What the heck is a hashtag!
Hashtags are used on Instagram to get you, your images, and your content seen by people or accounts that wouldn’t see it otherwise.
Whoa! What! Free marketing?
In a sense, yes. But only if you use them the right way. Social media is like a party. We all gather there to talk and share our lives, families, highlights, businesses, advice and content.
Your hashtags will get you an invite to the best parties for your content. How you ask? Keep reading!
Which party should you go to? You can show up at the thumpin’ rave with all the crazy lights, loud music, drinks are flowin’ and you look like an octopus trying to talk because hand signals are the only way to communicate. OR you can show up at the smaller gathering of intellectuals who are all hanging around the bonfire chatting and sharing wine and good food and great conversation.
Yeah, I know the rave may sound good to some of you BUT, the hashtag party isn’t necessarily about the craziest, loudest party. It’s about the party where you make great connections and have a meaningful conversation. Where you get noticed because you are authentic and have something to say. It’s about your great content and the engagement you get from showing up at the RIGHT party.
The 4 hashtag categories that will get you noticed
#1 Geographic Hashtags
Besides making sure you are geo tagging your posts, make sure you are using geographic hashtags as well. So if you are at Strong Coffee Cafe in Seattle Washington, your geotag would be “Strong Coffee Cafe” and your geographic hashtag could be #seattle #seattlewa #cityofseattle
*Pro-Tip – If you want your content to show up in other surrounding towns then hashtag them as well. But only use 4-5 geographic hashtags per post.
#2 Location Searches
Yes, these are different than geographic hashtags. These are your specific locations. So since you have geotagged “Strong Coffee Cafe” what other businesses or locations do your ideal clients hang, go to, shop at? Maybe there is a popular park, a restaurant near the coffee shop or a landmark. Just make sure “your party people” would be interested in those places as well. For example #pikeplacemarket #spaceneedle #chihulygarden
*Pro-tip – Use 4-5 location search hashtags per post. Again, make sure they are relative to the location. Also, see how many posts are already on the hashtags by searching them on Instagram and try not to use them if they are over 500K.
#3 Searchable Terms
What is your ideal client searching for? What is your business, what kind of content do you provide? That is what these 6-7 hashtags should consist of. Remember to keep them as relevant to your content as possible and as specific as possible, so you don’t get left at the party without a ride home. Let’s pretend you are a hair stylist and your post is giving 5 tips to smoother hair in the summer. Your searchable terms would be something like #frizzfreehair #hairstylistseattle #hairseattle #smoothhairtips #seattlesalon And/or if your ideal clients love coffee you can use #seattlecoffeshop #seattlecoffee #coffeeshopsinseattle
*Pro-tip – Don’t use hashtags that other people in your industry will search for, other businesses like yours are probably not looking for your product or service. So really think about these!
#4 Industry Searches
This is your community of professionals. Who or where do you want to be seen. Maybe you use a certain product, item, or brand name. Do you belong to any local or national groups or clubs? These are great ways to let your work be seen by peers that may be looking for inspiration or to feature you. Examples are #seattlebusinesswomen #salonownersofseattle #brandnamekeratintreatment #professionalstylistsofwashington
*Pro-tip – Use 3-4 of these hashtags. Remember to be as specific as possible!
Finding the right hashtags and a few rules of thumb
- Try not to use hashtags with over 500K posts, you’ll get lost quick
- RESEARCH the hashtags you are thinking of using. Look at other accounts that show up and what they are sharing
- You can only use 30 hashtags per post, make them count
- Make sure they generally relate to your post
- Keep your hashtags on Instagram, don’t autopost from IG to FB, the hashtags don’t work there like they do on Insta and it can annoy your FB audience.
I hope you found this helpful. I would love to hear your thoughts or any additional tips or tricks you’d like to share in the comments! And as always you can contact me here if you have questions or want to set up a time to chat!
Until next time,