Let’s talk about instagram hashtags and strategies

hashtag image

 

I suppose I’m not the only one that feels that Instagram is the dominant social media platform (or let’s say amongst the dominant ones) right now. I know facebook is still active but I experience better results in Instagram.

One of the things that have helped me reach out to more user with similar interest is of course Hashtags.

pinterest image for hashtag article

What are Instagram Hashtags (for the absolute beginner)?

These are the little keywords that you can put in your description and put that # symbol at the beginning of the word. So if you make a post about photography then your hashtag should look like this: #photography.

 

Why we need Hashtags?

It’s a great way to search and find what you are looking for. The search function on Instagram is reading the hashtags that people are using in their posts and it’s bringing you results based on that hashtag keyword. If you want to reach out to many users and be discovered, then you need to use them.

It has actually worked on me. It is as simple as it can get. The moment I started using hashtags I noticed more people who were outside of my friends circles, discovering and liking my posts.

 

How many hashtags can we use?

Technically, Instagram allows for 30 hashtags but you can achieve your goals with less. It might look spammy to use that many but it’s up to you.

 

What hashtags should I use? What is my strategy?

Now this is where I will break it down to as much detail as I can.

Let’s say you are into photography. We will use that hashtag and you can apply the same in other categories as well.

You took a nice picture and you want to promote. Great! Now you must thing, what is this photography about? Is it a city scape? is it a forrest? Landscape? Is there a lake? Are there people? Are there sky scrapers? These are questions that their answer will lead you to the proper hashtag.

Let’s say it’s a fantastic landscape with mountains and lots of green nature and a lake somewhere. You can use all these words as hashtags. But better yet you should do a research first. By research I mean start your instagram app and go to the Search tab. Search for #photography or #landscapes and browse the results. Find a picture similar to yours and see what hashtags are used.

Do you get kind of broad results that are not really your thing? Narrow it down. Is there a lake? Search for #waterscape. See the results. You should be getting there. Go inside a picture that you consider similar to yours. See what type of hashtags that person is using. You can by all means use the same. As long as it’s not any brand-name, anything else that is generic like #forest, #landscape #waterscape #lake and so on are perfectly ok to copy and use.

So in brief your strategy can be summed up in 2 points:

  1. Use 20-30 hashtags
  2. Do your research for keywords/hashtags and see what other people are using. Get inspired.

 

Bonus point: 

If you don’t want your feed to look spammy you can make the hashtags “disappear”  but still have them on the post to help with search-ability.  When you are done writing your description press enter a few times and even a few dots like this:

insta hashtags printscreen

 

insta hashtags printscreen

What it does is that it is hiding all those hashtags on the feed and users will see up to the “… more” part (as seen on my print screen here). That way your post is still searchable by all these hashtags but the post itself looks much cleaner. This is something that can affect your branding efforts. If something looks not professional it might discourage users liking or following you on Instagram, thus hurt your brand.

 

These are my tips for hashtags on Instagram and I hope you found them useful. If you have any questions regarding Instagram or hashtags please let me know in the comments.

Thank you for reading and have a nice day.

 

 

Which social media platform is best for you

The choices are many but which one is the best platform for you and your business? By the end of this post I hope you will have a better understanding of how each social media network works and which one seems more suitable for your business.

This post is addressed to people, most specifically small business owners, that are beginners in the social media world and my goal is to help you get a basic understanding of how these platform work and how they can help you with more sales opportunities for your small business

I will take you through the big names. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and Pinterest but f you have any questions for a different platform please let me know in the comments.

Let’s start with possibly the biggest of all. Facebook.

Facebook is a great tool to create communities. There are many things that you can do in this platform and I strongly believe that if you have a business which might find it beneficial to have  a forum or any type of community then  suggest you create a group in Facebook and get the discussion going. Local stores can benefit from that and let me just give you a few real life examples of what type of company can benefit from a Facebook group.

  1. Stores that sell vintage items/antiques. You can create a group for vintage items collectors and discuss about the things you own, discuss the history of each item and anything related to them.
  2. Educational business. If you are a teacher, a Facebook group can be a great place to share educational material and important information with your students members of the group.
  3. Customer service. A group or a page of your company where you can offer help/tips to your customers. It’s a nice way to help more than one people as the same information can be valuable to many users .

Remember, often it’s not about how many likes or followers you have, but who is actually engaging in your content.

Let’s continue with the next popular platform, Twitter.

Twitter is great for interacting with many people and following trending topics. Twitter is a microblogging platform, originally, which means you can share one or two lines of texts (recently it’s more than that), links, images and also videos.  A good example of someone that could benefit from Twitter is a freelancer. If you are freelancer you can connect with people like you, share opinions, read their content, see what is trending in your field and contribute to the hot topics. You can even use Twitter as a search engine and discover what is happening within your line of work. (Bonus: if you want to know how to use Twitter as a search engine, click here) You can search for potential customers, send private messages – without being weird – and connect with them.

Twitter is great for networking. By following users or brands that seem interesting and close to what you are offering, you increase your chances to be seen. However don’t forget to contribute and share valuable information with your followers.

Additionally if you are a blogger Twitter is a nice channel to promote your material. Find people similar to you and follow them and in reality they are not your competitors. They are your colleagues.

Let’s move on to our beloved Instagram.

One can argue that Instagram is great social media platform no matter the type of business you are in and it can be true. But let’s see how Instagram works.

Instagram is a picture and video sharing app. Obviously it is the platform of choice for showcasing your products  especially if you are a business to customer or a B2C company. Examples of companies that can benefit from it is every clothing store that exists. Every store that sells physical products from women’s or men’s clothes, to kitchen appliances, to bathroom decorations, to anything you can think of, should be displaying their products on Instagram.

Real life examples:  If you are a small local business that sells handcrafted products this platform is probably the best for you. Additionally, beauty related business thrive on Instagram. Or if you are an artist you can use Instagram to showcase your work. The choices are limitless.

Youtube.

This is the number one platform for video sharing and it’s actually one of the most popular search engines. On YouTube users get to share their videos with millions of others and I’m sure that this is a platform that can benefit your business and this is something that we here in Spacecookies have been working on as well. Similar to Instagram it’s a great way to showcase your products. You can make a video of it and show it in 360 degrees, in all different ankles so that your customers can really see and understand what you are selling.  Some examples of companies that use Youtube are B2B companies  who can showcase their projects,  Journalists use Youtube to share the latest news with their viewers, tech specialists use it to create reviews. Educational related institutes can use it to share educational material. There is no better way to make a tutorial than to make it on Youtube. Like we are doing in our channel.

Let’s move on to Pinterest.

Pinterest is a great tool for creating collections. Similarly to Instagram it is a great platform to showcase your products and find products like yours. As a user you have the possibility to create different boards, each with its own theme where you get to pin images, links, pictures that belong to that theme. A good way to network and help your business is to create boards for different product categories. Then find similar items like yours by using the search function, see who is sharing that item and follow their board. In this platform you don’t get to interact so much with other users but instead the idea is to follow the linked item back to their source, which often is their home website.

In that sense Pinterest is great for link building and attracting visitors to your website or e-shop.

Cooking recipe websites are amongst the top shared ones. Home decor ideas (from companies that sell furniture), architecture boards, photographers even, are only a few examples of what one can discover in Pinterest.

I have taken you through the basics of how to use the above social media platforms to help your business. Feel free to experiment and start showing your products and services. There is no right or wrong, just go for it, be true and authentic and I’m sure you are going to see some positive results soon!