. They drive discoverability. But are you using them correctly? Here are our 3 tips for using hashtags to increase your discoverability on Instagram.

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Before we get into that, let’s first lay down some basics. Hashtags should be used on Instagram or Twitter only. Due to Facebook’s strict privacy guidelines, they don’t serve you there to increase your discoverability. I see brands make this mistake all the time so please, just stop.

Ok, so how to use them effectively..

1 – Use all 30.
Instagram allows 30 hashtags per post. In order to maximize your discoverability you should use all 30 allowed but they need to be relevant to your brand.

2 – Create buckets.
Create a google sheet/note on your phone whatever works for you of 3 hashtag buckets. The first and biggest bucket should be low volume hashtags (under 5k mentions). This is where you’ll have the most velocity and gain the most exposure. If you think about the hashtags with higher volume, the grid is being updated more frequently so your content is getting pushed down faster. The second bucket should be hashtags with under 200k mentions. Here you’ll start to play with some higher exposure hashtags that people are likely searching more frequently but they are broader and again your velocity will be less. The final bucket (and smallest) should be hashtags with under 500k mentions. You’ll then want to create 3 sets of these to avoid using the same hashtags on every post.

3 – Narrow in.
As you’re doing your hashtag research, you want to narrow in on hashtags that are most relevant to your business and your audience. So you want to get SPECIFIC. If you’re a brow bar, instead of just doing #browbar you’ll want to do #nycbrowbar because you’re a local based business and gaining followers in your geographic area are the ones that are going to ultimately convert and drive sales for you. So get SPECIFIC as you’re building bucket 1 and then broaden from there as you build buckets 2 & 3. The hashtags used should be relevant to your content so if you’re posting about BLM today for example then don’t hashtag #nycbrowbar because it’s not relevant and IG will penalize your reach for this.

BONUS – Be social.
It’s called SOCIAL media after all. It’s not a platform you can set and forget. You need to engage. Rule #1 you should respond to EVERY comment you receive and thoughtfully, more than an emoji. Rule #2 – When you post your content with the right hashtags, you should then go through at least 10 hashtags and engage with content on those hashtags. This will assist your discoverability by attracting your audience and ultimately lead to follower growth. But remember, we’re not just looking for followers here which people tend to forget and get hung up on we’re looking for engaged targeted followers who are within our target audience.

Want to dive in deeper specific to your brand? Schedule a call with us today.

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