I laugh when I think back to how I started to use hashtags inside Instagram.
Because it was embarrassing.
I had no clue about how strategic the correct use of hashtags actually was. I was just blindly diving in and copying people that I had seen on Instagram using hashtags with no real thought about what I was doing.
Normally when I pick up a new social media channel, I figure it out pretty quickly, but with Instagram, I was taking my cues from the wrong people and also taking my cues from my impression of what Instagram was.
My first mistake was not to use any hashtags at all.
I wasn’t really aware of how people found you inside Instagram, so I just posted images and dropped in some text. This is a common hashtag mistake particularly for businesses new to Instagram or who have yet to understand the secret sauce of hashtags, they don’t use any.
This means, especially now with the new Instagram algorithm, that no-one will really get to see your posts. Hashtags are how people find you. Users inside Instagram start to click on the things they see and like and before you know it, they have a set of words that they go searching for inside Instagram ~every~ single~ day. That is how Instagram users, use the platform - they are daily users and they are actively looking for things as well as scrolling their feed. They daily scroll the feeds of the words they are searching for.
My next mistake was assuming that you just #stringapileofwordstogether that looked funny or had meaning when you read them out loud.
This missed entirely the deep searching ability of Instagram that users actually cotton on to.
By just making up hashtags, I was missing out on the strategic nature of who I wanted my posts to be seen by. Instagram, unlike Facebook allows you to find people within your space easily and quickly using hashtags. Yes they pinched this from Twitter and now most platforms use some kind of hash-tagging, but none so powerfully as Instagram.
A mistake that I never made, but I do so so called experts teaching is to tag celebrities or popular hashtags in their posts. As a business owner, this is NOT a strategic approach at all. Instagram allows us to target our niche by using hashtags that resonate with them.
I see so much potential for businesses to do this so much better, if they just were equipped with the knowledge and tactics to make it work for their business.
Your ideal clients are inside Instagram, it is just a matter of understanding how you can leverage hashtags correctly to put your business in front of them.
Want to fast-track how you do this?
You don't need to make my mistakes. I know if I had started to use hashtags strategically in the first place, that my account would be 20 times the size it is now.
Just imagine the kind of online leverage that would be!
I am salivating just thinking about it and that is where I am heading now. So why don't you join me on a hashtag hike TODAY!
Let me know what questions you have around hashtags in the comments below. I would love to help!