Oh pretty Instagram, so simple and easy, just post a photo and go…
Not so fast.
Visual Instagram is easy on the eyes, fun at the fingertips, but it doesn’t stop there.
This powerful platform can offer:
- an impact on your SEO
- mighty web reach
- new followers for your business brand
- fun (and easy) contests to run
- widespread popular cultural appeal
[Tweet “Visual Instagram is easy on the eyes, fun at the fingertips, but it doesn’t stop there.”]
ALL through the use of Hashtags.
Instagram is very hashtag-centric, and I want to explain a couple quick ways to help you make your Instagram platform work better and use it smarter all through the use of these quirky little sentences call hashtags.
- Don’t be too generic: Remember you want your future followers to stumble upon you and you don’t want to get lost in the shuffle. Brainstorm a few ideas, do a quick search of each, and see what and mostly how many other feeds show up.
- Use keywords to help you: In my post on SEO last month I show you exactly how to find keywords that fit your biz. Turn these words into hashtags and use them regularly on your posts.
- Be specific with your brand: Some great examples of brands that do this well:
Minicooper with #minimondays
Athleta with #athletafitstyle
- Use more than 2 and less than 30: You are allowed up to 30 hashtags in your Instagram post. So use BOTH specific AND more generic keywords in each of your posts. The “best” number of hastags? 11 or more. But all that really means is don’t stress about it. Hashtags are just a good bet, period, for growing your followers on Instagram. (stats from TrackMaven)Tip! Your hashtag does NOT have to be in your original post, it’s just as effective in the comments section.
- Quick hashtag lists when short on time: Need a quick list of popular tags in almost every category? Check this out Pick your topic, copy and paste, and voila! Insta-likes on Instagram.
- Be careful: Don’t use a banned hashtag or it, and possibly your post, will Not show up in the feed. Click here for an updated list on what IS and IS NOT currently allowed by Instagram.
- Keep track of your stats with Iconosquare: Learn which photos you post are most liked, most engaged with, track your averages and more advanced metrics that will help you fine tune your message as you go. Click here to learn more and sign up for a free account.
Most importantly… Have Fun!
Challenge yourself to engage your soon-to-be rapid fans by interacting with Instagram’s themes (#followfriday) and memes (#TBT or #throwbackthursday) while “newsjacking.”
That is taking a hot news story and making it relevant to your brand in a fun way.
So your first step today?
Just log on and do some searching. Take 5 minutes and plug in a few relevant words. See what pops up. Start getting inspiration from others in your niche. What tags do they use? How many? How relevant? How often? Which are most commented on by their followers?
Tomorrow? Start posting your own.
As always I’m here to help: follow me on Instagram @karenyankovich where you can comment, get ideas, ask for help. Share with me your favorite hashtag for your business and I’ll promote it in one of my posts!
#newsjacking – I’m in.
I have never heard that term but love the concept. You’ll be getting a shout out for teaching me that when I VLOG something that ties it all together!
Right? Me too! I love the idea of #newsjacking. 🙂 #loveyoutoo
I’m bookmarking this post, Karen. I need all the help I can get with hashtags and instagram and twitter. I still avoid it all because it really doesn’t make sense yet. One day though…I have big hopes for myself…I will be able to easily understand and use it all and it will be because of your simple ideas and posts that it will happen for me. Thanks, Karen:)
Susan use some of those sites I mentioned to find some fun hashtags, and just start using them! No need to overthink. Use them, tweak them, have fun.
Holy Mother of all things hashtag guru and social media savvy! I’ve been wondering about instagram… I guess it’s time to open an account. I think Karen, you have become my new GURU… #allthingswonderful #cantwait #sisteryourock #lovethatnewsjackingthing #FTF #Throwbackthursday (didn’t know that’s where that came from) #youaresuperior … okay…. 11 hash tags you say!!! #holythatsalot!!! You’ve got me thinking! : Just wait till I get on there and hag tag you! well you know what i mean! 🙂
Do it! Connect with me and lets share pictures.
Okay Karen…. It’s on my list… and I’m going to do it… !!!!!
that was suppose to read hash tag you… but kinda like the hag bit! funny!!!
that cracked me up, elizabeth!
There is a #funny #video of #2 #comedians #making #strange #conversation about #hashtags when #I find it, #I will send it to #you.
It was a SNL skit, I love it! Hilarious.
Uh oh, I’ve been using hash tags as kind of a joke when I post on Facebook because honestly, I have no idea how they work! LOL Clearly I need a hashtag lesson though you will never see me posting eleven or more. Yikes. #clueless
Well sounds like you’re already doing it! 🙂 They still work when you’re joking. And they’re more fun that way!
Good, then there’s still hope for me yet! Thank you, Karen. 😉
This is very funny because I was just talking to my two 14 year olds and my 12 year old about hashtags and asking them to explain to me what, exactly they mean! My husband and I sitting with eyes glazed over. I don’t know why I find this hashtag thing to be so confusing, as well the @heathercarey. Where do hashtags go? Is there a hashtag universe and are people actually searching hashtags? #soconfusedbutIwilltrytounderstand
Hashtags go anywhere you want them to go. 🙂 #yougotthis
Oh Karen, I too love the newsjacking tidbit..I had no idea! I must ramp up my hashtag activity 🙂
Me too Dana! I’ve been seeing #newsjacking all over the place lately!
i also use hashtags as jokes since i don’t get them either (yet!). and instagram? i haven’t ventured in . . . (but it’s on my list!).
Do it April, you’ll love it! It’s a great place to spread your lovely message even further.
Great tips! It is great to know that Instagram can be used as a strong marketing tool. Sometimes it can be easy to get overwhelmed by all of the different marketing strategies with all of the social media outlets, but you make it very easy to understand and execute in an effective manner! Thank you!
Instagram has been on my list to incorporate. These tips are really helpful!