[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]While growing your Instagram should definitely be a priority if you are looking to promote a brand, sell a product or service, or push a personal agenda, there is a way to do it where your efforts may work AGAINST you! There are so many people out there who will tell you to just use hashtags until you are blue in the face and just be sure that you use 30 of them. My hope is that I can encourage you to use 30, but to choose them with an intentional strategy. What I don’t want to see is my clients, or anyone who is actively trying to grow their Instagram following to do what I call spaz hashtagging.


Spaz hashtagging is essentially done by people who are in too much of a hurry when choosing hashtags to put in their caption, and or people who simply have no clue what hashtags to use that work for their niche.


I am absolutely guilty of spaz hashtagging at times simply because I’m hurrying to post and don’t have the time in the moment to put much thought into it. However, as I have gotten more diligent in my planning of content, I have also found that I have more time to be equally as diligent with my hashtag choices for every post.


Choosing your hashtags is VERY important and can actually do a lot of the leg work as far as growing your account for you, especially if you are short on time for engagement. I am going to go into detail about 3 things that will help you choose hashtags properly as well as walk you through some thoughts I have when I am choosing them for myself.


Who do you want to speak to?


This is perhaps the most important part when deciding on hashtags that will work for your posts. As influencers or as a brand, our goal is to attract people who are interested in whatever it is that we are either selling or offering (as a service).


I always think about hashtags as magnets for how to reach the person who I think would want to hear what I am saying. I am going to throw a few examples at you here.


I have a client who custom designs sugar cookies. I am not talking like the basic kind I am talking like crazy fancy super custom ones. (see image below)


Grow Instagram Followers How to Make Sure Your Hashtags are working FOR you and not AGAINST you


For her posts I encourage her to use hashtags that will target people who would want to buy or have her create some sort of custom design for them. The goal here being to reach people who would think, “Dang I want to see if she can create ___ for me!” or “wow those are awesome I bet she could make awesome ones for ___(insert whatever the occasion is, aka teachers appreciation week, or even a relay for life run etc etc…any kind of event!).


So what kind of hashtags would I choose for her on this? Examples would be:  #nurseappreciation #nurseappreciationweek #nurseswag #celebrateeveryday #healthcareforall #healthcareprofessional #healthylifehappylife


Here is my reasoning why: These hashtags will be searched by people in the field. They will be people who care about the topic and could come across this and think, “wow that’s a fun way to celebrate what we do we should see if she can make some for our upcoming event!”


Who would you want to buy from you?


The next thing to think about when you are choosing hashtags is to think about, “who would I want to contact me to buy or have me create for them?”


This is an important question because it is going to force you to think about who your audience and ideal client would be. If you haven’t thought about it then this will for sure push you in that direction. For this particular client we narrowed down her ideal audience to people who are into unique gift ideas and people like “soccer moms” and “the secretary at work who always buys the cutest gifts.”


So how do you choose hashtags for this? The following are examples of hashtags that we used for her on this image:  #celebrateeveryday #customcreations #sunflowers? #cutedecor #customdecorations #cookiesfordays #lovecookies #designandbuild #cookiedecorating #specialcookies #greatgift #giftideasforher #boxofcookies


Who do you want to be in your tribe?


This question is something that I am going to use myself as an example. When I create hashtags for Berman Media PD’s posts I think about how I can use some of the 30 hashtags I get as a way to connect with other girl bosses and lady entrepreneurs like myself. Why? Because we work HARD at what we do and sometimes the encouragement that I get from these ladies makes my entire day and reassures me on the days where the self-doubt creeps in.


Here are some examples of hashtags I use for this for my business:  #womensupportingwomen #femtrepreneur #fempreneurs #womenwhohustle #femaleentrepreneurs #businesschicks #entrepreneurship101 #socialmediaguru #entrepreneurmotivation #findyourflock


While I know we only get 30 hashtags I have found that using ones that fit each of the three questions above has greatly helped me continue to grow my Instagram following consistently and intentionally and has allowed for me to NOT be stressed when I can’t get to engagement as much as I would like to on some days.


IF you are struggling with choosing hashtags for your niche I encourage you to really brainstorm on question number two. Finding your target audience is very helpful because it will help you narrow your lens and keep you targeting the people who you want as customers and clients.


If you need help with what hashtags to use in a very narrowed sense (aka why some work better then others even if they fit the niche) check out my other blog article here.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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