Instagram is one of the most powerful social media networks to date. And, with its visual appeal, it’s no wonder people are drawn to it. After all, people are by nature visual creatures.
However, there is more to Instagram than pretty pictures, especially if you are promoting your online business. In fact, you can use Instagram marketing in many ways to promote your newest products, drive more traffic to your website and boost conversions, and even actively engage with your loyal customers.
You can also expose your brand to a wider audience base using Instagramhashtags.
Posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more audience engagement than those without hashtags. And, while your company may not use all 30 allowed Instagramhashtags, following suit with other top name brands and using 7 or fewer is probably a good idea for generating more likes. Because, with more likes come more sales.
Today we are going to examine some of the best ways to optimize your Instagramhashtags in hopes that you can garner a larger social media following that will find its way to your eCommerce shop.
1. Brand Your Hashtags
Branded hashtags are those that relate to your business in a unique way. They might be your company’s name or tagline. Or, they could be the name of one of your products or services.
Nike does a great job of using a branded hashtag to promote its#AirMax shoe.
Hashtags geared towards your brand are designed to boost your business’ message and reach a wider audience. They are intended to garner interest in what you have to offer and draw people to come check out your website. And, for those that already like what you offer, branded hashtags are perfect for collecting likes.
2. Include Community Hashtags
As opposed to branded hashtags, which are very specific to your company and its brand, community hashtags are meant to reach a more generalized audience.
Hootsuite not only uses a branded hashtag (#hootsuitelife), it uses community hashtags like #socialmedia and #socialmediamarketing to garner a broader based audience.
Most people search for community hashtags, so if you use trendy ones that are relevant to the content you are posting, you will start to gather new followers and likes as people become aware that you even exist.
3. Do Your Research
Chances are your company is not the only one in the industry participating in Instagram engagement. If you want to become successful, it’s a good idea to check out what your successful competitors are doing in terms of hashtags
This lends insight into what may work for you and saves you loads of time experimenting with different hashtags. However, combing through all of your competitors’ hashtagscan be time consuming so it’s best to enlist the help of a social media tool (such as Sprout Social) that can show you your competitors’ most used hashtags.
4. Get Organized
Once you have decided which hashtags resonate the most with your followers, it is important to make note of them in a spreadsheet of some sort. This is because you want to make sure to use relevant hashtags in the content you share.
Consider keeping powerful hashtags grouped according to content topic. For example, if you run an eCommerce shop that sells flowers group all flower type hashtags together, all holiday related terms in another group, and general flower terms in another.
5. Be Specific
Instagram allows a maximum of 30 hashtags per post. So, taking advantage of this is only going to benefit you in terms of audience reach. However, it’s not enough to reach a large audience. You need to reach your target audience if you are going to gather more likes and eventually more paying customers.
Sally Hansen does a great job of funneling hashtags down to the specifics – #nails, #nailpolish, #mani, #SallyStyle, #ColorTherapy, #MiracleGel.
Think of your hashtags like a funnel. Start out broad and work your way down to the specifics, including branded hashtags relevant to your content.
Altogether, optimizing your company’s Instagramhashtags is crucial to garnering more likes. This is because the more people that like your Instagram content, the more others will see your brand, and the more people that are likely to visit your eCommerce shop and make purchases.
So, follow some of the above-mentioned tips and watch your Instagram following grow. In the end, your bottom line will thank you.