HOW TO USE HASHTAGS TO
MARKET YOUR BUSINESS ON INSTAGRAM
Article by Cinthia Singleton
And so you post on Instagram (“IG” as it’s known). You’ve been told that it’s the way to get the word out to the masses more personally and visually. It’s the modern day business card and press release all rolled into one. AND it can make what you have to offer visible to 700 million active users on IG every month. But you post a picture of the new tapas at your restaurant or your special handmade Valentines Day teddy bears … and then…
How exactly does this develop into an IG following, one that generates customers, clients, consulting partners, contacts and, more importantly, SALES?
Hashtags ( # ) These little guys are the key to driving traffic; using them, you call out to the masses, “Psst. Come here. Look and see.”
Using them productively and efficiently is the trick.
You’ve posted a pic of, say, the feather headbands you sell on Etsy. Time to hashtag it and hashtag you must if you want more than friends and family to interact with your posts and follow you. Some of the basic might be…
#[ nameofyourheadbandshop ]
The thought behind the hashtagging is that there are many on IG who are interested in, follow and/or search #headbands, #feathers, #bohofashion, #festivalfashion, #OOAKaccessories. They just need to be directed to your IG feed (and, in turn, follow you, perhaps send a direct message to place an order or go right to your site as posted in the header). Hashtag is the carnival barker who brings ‘em in from the midway and into the tent for the show. What’s cool is that hashtags aren’t one time fun but continue to give; those who click on or search IG for, say #bohofashion will be directed to your headbands if the #bohofashion hashtag is there. What a web the IG spider as woven for you. Simple marketing and advertising there.
1| Think of hashtagging as if you were shopping on google. Think simply. Think literally. It’s the item (headband). It’s the material (feathers). It’s the mood (boho). It’s for the place (festival). You aren’t shopping for the WHYs but the WHATs. So will that person who’s going to buy your headbands (or craft beer or hire you to edit their novel or or or lol).
2| Not sure what are the right words? While in that IG post type, say, #boho or #festival and then see what are the suggested #hashtags. IG provides suggestions in order of popularity and frequency of use free of charge.
3| Remember that your headbands aren’t just hip and beautifully made but they are perfect for an event or season [ #festival #summerlook #Christmaspresents, #Birthdaypresents, #bohowedding, #redcarpet, etc. ]. Or maybe a special celebrity has been seen wearing headbands recently [ #charlizetheron #rhianna #parishilton ]
4| For consistent branding purposes, #[ nameofyourheadbandshop ] should be on every post. Branding 101. They come in for the #headband and leave better informed about #[ nameofyourheadbandshop ].
5| There are lists of trending hashtags you can review. Adding one of these, as they apply, can really help your business get noticed. Google ‘Instagram hashtags for 201_’ and see what trends might apply to your product or service.
6| Be observant of how your peers (the successful ones, of course!) are hashtagging. There might be a trend brewing amongst the headband makers. Birds of a hashtagger flock together, or something like that. lol If you are part of a guild, adding # [ nameofmyheadbandunion ]
7| No need to overdo it. Truly. Don’t. Please don’t. A few hashtags are great and effective but we’ve all seen that colleague’s IG that is weighed down with dozens of them. It looks like we’re selling 24/7 or trying to pen a hashtag autobiography. Select those hashtags simply and carefully. Thoughtful hashtags truly market the business and, with consistent use, brand it.
Hashtags help bring the 700 million/month to your IG door. The artful images and consistently keep them following. Tell the IG story to build brand trust and #SELL.
How do we do it? How do we do it? Volume, volume turn up the volume. - Step Right Up Tom Waits