In this article I outline 2 different methods that I use with my clients to gain more content exposure whilst using instagram hashtags; consider it a 101 guide!
By now we all know we should be using hashtags… this is a given, there is countless data out there suggesting that a post with the use of a single hashtag gets 12.6% more engagement than a post with no hashtags. No brainer really… We understand that they are powerful in reaching the right target audience; they attract followers to your specific niche, increase personal engagement and awareness of your brand.
How to find the right hashtags
There are a few different methods of researching and finding the right hashtags for your businesses.
Option 1: first off is checking out your direct competitors; what are their most used hashtags across the last 9 used images? and the most used hashtags on their best liked posts? Do this for 4-5 of your competitors and you should have yourself at least 20 usable hashtags.
Option 2: is to the search function directly in instagram; type in your desired hashtag or niche, hit the search button and bam you’ll likely have 20-30 different similarly contained options at your fingertips. Do this 3-5 times for different variable of your content/business and you’ve got yourself a complete list of maybe 50-100 useable hashtags.
Option 3: is to use a search generator tool of which notably are Display Purposes and IQ hashtag ; they both have their negatives and positives associated with each tool.
Now that you have those hashtags it’s time to group them; now there are a few different ways to do this; Option 1 is to group them by your content pillars; in other words how they relate to your content. If you’re posting about beautiful houses on instagram then one of the pillars would potentially be “architecture” so then you’d place all the architecture hashtags together but you could also do more broader sets using Display Purposes so having one for “architecture”, one for “interiordesign”, one for “villas”, one for “beautiful homes” you get the idea. Then you would simply copy and paste this into your caption.
Option 2 is to create an excel spreadsheet with all your desired hashtags, lets say you end up with a list of 100-150 hashtags; you could then multiple select the different hashtags you feel are more niche appropriate to the image in question. Using the example above you’d maybe use #ihavethisthingwithfloors or #luxurymodernvilla rather than the generic #modernarchitecture
Personal branded hashtags
A personal branded hashtag is key to exposing your business at a later date once you have other users tagging your content; this starts to become powerful once you reach the 1000 post mark. This ultimately lets others know that your content is providing value. So i’d certainly suggest you create one; this can be simply either the name of your business or something more creative; ultimately its whatever you feel is right for your business! Some of my own client hashtags include: #staffantollgard#tollgarddesigngroup , #designlifeapp and my very own personal hashtag: #nononsensemarketing delivering to you the no bullshit approach to marketing.
My secret to successful hashtags for maximum engagement
So by now you’ve realised that hashtags are important, you understand how to find them, how to group them now i’m going to offer you two methods in how to make sure they help your post gain maximum exposure. Both methods work to varying degrees; it’s up to you which you choose to use.
Method 1: This was a method that I first found through Ortal Levitan ; Simply put its the idea of mixing the size of your hashtags up. She advocates using 5 (million post) hashtags, 10 medium level (500k-1mill), 10 lower level (100k-500k) and 5 ultra niche (anything below 100k); meaning you’d use all 30 hashtags available to you.
Method 2: This was a method that I discovered through putting 2+2 together and my preferred method. It’s ultimately based on the authority of your account. Scale as needed.
10 likes -> posts with 10k tags 100 likes -> posts with 100k tags 1000 likes -> posts with 1M tags
The reason this is my preferred method is due to the exposure each post then receives when looking at insights within a selected post. Typically i’ve seen my content reach over 1000-10000 people instead of under 1000 using other methods. Is it the perfect method… the simple answer is no but for now thats what i’m using for both myself and my clients.
6 Quick Instagram Hacks; as a business or entrepreneur or even someone trying to grow your following; it’s so important to nail the fundamentals first!
1. Post consistently: consider this paying your dues, if you want to get your content seen you need to be posting regularly! For most accounts this means once per day.
2. Post at your best time: You wouldn’t put a Christmas advert out in January, the same goes for the timing of your content. Post when your audience is online. This can be done through the insights section as a business account. Instagram has a 6 hour half life so post when the blue ridge is highest.
