HOW TO NAIL YOUR HASHTAG STRATEGY. 5 WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR ENGAGEMENT.
How well does your fashion brand know how to use hashtags on Instagram to get the most value out of them?
We have often found that hashtags are not much of a priority for our audience, it’s another thing to add the Instagram to do list right?
On the surface they don’t seem to be a massive factor, but are and continue to remain one of the most important aspects of growing on Instagram.
In short hashtags are used to make your content discoverable but also they encourage audience interaction. So after you have spent so much time creating your content and coming up with a killer caption the last thing you want is to go waste with the potential of not letting as many people see it!
So it’s time to start learning how to use Instagram hashtags strategically and what steps you need to take to implement an effective hashtag strategy!
We are sharing 5 ways to increase engagement and how you can start to nail your hashtag strategy!
Focus on your hashtag research.
Hashtags move quickly. What worked last week could now be filled with spam and irrelevant content. It is important that you spend time each month doing some quick research on your hashtags. Best practice for this is to search some keywords within Instagram itself under each of your content pillars, the topics your brand or business discusses, your audience, community and your industry.
Researching your target audience is key to helping you reach them more with your content as you seek out which hashtags they are using and when it’s relevant you should be incorporating those into your hashtag mix. Checking out competitors, influencers and leaders in the fashion industry that share your target audience will help you discover a few new hashtags to add in.
Only use the relevant amount of hashtags.
It can be tempting to keep throwing in hashtags just incase they work wonders for your post, but actually it could be doing nothing for you. Of course you can use a max number of 30 hashtags each post but unless they are relevant and targeted for the content it’s best to leave it. There has been lots of conflicting information on this, and the most recent research suggests using 11 hashtags is optimal for boosting engagement. However, we always encourage that you test, measure and refine because the success of using hashtags is to use them strategically.
The key is to use ones that are specific. Being as specific as possible with hashtags narrows the pool of targeted consumers, which makes it easier to build a highly engaged audience.
Use a mix of hashtag types
Within each set of hashtags try using a range of hashtag types to ensure you maximise all opportunities.
Hashtag types include:
- Community hashtags- are hashtags that connect like-minded users around a specific subject.
- A branded hashtag – a hashtag that is unique to you fashion business.
- Campaign hashtag – campaign hashtags are usually shorter-term and run for just a few days, a season, or a year and are tied to specific campaigns, like new product launches, special events, or partnerships.
We also suggest using a mix of hashtags that describe your brand, your target audience and what you do. If you are a local retailer or boutique then using location based hashtag is a great option for your hashtag strategy.
And remember stay as specific as possible. For example:
If you are women’s shoe brand, using a general hashtag like #womensshoes won’t help you to stand out in the search results, as it has over 200k users. But using another hashtag, say #womensfootwear, which has just over 30k users, means you’re in a feed featuring far less competition, increasing the odds that users will find your post.
Keep your hashtags tidy
To keep your audience focused on your well-written caption, it’s a good idea to downplay the appearance of your Instagram hashtags. Hashtags that stand out in posts often look cluttered, spammy or out of place.
Use line breaks keep your hashtags neatly tucked away, so you can maintain a beautiful streamlined aesthetic or pop them in your first comment. Instagram have said you can use both however, by adding hashtags to captions, you’ll benefit from the extra engagement as soon as you hit publish. Rather than having to wait until your comment is written and posted so using a scheduler here is key as they have the functions to publish both at the same time.
Optimise your hashtag results
By constantly mixing your hashtags (don’t keep repeating the same ones!) you will need to track your insights to ensure you can track performance so you can decide what hashtags to use again in the future.
Remember, test, measure and refine is the key to a successful strategy!
There are two ways you can do this. By using Instagram insights on individuals posts so you can track which set of hashtags have generated the most amount of reach.
And then some schedulers have hashtag analytics so you can drill down which specific hashtags have worked the best for you. We use Later for our clients and our own Instagram and it’s such a powerful tool to have in your hands. You do need to pay but if you are really passionate about maximising every aspect of your Instagram marketing then it’s functions like this that will be the most helpful.
It’s so important to analyse and evaluate what hashtags work the best.
It is also so important to keep working on your hashtag strategy. Don’t let them fall down the list of ways of growing on Instagram.
Did you know we have a FREE Fashion Hashtag newsletter? Each month we deliver to your inbox a new set of hashtags that you can throw into the mix! Easy peasy.
As always, if you have any questions please drop us a comment below or get in touch!