To complete my mini-series on Instagram mastery, today we’re looking at hashtags. When you learn to leverage this cunning tool, you’ll be one step closer to harnessing the power of Instagram to increase your online presence.
What are hashtags for?
Apart from making you sound trendy (or not) when you say it out loud, the ‘hashtag’ is one of the top marketing tools you can use to increase your online presence. With 200 million Instagram users and a 12.6% higher engagement for posts with hashtags, you need to use them. If you don’t, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.
Find your niche
You need to find your niche otherwise it’s hard to make your voice heard above all the other users. For example, nearly 26.5 million posts use #marketing, 1.5 million use #marketingtips. Using a few of these helps to ensure your followers know your angle. They can also be beneficial for discoverability. However, it’s not enough to drive much new engagement. You can narrow your focus by including geographical hashtags, ones aimed at a specific demographic and, of course, use your own brand as a tag.
Engage your community
Talk to your community. Look at other people’s interests and aim specific post in that direction. Tag followers in your content and show that you aren’t doing a blanket, catch-all marketing strategy. Today’s audience is media-savvy with an edge of cynicism. They don’t respond well to obvious marketing ploys. Your approach needs to be more personal to compensate for the distance of social media.
Track your results
To increase your online presence, you need to track results. You may already be used to analysing data based on visitors to your website, did you know you can do the same for Instagram as well? A key data source for this kind of analysis is your hashtags. You can use Instagram analytics to refine your hashtags, so you only use the ones that work for you. As an added bonus, you’ll also be able to track whether you’re posting enough and get reminders to follow up on mentions.