3. Use all the features: Instagram provides you with tons of features and software elements like IGTV, Instagram live, stories. Make sure you’re using all of the tools they provide you with.
4. Content must educate, inspire or entertain: this one is pretty self explanatory but give a reason behind your content. Posting just for the sake of it doesn’t bring any value. Value is key!
5. Create conversations: Instagram is a “social media” platform this means you must be social, reply to comments, leave comments on other people’s profile, use DM, share and repost peoples content.
6. Follow those in your niche: Instagram displays to you content that you like. So in order to get lumped into the same search categories as your competitors you must follow them. Instagram shows you similar account content you already engage with! As you can see in the below image, for an interior designer or architect it would be perfect to be featured in someone’s explore feed like this. Instagram puts similar content together!
If you enjoyed these instagram hacks or if it brings you value or if you’re struggling with anything social media then you should download my guide on “How To Maximise Your Engagement”
To read more of my blogs on social media click here To learn about how I work with my clients click here
Businesses around the world are desperate to increase their social media following and influence with the simple idea of increasing sales! But many businesses fall short and never gain the traction that they deserve! I’m going to highlight for you below the instagram mistakes businesses make and how to fix them.
10 Instagram Mistakes:
Problem number 1: Still pandering to designing the perfect feed – whilst I agree that the overall aesthetic of the instagram feed is important; making adjustments like extra borders is simply shutting off your content to people that could view it. Why would you purposefully try and hide your content for the sake of an interesting feed when people don’t view your content like that.
Problem number 2: Posting an image and hoping for the best – The idea behind posting an image and hoping it does well simply doesn’t work due to the instagram algorithm; it is super important that you know when the best time to post your content is. To do this you must go to your insights page and under the audience tab. Choose the time that has the highest audience! (remember that this changes on a day to day basis).
Problem number 3: Not using video content – Video content is now king! No longer are beautiful images enough. There are two types of video content – native and professional; Instagram has various ways of providing this video content from stories to lives to IGTV. You must make sure that as a business you’re using all of these to maximise overall engagement, if you’re just posting static images you’re leaving 90% of potential engagement on the table.
Problem number 4: Not having a descriptive interesting bio – A descriptive bio is crucial for letting people understand what you or your business does; it is that first point of reference when people go from a post to your profile. Make it 100% clear and leave no doubts in people’s mind what you’re offering.
Problem number 5: Not understanding the fundamental basis of social media – The clue is in the name; you’re wanting people to engage with your brand but expect them to come straight to you to consume your content and eventually purchase something from you. Newsflash; this isn’t going to happen! You have to build and create those social connections just as you would in the real world. Start engaging!
Problem number 6: Not having a content strategy – Posting randomly twice a week simply won’t cut it, not if you’re trying to grow your business due to the sheer volume of traffic on instagram. As with anything consistency is key! this might well be different for each business but i’d recommend at least 4-5 times per week as an absolute minimum. Now you might say I haven’t got time for that I’m a small business. The simple solution is to outsource! Ask for help when needed and you’ll halve the amount of time it takes to build your brand – Book a call with me here
Problem number 7: Not using the business solutions Instagram provide to you – Hopefully by now you’ve made your instagram account into a business profile, if you haven’t you should do so immediately. Once you’ve got over 100 followers instagram provides you real insight into your audience, from age, location, sex, times when your audience is online, what content has done well in order to replicate similar content. Essentially provide your audience with what they want!
Problem number 8: Going after the biggest hashtags – If you’re a new business and you’re going after the biggest hashtags with the millions of posts; I’ve got news for you: your content that you’ve just spent tons of time perfecting and creating is going to flop! Due to the algorithm and the constant number of posts being uploaded with that specific hashtag your content is simply going to get lost in the millions of other posts.
Problem number 9: Not using Instagram’s features to maximise engagement – Instagram offers you multiple different ways of sharing your content; whether this is through instagram stories or instagram lives, carousel posts or IGTV. Don’t just think it’s quicker and easier to do a picture post; not using the features available will result in significantly less traffic and thereby engagement leading to less sales.
