I’ve been playing with Instagram’s hashtags for the past ten months. And I’m happy to say (through a painstaking trial and error, research, and testing) I’ve found a method that has been working very well to bring in new customers and brand awareness.
Hashtags are not a stagnant, repetitive option. You have to change them constantly and continue to search for more effective hashtags. You will find that a once reliable hashtag might turn into a total dud at any time. Which is why it’s so important to pay attention to the hashtags you are using.
Hashtags also have a shelf life. And I know you want to get the most out of your time and effort, so why use a hashtag that has a shelf life of literally SECONDS!?
Imagine popping your keyword into a hashtag generator, thinking you’ve beaten the system, only to realize within FIVE minutes your post is completely buried and no one can see it. That’s it. That’s all you got from all your hard work. Five minutes (or less) of exposure.
Using these super popular hashtags CAN be a useful tool though. Instagram allows 30 hashtags. So, taking 2-3 of the 30 and dedicating them to super popular, super short shelf life hashtags, is a much better strategy.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
This applies to hashtags too! Your 30 hashtags should be incredibly diverse. The hashtags should be aimed at your target audience.
If you are selling on Etsy, please for the love of God, stop using Etsy specific hashtags! Your target market is not Etsy sellers or even small business owners. Your target audience is busy moms, parents of toddlers, school teachers, or swimmers. Whoever your product is meant for is where you need to start when it comes to hashtags.
You will need to have your own hashtag for your brand. And you will need to use it on every post. Hashtags are used on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Anyone can use your hashtag too. So, if a super satisfied customer posts and tags you, now you’ll already have a clickable link –filled with your content– for their friends to look through, and discover what you’re all about.
There is a formula for using hashtags effectively. I recommend starting a spreadsheet for saving and organizing hashtags that apply to your brand, audience, and product.
I have lots more to say on this subject, but if you have any questions please contact me here.