- Instagram is all about the hashtags. Think of them as categories. The two biggest mistakes beginners make are: not using hashtags at all or using the most popular hashtags, like #amwriting.Y’all! That means nobody will see your stuff. If you don’t use hashtags, your followers will only see your posts by accident.
If you are using only the most popular hashtags, you’re aiming at highly competitive screen space. Your posts are unlikely to land on the front page (the top nine posts) for a highly competitive hashtag unless you have reached “influencer” status. Even if your post lands on the front page, it will get knocked off the top in short order because hundreds of other people are posting for that hashtag.Instead, use a mix of hashtags—big, medium, and small categories (plus your branded hashtag(s). This takes research, and you will need to periodically review what you know. So create a document or a spreadsheet with a good mix of hashtags you can copy/paste to save you time every day.
- Switch up the hashtags you use. Instagram will penalize your posts if you continually use the same combination of hashtags.
- Go ahead and use thirty hashtags (the maximum number) if you have the patience. But use at least ten to fifteen; two or three is not enough. Place hashtags at the end of each post.
- When people like or comment on your posts, return the favor on their posts.
- When people comment, you should reply. If someone disses you, offer them the other cheek. Always stay humble and return a soft answer. If a troll latches on, then ignore them. Really. But most people who take the time to comment are showing their willingness to connect. So connect!
- Brand a hashtag (or two). Again, make sure the hashtag isn’t taken, and double-check the words you run together to make sure they can’t be read the wrong way.Once you figure out your branded hashtag, use it for EVERY post. If someone comes across your hashtag on one of your posts, they can click it and see a gallery of your posts.
- Most importantly, post on a regular, frequent basis. For you, this could be three times a day or three times a week. Whatever schedule you choose, be consistent.
Jenn Herman on YouTube; this gal is an Instagram expert, and she makes the details accessible in a fun and personable way.