Problem number 10: Not understanding the location based aspect of posts – The location aspect of where you tag a post is as equally important as the hashtags you use. If you’re a small local business, its worth tagging your content in your local area only rather than say the major city or town. This will result in more local eyes on your brand and products.
I hope my insights help you develop your social media strategy; if you want to start maximising your engagement across social media – Download my guide today!
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Video is crucial for your brand development; It delivers your brand messaging in a format that is easily digestible and engaging to a potential audience. At the heart of it; you’re ultimately selling your brand by combining visually beautiful images with excellent narrative and in doing so creating your brand story.
There are quite a few reasons as to why you should create a brand video and I’ve outlined a few reasons below.
Reason 1: Videos allow you to increase the time spent by visitors on your site. Longer exposure on your website builds trust and signals search engines that your site has good informative content. Did you know you’re 53 times more likely show up first on Google if you have a video embedded on your website! This is a crucial factor in getting leads and clients for your business.
Reason 2: The majority of consumers prefer video content compared to reading. Consumer preference will also lead to an explosion in video content marketing. Video will be used more and more for lead generation but also conversion of leads. A lot of potential buyers don’t want to talk to salespeople anymore; this is where video marketing can influence sales and opinion in later stages. The popularity of video also means that more of the content produced at the top of the sales funnel should be in video format; this applies for B2C as well as B2B too.
Reason 3: Video Boosts Conversions and Sales. Videos can help to make your brand money wether its you sell a product or a service. Adding a product video to your landing page can increase sale conversions by up to 80% . Studies show that 74% of users who watched an explainer-video about a product subsequently bought it.
Reason 4: Video gives you better social reach. Making sure people can find you online is crucial when it comes to growing your brand, video content is the most efficient way to extend your online reach. Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined, and the more people that are sharing your brand, the better. Telling your brand’s story through videos is an effective way to leverage exposure. Social feeds (Facebook and Instagram, specifically) do a great job of showing only content that people want to see. And it’s getting harder and harder to show up there as a business; creating video posts will allow you to show up in people’s newsfeeds where you otherwise wouldn’t.
In developing brand stories and video content I cannot recommend Jake Betteridge and his services highly enough. Jake is an accomplished filmmaker and content creator as well as being a good friend of mine.
If you want to start maximising your engagement across social media without the long hours of searching and hassle then download my guide today.
Interested In Learning More About Social Media Click Here
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Why Should I Hire Someone To Help Manage My Social Media Channels?
Another question I get asked a lot, where is the benefit in hiring someone to plan and prepare and post all of my social media content; surely I can do this myself?
First we need to understand the job of a social media specialist, what do they do? As with any job a social media specialist is someone who understand the platforms that are available to use and to maximise the return on them; this means that they are constantly studying and learning and updating their thoughts on the algorithms.
Essentially the job of a social media specialist equates to driving traffic & creating higher levels of engagement for your brand/company.
There is of course a tipping point whereby once you have enough followers and engagement, the profile explodes rapidly, driving more traffic to your website and lead to more sales (which is ultimately the point of social media). The role of a social media manager is to get your brand and company to that tipping point.
The second role that a social media manager should be performing is finding, planning and creating content in line with your brand image and objectives. People often grossly underestimate the amount of work thats required to create all this and believe that they can do this themselves, however resulting in poor thought process, random posting and low engagement and stagnation. Most major companies now dedicate an entire job role specifically to this effect however a lot of small to medium sized businesses simply cannot afford to pay someone full time to manage their social channels and engage with that audience.
A good social media manager will not only create maximum exposure on the content produced but will also be able to direct the flow of content creation, ensuring you have the best and most engaging content going out across the various platforms.
What Social Media Platforms Should My Business Be Using?
We’ve talked before about why your business needs social media. Once you understand why your business should be using social media, it’s time to figure out what platform your content will work best on – getting this right is pivotal to driving traffic to your website, some platforms make it easier than others, however it’s all about how you connect with your target audience.
