Whether you’re a creator, marketer or online business, then it’s likely that most of what you do or create, lives and depends on social media. Platforms like Instagram have allowed people to do what they love and share it with an audience online who engage with the content they produce. And, hashtags are an essential part of any creator’s growth on Instagram. Introducing a solid hashtag strategy can help you reach 40% more people on Instagram.
As you may know, if you use the right hashtags, you are able to reach more of the right people within your niche, who are interested in your content and therefore are more likely to be engaged. But, it isn’t as simple as just picking random hashtags for your posts.
And, what a lot of people don’t realise is that creating an easy-to-follow strategy for using hashtags is a lot simpler than you may think, and will save you hours of pain in the long-run.
We’ve rounded up some key points from Creators already using Flick on how they know which hashtags to use, how they keep them organised so using them on posts is hassle-free, and how they know which hashtags will translate into an increased following.
So, how are creators reaching 40% more people every time they post? 📲
The key is to avoid making the common mistakes, and building out a thought-through strategy. Here’s some tips that can help you get started on your own strategy, and how to flag mistakes you might be making.
#1 Understand these hashtag principles:
- To get results from hashtags, you need to rank in the ‘top posts’ section of the hashtag
- You should use hashtags that are the right size for your account (more on how to do this later)
- The relevancy between your content and the hashtags you use will help determine the visibility your posts get from non-followers.
#2 Plan ahead, and pre-empt the hashtags you’re going to use
It’s important to pay attention to your niche when you are coming up with a list of hashtags to use on your posts. It can be easy when you are posting your content to pick broadly related hashtags like ‘#fashion’, ‘#fitness’ or ‘#lifestyle’, but by planning ahead, you could use hashtags that are similar but a better size for your account. This will give you a higher chance of ranking on a hashtag, taking you from 100 impressions via hashtags to 5000.
Whatever it is, first think about your niche, and then think of your posts as sub-niches.
Look specifically at the type of content you post and build more specific hashtags based off of this. The more matched up your posts are to your hashtags, the more likely you are to reach more of the right people, so swap out something like ‘#fitness’ for ‘#10minuteworkout’
💡If you’re struggling to think of hashtags that are more ‘niche’, you can search a broad hashtag in Flick. When you search, we will give you a list of suggestions based on this hashtag that are related, but more niche, and less competitive! Also, take a look at your competitor accounts and see what hashtags they are using, you can add these to your list, or plug them in to Flick to find related hashtags.
“Everyone in my niche has been complaining about their reach, because the hashtag game has changed. The moment I saw the power of Flick, I began using it on my account and for clients whose accounts I manage. We have nothing to complain about. Our reach has gone back up!” – @weliveonabus
#3 Not all hashtags are the same, make sure the ones you use aren’t too competitive for your account size
One of the mistakes a lot of people make is not matching up the hashtags they use, to the overall performance of their accounts. Some hashtags are more competitive than others, making them harder to rank on – if you rank on a hashtag, your post is exposed to a much larger audience. If you’ve linked your Instagram profile on Flick, you will be able to see how competitive a hashtag is specifically for your account, which helps you choose the right hashtags more easily.
Your Average Likes is the average amount of likes you get on your posts, in general. This is another metric that will help you match your posts to the right hashtags. You want to try and use hashtags that have ranked posts with similar average likes to yours – this means its a lot more likely that you have the chance to rank. If you usually get around 200 likes per post, and are competing with users who usually get 10,000 likes per post, it is a lot more difficult to rank.
On Flick, you can set different search filters based on Average Likes. This means you can tailor your search to only have hashtags suggested that contain average likes within the parameters you have set. We also have a suggested filter, if you aren’t sure how to set it correctly for your account (as well as more resources to help you understand the process).
“Flick got me to really understand how hashtags work. I realized I’ve been using them all wrong. The software easily showed me what I could potentially rank for and it works. Before Flick I was getting below 20% view on hashtags. After using Flick, it’s over 50%-60%, some posts even more. I am now expanding my reach on Instagram and it’s awesome.” – @thesocialshells
#4 Use a balance of competitive and non-competitive hashtags on your posts
So, there’s a trade off whether you use competitive, or less competitive hashtags, which is why it’s important to use a balance within your posts. Most of our creators like to create lists with hashtags of varied competitiveness, storing applicable hashtags based on different metrics.
Useful metrics to determine the competitiveness of a hashtag:
- Average Likes
- Media Count
💡 If you rank on a smaller (less competitive) hashtag, your post will likely receive more engagement from a new audience, making it more likely to rank on mid-level hashtags, and thus more likely to rank on a highly competitive hashtag. Make sure you’re always using an even balance of hashtags!
#5 Store hashtags in an organized way
Not only will this help you reach more people, but this will also save you a lot of time. On Flick, you can save your Instagram hashtags into different Collections based on niche, Average Likes, Media Count – whatever works for you – and easily copy and paste these to your posts using our Mobile App. Your stored hashtags will always be available on your phone, so you just need to add them to your post caption or comment when you go to create a post.
“Being able to see how hashtags perform has enabled me to drop those that aren’t relevant and slowly improve my reach over time. I’ve been able to grow my Instagram account by 54% in just 30 days with an average of 33% of my reach coming from hashtags.” – @jamesgiroux
#6 Avoid banned hashtags
Did you know that if you use a banned hashtag on your posts, it won’t be shown to as many people? But how are you supposed to know if a hashtag is banned? Banned and flagged hashtags change every day, and this can be hard to keep on top of. If you are using Flick, we won’t suggest banned or flagged hashtags, so you can feel safe about the hashtags you are using based on your searches with us.
#7 Take your time
Whilst it might take a little while to compile your initial list of hashtags, it will be worth it when you have Collections of high-performing, wide-reaching hashtags that help you connect with your target audience. Once you put the leg-work in, your hashtags are ready for you to use, anytime, anywhere.
We hope you enjoyed these tips on how creators are reaching 40% more people every time they post. If you want a more in depth, detailed guide on how to build out your Instagram hashtag strategy, take a look at our guide.
“Flick has significantly cut down the time it takes to create new posts for the 12 Instagram accounts I manage. On top of that, by using all of Flick’s data, my hashtags continue to be relevant, and I continue to see growth in my reach as I optimize the best tags for each account. Flick has become not just a convenience, but a NECESSITY for running my social media.” – @ben_will_be