From Purpose to End Game
First of all.. If you are new to the Hashtag game, let’s talk PURPOSE. The whole purpose of the Hashtag is relevant exposure. Bottom Line.
The key here is to have BOTH relevance AND exposure that lead to targeted growth. If you post solely for relevance, and don’t gain exposure, what was the point? If you post for exposure but it isn’t relevant to your brand, you are no further ahead. But content that is relevant, brings brand exposure AND has your presence grow is GOLD.
Getting your content in front of your tribe, your ideal (potential/future) customer and reader needs to be part of your strategy. Once you reach them, having quality content is KEY to have them hit that follow button. Ideally, they commit to an initial creep of your presence where the whole goal is to make an authentically welcoming first impression, having your new follower come back for more.
Your END GAME goal as far as Hashtags go is to get your content trending in the top posts section of any given hashtag. With a properly chosen list of 30 hashtags this is achievable regardless of your followers count, no matter what you’ve heard.
Instagrams algorithm wants to get behind content that it sees as valuable. Why? Because their goal is to keep people on the app, as long as possible.
BEFORE you post you want to do some engaging within some of the Hashtags you will be using if you don’t have a Social Media Manager (SMM) running your engagement game in the background. If you do, follow their instructions. If you have a SMM solely for growth (no targeted engagement) or if you don’t have a SMM create some buzz and bump the importance of your post BEFORE you hit post by engaging with the top posts on some of the Hashtags that you will be using on your post. More on this in another blog post.
Why you need a Master List
While your brand may have one message or mission, that presence will likely be made up by sharing numerous types of content. Queen level of content shared is made up by posting what works on the platform, content that is shareable, relatable, inspiring AND popular with your audience, while keeping it all relevant to your brand.
This is why knowing your brands voice is ohhh so important. If you are winging your content, you are playing with fire, and your presence likely looks like a hot mess.
A Master List of Hashtags is made up of a few things to be effective.
- It is large, having 50-60 hashtags on the list to pull from
- It is varied for the types of posts you do
- It is well researched, seasonally
- It is specific to you and your brand
If you are a local dog groomer, using a worldwide hashtag on your posts for coffee (think #coffeelover) you are not going to find locals to bring their fur babies into your dog spa. With over 11.5m posts living under that hashtag, your content is also going to be lost in a matter of seconds in the world of Instagram. RIP cute dog headshot that your local dogmom would have #died over.
Rule of 80/20
You should have a list of 50-60 hashtags to pull from. As your content will likely vary between industry / brand specific pics, quotes, product pics or services that you offer, pics of yourself and/or your staff. This is why you need a hashtag list that will lend itself to all of these types of posts. You will need to build a core list of hashtags for the season ahead that will be used for 80% of the 30 allowable hashtags and then you will choose 20% of your hashtags to be post specific.
What does this look like? If you are a Vancouver based fashion blogger with a side of travel, food and coffee you will want a list that is 80% (24 hashtags) specific to your target reader based on your location, the location of your ideal reader and fashion itself and 20% (6 hashtags) that are post specific. If todays post is travel you will pull from your master hashtag list 6 tags for fashionistas who love to travel if todays post is coffee based, you will pull 6 coffee hashtags, ect.
Do The Work
Before we move forward building your list it is SO important that you are clear on a few things. If you don’t do the work, you will end up spinning your tires, frustrated and no further ahead.
I have created a downloadable worksheet for you to print to be crystal clear on:
- WHO you are speaking to
- WHAT your message is
- WHY you are posting
- WHERE you are going to send that person from your post