Boosting your hashtag reach doesn’t have to be difficult, and we know that even a simple hashtag strategy can help you increase your reach by 30-40%. These tips will help to create an ongoing strategy.

As you may know, if you use the right hashtags, you can 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.

So, what kind of things do we need to be thinking about before we can apply a strategy?

Goal setting

The best way to start any strategy is by asking yourself what you want to achieve. Why do you want to improve your hashtag strategy? Is it to:

  • Increase your following?

  • Build a personal brand?

  • Sell a product?

  • Gain more authority within your industry?

  • Reach a specific audience?

It’s important to take note and keep your goals top of mind. That way, when you are working on your strategy and implementing it into your routine, you don’t lose sight of the bigger picture. Many people find it easier when they can tick off certain milestones as they go – so you can also set micro-goals to track your progress along the way. This will help you stay motivated and will show you that your strategy is paying off in real-time. Here are some examples of micro-goals you can set yourself:

  • Reach 100 new followers

  • Increase your reach by 15%

  • Create ten different hashtag Collections tailored to your account

  • Understand hashtag metrics

Dedicate enough time to acing your strategy the first time

Something that we like to reiterate a lot, is that your hashtag strategy and that all-important performance – is a marathon, not a sprint. There are no shortcuts when it comes to gaining organic growth on Instagram, so it is essential that you put the time and effort into getting your strategy where it needs to be before you start posting.

Plan ahead, and pre-empt the hashtags you’re going to use to give you a greater chance of getting your strategy off on the right foot. We know our hashtags need to be relevant; choosing broad hashtags may be easier in the short term, but this won’t give you every opportunity to get ranking.

Look specifically at the type of content you post and build more specific hashtags based on 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’

Do your background research

There are a lot of creators and accounts out there that prefer to focus on being creative and sending their content out into the world without paying attention to or monitoring metrics. When it comes to hashtag research, metrics are your best friend.

You’ll need to make sure your chosen hashtags have similar stats to your current content and engagement to start ranking.  What do we mean by this? If you tend to get a certain amount of likes or engagement when you post content on Instagram, the hashtags you use should match up with your typical performance. For example, if you get around 200 likes per post, it’s unlikely you will perform as well on a hashtag where users are getting 10k likes per post.

Know your engagement levels

This is where Average Likes Comes in. Your ‘Average Likes’ is the average amount of likes you get on a post, which you can compare with the Average Likes that users who rank on a specific hashtag get. By comparing these numbers, you can easily predict which hashtags might work for you and which might not.

You can rank on hashtags that are higher-performing or competitive for your account. However, the best way to do this is by ranking on smaller, comparative hashtags first, which help propel your content to wider audiences.

There is a trade-off to consider when choosing your hashtags. Using higher competitive hashtags (for your account size) will likely reach a bigger audience than less competitive hashtags, but the chances of ranking reduce. It’s essential to use a balance within your posts. To maximise your chances of a successful post, create a list of hashtags of varied competitiveness.

There are some great tools out there to help you establish your hashtags and collections. The one I use is Flick. tec which is cost-effective and reactive to trending hashtags. They offer a free trial so it is worth taking a look. You can also do this research on the platform directly if you want to, but it is a little more time-consuming.

Also, be aware of Banned Hashtags, please check out this blog I wrote in 2020, which outlines how this works, the list will have been updated but a quick google search will provide up to date hashtags to avoid.

Once you have developed your collections, rotate them and update them and monitor which hashtags are working for you. Don’t be lazy and use the same collections in the same order for every post, consider specific ones that will help you to be seen. It’s an ongoing job, but collection development is definitely a great shortcut to consider. and copy and paste your collection into court phone or laptop, so they are easy to access replicate and add too.

Hope this help. If you are interested in working with me to develop a hashtag strategy for your business,  we have costs for this, or we can set up a power hour to assess your accounts and see where quick wins can be made. Please go to the training section on the website for more info.


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