Like Twitter, Instagram is a social media platform that is made more effective through hashtags. Why? Because hashtags allow you to instantly use your post to join a global “discussion” around a single topic, independent of the people who follow you.
So, let’s say you are a wedding photographer. You post a beautiful photo from one of your recent weddings, and end your post with the hashtag “#weddings”. All people who follow the hashtag “#weddings” will automatically see your post. Done right, it’s the best kind of free advertising. The trick is just avoiding some common mistakes, like these:
NOT DOING YOUR RESEARCH
This is the biggest mistake of them all. Instagram makes it easy for you to run searches around a certain topic, or those that contain a certain word. It will show you which of the hashtags are most popular, and where the activity is. Don’t just make up your own. Always see where the conversation is going on and what is being discussed, so you don’t just end up talking to yourself or the wrong audience.
STAYING TOO CLOSE TO YOUR INDUSTRY
If you sell RVs, for instance, it might be easy to post only to hashtags that say #RV. But what if you broadened your hashtag search to events and places that are conducive to the RV lifestyle, like #tailgating, #glamping, #roadtrip, or the like. This increases your audience of potential views and, as long as your post is relevant, improves your chances of someone sharing your content with others.
FOCUSING TOO MUCH ON THE POPULAR HASHTAGS
People often assume that if they just focus on the most popular hashtags, they’ll get all the eyeballs they need. But in reality, the very popular hashtags are so bloated that your post may not get noticed. Look for the middle ground in which your audience is large and your post engagement is high. Focus on hashtags that get you the most engagement and real-world conversions for your business. No use posting to communities where lots of people see your photos but do nothing about it.
MISSING OPPORTUNITIES TO GO LOCAL
Many businesses forget to tap into their local market and miss out on opportunities for customers in their area. Let’s say you own a floral shop in Louisville, KY, and want to tap into the wedding arrangement market. You might think that it is natural to run lots of hashtags like “weddingflowers.” But that wouldn’t target your audience, as people across the globe are using that hashtag. Focusing on something more local specific, like “Louisvilleweddings” would be much more likely to hit the demographic you are looking for. Also, because that community is not just about flowers, it might allow you to stand out.
POSTING BAD PHOTOS
Instagram is all about the quality of your photo. Try to make sure your lighting looks good, your photo is framed and cropped well, and, if possible, that your photo is highly evocative or tells a story. Taking the time to properly take your photo can make the difference between a viral hit and a complete dud. It’s easier than it sounds, especially with the benefit of a good photo filter.
Feeling out-of-date when it comes to social media marketing strategies? Don’t limit yourself to outdated methods and strategies. Let dRAE Media & Marketing help you reinvigorate your social and digital strategy. Doesn’t matter whether you are in Louisville, Lexington, or Timbuktu, we have the tools to take your business to the next level. Contact us today and let us show you what dRAE Media & Marketing can do.