Instagram is unique for sure… all picture-driven. Yes, there are captions and you can discuss what the picture is about. But as you all know, there is no easy way to direct Instagram followers to your blog from within an Instagram post.
To make a link click-able, you have to place the link in your profile. And that’s fine, but keep in mind that every time you publish a new post, you will have to update the link in your profile. And don’t forget to call out in your Instagram caption that your followers should click the link in your profile.
When I first joined Instagram, I didn’t really have a good marketing plan. It is certainly a unique channel. If you don’t have great images, then you won’t do well on Instagram. It’s all about images. Some of my earlier images weren’t all that eye-catching…
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But my more recent posts are more captivating!
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That switch has helped me grow my Instagram following from 3K to over 25K. It took time (just like all worthwhile tasks do)- it’s certainly not an overnight solution. But it works over time!
However, great pictures are not the only secret to Instagram growth! The right hashtags are the lifeblood of Instagram. It’s a fabulous way to reach more people and get more eyes on your content. If they like your picture, you may get a like. If they like your channel, you may get a follow. Hashtags are a must for Instagram, but how do you know which hashtags to use?!
Well the simple answer is that the answer is not so simple…
You see, what works well for a fitness blogger will not work well for a recipe blogger. It’s industry-specific so you will have to find the best hashtags that work for your blog niche. But don’t worry… I have a great system that can work well for you.
Oh, and before we move on, do not use the most simple hashtags (like #cool, #love, #pretty, etc.) They are over-used and simply won’t get you any attention. That’s because everyone is using them so your pictures are going to get lost in a big sea full of fish!
Here’s a start: look at the pictures you’ve posted on Instagram the past few weeks. Are they mostly food shots? Are they close-up beauty images? Start thinking about the main categories of each of your images. Then use the auto-fill feature in Instagram to get hashtag ideas. For example, if you blog about blogging, start typing in “blog” into the search bar… other options like “blogginglife” and “blogger” appear, along with the number of times that hashtag has been used.
Also check similar accounts to yours: other beauty bloggers, other food enthusiasts, and so on. Check out the hashtags they use. Be sure to check the first comment, as some IGers will place their hashtags into the first comment rather than the caption.
Make a large spreadsheet with all the hashtags you have found. Now it’s time to remove any over-used or under-used hashtags.
- Cross off any with less than 10K or more than 400K uses.
- Cross off any one-word hashtags. They are most likely too broad.
- Cross off any that are not relevant to the content you post on Instagram.
Now that you’ve found the best Instagram hashtags, it’s time to use them properly. Keep in mind you’re only allowed to use 30 hashtags per picture. Avoid the temptation to cram more hashtags per image.
To streamline your life, collect a grouping of ~30 hashtags per category and store it in a Notepad file on your computer. When you’re ready to post a recipe image, simply copy & paste the hashtags. Add them to the end of the caption or as a separate comment. I usually add them to the end of my caption.
I hope these tips have inspired you to improve your Instagram game. Do you follow any of these tips? How do you find the right hashtags to use on Instagram?
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