One of the best ways is drawing visitors in from social media platforms! To do this you obviously need to grow your platform by using hashtags!
I talk to a lot of small business owners, and hashtags are by far the most mysterious growth tool out there! No one quite knows why they’re using them – Let’s debunk some of that mystery now.
WHAT ARE HASHTAGS???
Did you know the first hashtag ever was used on Twitter in 2007, by user Chris Messina as a suggestion to differentiate between topic groups.
Since then, Twitter incorporated this feature and it has become the biggest searchable growth tool across all social media platforms!
Seems stupid not to be using them now right??
Hashtags are an amazing growth tool – don’t be scared of using them!
All content needs to have a strategy otherwise it won’t work!
You cant expect to use random hashtags and hope to get your content in from of the right audience! You need to do your research and find out which #s are used (and followed!!) by ‘your people‘.
The best way to do this is to find similar creators on the platform and see what #s they’re using!
You can also search a # and go through the most recent posts to see what kind of content is on there and if yours matches up.
*make sure your # and content are RELEVANT to the #group otherwise Instagram could flag it as spam!!
For example, don’t tag a picture of an ice cream as #bizstrategy if the post has nothing to do with that!
You can however use tags relevant to your overall page – just don’t be too specific unless it relates to the post!
- use #icecream #sundaytreat #businesscoach #dayoffcoaching
Banned Hashtags and SHadowbanning
This tip seems like its impossible but as long as you’re aware of what banned hashtags and shadow banning are, then you can check in once every couple of weeks to make sure you’re on the right track!
- Shadow banning is : the act of hiding or restricting a user’s content without informing the user that it’s happening. This typically occurs when a user has violated Instagram’s community guidelines — or the content is otherwise deemed inappropriate. If you’re shadowbanned, your content won’t appear on anyone’s feed, Explore, or hashtag pages unless they already follow you.
“Banned hashtags are hashtags that Instagram users have reported because the posts using them go against Instagram’s guidelines. This means that any post that uses that hashtag will be hidden, which will only hurt your organic reach and growth efforts.
Banned hashtags are always changing, based on community reports and Instagram’s investigations.” – Sam Hackett
The best way to keep track of banned hashtags to make sure you don’t get shadow banned is to look at articles like this one which show the most up to date list of banned hashtags!
And don’t try and guess, because some of them are not what you’d expect at all! Just look at the list below!
Strangely the #beautyblogger is banned, however #beautybloggers works fine! This is because bots have posted under #beautyblogger and Instagram is cracking down on fake accounts!
You can use multiple apps to track hashtags to see which ones are most effective for your account.
Here are some of the best ones:
You need to track #s because, for example, if you’re a small account (under 10k) you shouldn’t be using hashtags with over 1M posts because your post will disappear instantly! You’re better using #s with a maximum of 200,000 posts to make sure your post is seen!
How many hashtags???
This highly depends on what platform you’re using!
Facebook – 1-2 hashtags
- help your content gain visibility
- attract new community members for your brand
- increase your reach overall
- 1-2 truly relevant #s
Twitter: 1-2 hashtags
- using up to two hashtags within your tweets can double engagement
- using more than two hashtags can decrease engagement!
Instagram: Up to 30 hashtags
- it’s recommended to use up as many of those 30 as you can for max engagement!
Pinterest: 0 hashtags
The Pinterest search function doesn’t differentiate between #s and key words yet! So for now keywords are more effective!
LinkedIn: 2-3 hashtags
- searching method focused on hashtags
- 3 #s can help people to find your content better
Don’t copy and paste!
Don’t copy and paste the same #s onto each post!! Switch up your hashtags for every post to reach out to a new audience everytime!
Avoid spammy hashtags
DO NOT USE #likeforlike, #follow4follow, #love, and #goodday.
These just look gimmicky, tacky and are so generic they have no effect on your growth or reach!
Again if you are a small account – stick to smaller #s for max engagement!!
Add hashtags in comments
Hashtags aren’t pretty I’m not going to lie to you. So why ruin a lovely neat caption with a big block of them??
A great way to avoid this is to simply add them to the first comment!
Use hashtags in Stories
Hashtags in stories is often overlooked but its a great way to up your story engagement and reach new audiences!!
If you’re worried about them ruing the ~aesthetic~ of your story them simply use the eyedropper tool to select the background colour and simply change the hashtags to match the background – simple!