This will be my last post in the Instagram for Business series. And I am going to talk about the use of hashtags. Before I do, however, I would like to go on a bit of a rant. I love Instagram. I love social media (except Facebook). But I have a really big problem with people who over use hashtags. I mean do you really need to hashtag every single word in your post? Is that honestly necessary? This is actually relevant to this post. It’s a turn off for me, and I mostly see it in terms of social accounts. Meaning, not for businesses. Which annoys me so I can only imagine how I would feel if I saw 30 hashtags in your post. I would immediately unfollow you. Or really consider following you in the first place. Further, I wouldn’t be thinking about purchasing your product. Why? I already told you I’m fickle.
That being said, you need to be careful with hashtags. Consider the following when thinking about hashtags:
- Are they relevant? Make sure that they fit your brand and your audience. Let’s go back to the bakery example that I’ve been using throughout this post. If you are a gluten-free bakery, perhaps you don’t want to #gluten. Gluten is not relevant to your brand. #glutenfree, however, is. Do you see where I’m going with this?
- Do you have at least one hashtag that’s branded? Maybe consider hashtagging the name of your business. Be consistent about it. Make sure you hashtag it in every post. Not just some.
- How broad are your hashtags? Again, #glutenfree is very broad in the sense that it speaks to a large audience. Maybe you want to identify that you have #glutenfreemacaroons. Because no one else is making those. Consider that as a hashtag as well. This requires a bit of a balance, though. You don’t want your hashtags to be too broad, but you also don’t want them to be too narrow that you’re missing out on customers.
- Are any of your hashtags blocked or broken? Having appropriate content goes a long way in this regard.
The last thing you want is to have your content blocked by Instagram because of “inappropriate” content. This might actually be a mistake, but its still not something that you want to have happen. Make sure that you keep this in mind when creating hashtags. I really want to emphasize that hashtags should be fun. You want to bring people to your business. You’re trying to promote your brand, your products and services – have fun with it. This entire series has been around promoting your business and brand, but it’s also about understanding what it is you’re “selling”. Why did you get into business in the first place? Instagram is a marketing too to help you grow your business. It has immense capabilities, but you need to be able to understand how to use it and what outcome do you want. Technology can be a blessing, if you let it. Use Instagram to your benefit in order to continue growing your business. I’ve said this about 12 times already, but have fun with it. And be creative!