You’re Using Hashtags All Wrong (Try These 6 Steps Instead)

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I follow quite a few entrepreneurs on Instagram and one trend I’ve noticed is the use of randomly created hashtags. If I’m being honest, some of the posts make me cringe because I think to myself, “Who do they think is actually going to search #Todayisnotthedaytodayisyourday?”

Then it dawned on me: maybe they don’t know that’s not the best way to use hashtags. I mean, we were turning full sentences into hashtags for comedy about 10 years ago (and I still do on Facebook, tbh). But now we use them for more than comedic relief – we use them to connect with people who aren’t already following us. And this is crucial for business profiles.

In order for this to work, you have to use the hashtags those people are actually searching for. In other words, you need to be strategic.

Here are 6 tips to get you on the right track with hashtags on Instagram.

  1. Start searching broad hashtags and pay attention to the suggestions.

    When you start typing a word into the search bar, Instagram will suggest relevant hashtags and profiles. This is a good way to see what other, more specific hashtags people in your community are actually using.

  2. Search specific hashtags and look at the posts using them.

    Does the content look like what you’re looking to post? You want to make sure your posts will be in good company. And pay attention to the number of posts using that hashtag – some tags will have larger audiences than others. It’s good to use a mix of both.

  3. Use all 30 hashtags.

    Instagram will allow you to use up to 30 hashtags per post, so take advantage of them! You can put your hashtags in the comments of your post to keep from cluttering your caption.

  4. Follow hashtags you frequently use.

    It’s good to stay connected to your community and to engage on other posts in that community. Following a hashtag will put that content in your news feed just like the profiles you follow, so you won’t have to go looking for them.

  5. Pay attention to the hashtags other people are using.

    It’s good to keep up with what similar profiles are doing. They may be able to give you some insight into areas you’re not familiar with or spark inspiration. It’s also another easy way to get ideas for specific hashtags to use.

  6. Experiment!

    This will be trial and error! Pay attention to how your posts perform after you use the hashtags. This will help you determine which hashtags are actually bringing people to your content and which ones you can afford to leave off.

If you really want to step your strategy game up, you can compile a list of hashtags you plan on using in a spreadsheet. Everybody knows you’re guaranteed to get it done if it’s in a spreadsheet!

Be sure to follow us over on Instagram while you’re getting your research on! @dawngmedia

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