So what are the platforms that people use the most: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, Youtube.
Let me explain what each platform is best for what to help you decide where’s best to place your brand content:
Facebook is the Grandaddy of all social media platforms. It’s been around the longest. It has over a billion users worldwide. It is THE platform to tell your audience more about your brand or business’ story. There are also copious options for paid advertising – targeted paid advertising – making it a great resource for generating new business leads, prospects and reaching new audiences.
Instagram has blown up in the last few years. It is a great tool to allow your business to generate a large audience/following organically. Instagram is a great tool for businesses with visually appealing products or a strong voice to communicate. With the integration of their “stories” tool, it’s now become a great platform to show off the “behind the scenes” of your business too; creating a more personal touch to your business and giving it a face. This helps the customer connect better with you. Owned by Facebook, Instagram also offers the same targeted advertising tools as its sister brand.
Twitter is like Marmite. It used to be a big deal – everyone used it to chat to one another live in the moment. It was like a reliable friend you could turn to at any point for a good chinwag. In some ways it still is but its popularity has waned since the birth of Instagram. It is however still a great tool for directing traffic to a blog post, website or even YouTube channel. It’s great for engaging directly with customers but these days it’s used more as a customer services tool. It has the ability to add videos and images (including lots of great GIFS) but its real value is in the link usage.
Think of Pinterest as your version of an online mood board. The beauty of it is that it allows you to link images directly from your website. Once these are circulating on Pinterest and (hopefully) being shared and engaged with, your website will see a boost in traffic and improve your Google SEO profile. It is predominantly image only, though does allow for captions.
LinkedIn is an underrated tool by most of us. Most of us will have a LinkedIn profile but it’s important to remember that it’s being used predominantly by high net worth individuals. Any business owner should have a presence on this channel. Although your actual following might be less, you’re targeting a more niche audience and that provides great value. By writing articles about your industry, sharing interesting articles relevant for your audience and creating a business voice for yourself, you will be able to generate new connections and leads for your business.
YouTube is solely video based. It’s a great tool for creating videos to tell a deeper story about your business. Video content is important and some might say is becoming even more so but it’s important to invest in creating good video content. Amateur video content will often go ignored. Not all brands will have the content or need for video.
So now you understand what each platform can bring to your business, which ones do you think would work for you? What would your priority list look like?
In short your business needs social media; it is the top of the sales funnel, drives traffic to your website and helps generate & convert leads.
Something I hear every day from brands and businesses: “what’s the whole point of social media? I don’t think it’s right for me!” It’s a great question; we can all agree and understand that social media is integral to our everyday, whether we like it or not. It used to be regarded by many as a a generational thing – only the young use it for chatting to each other, surely?! – but with the over 60s now dominating social media growth, that’s no longer the case. Does your business really need to get involved though? The answer is a resounding yes. Let me explain why.
Reason 1: Social Media Is The Top of the Sales Funnel
What does this mean? The traditional sales funnel is all about generating a process system to secure a sale, whether that’s a service or a product. Now, when looking at a sales funnel, traditionally awareness will be at the top, leading on to a deeper interest, followed by specific engagement and lastly, the holy grail, a sale. Each level has its own identity but all uniquely connected. Here’s what it would look like:
I would argue, that a business should actually work to the following funnel in order to acquire new clients and sales instead.
Reason 2: Social Media Drives Traffic To Your Website
Driving large amounts of traffic (people/visitors) to your website is crucial to climbing the google rankings (being on page 1).
Google is still the number one resource people use when searching for a product or business that fulfils their needs. Put simply, the more people come through to your website from social media channels; the higher up the google ranking your website will climb which will lead to more potential clients seeing your work/services.
Reason 3: Helps Generate and Convert Leads
Social media offers an easy and low-commitment way for potential customers to express interest in your business and your products. Lead generation is such an important benefit of social media for business that many social networks offer advertising formats specifically designed to collect leads.
So now you hopefully understand and can see why your business needs to be showcasing your brand on social media and the benefits it can bring to your business.