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Hype Your Brand on Instagram

Lesson 5 of 20

Research Hashtags


Hype Your Brand on Instagram

Lesson 5 of 20

Research Hashtags


Lesson Info

Research Hashtags

You really need to seek out new hashtags that will engage new people during your launch, okay? So where are they hanging out? Remember, we talked about this earlier. Where are they hanging out on Instagram? And you need to really dig deep into the hashtags. This exercise alone will take you hours, if you do it correctly, is researching hashtags. So let's look at this, you guys. For those of you that don't know, the Explore tab is where you wanna go. And up here, where it says Search, this is where you wanna search your words, okay? So, I live in Boston and I'm gonna search Boston businesswomen. So what pops up? That's the first hashtag, and then other relevant hashtags pop up that might be interesting for me to use or consider, given what I'm searching. And, if you're using the right hashtag, then you're showing up in the top nine. And as you can see, in Boston businesswomen, with over 10.9 thousand followers, I have all, the top 12 photos are my photos that show up there. Now, you mig...

ht be thinking, well, how do you show up in the top nine? That is all based on engagement. How quickly people have engaged in your content. Did they like it, did they comment, did they share it, did they save it. Saving, that all contributes to the algorithm. We'll talk about that in a little bit. But you wanna make sure that you're showing up in the hashtags that are relevant for you. And I will tell you, from using that hashtag, that is how I found Alana, who is sitting in the front row over here. She is a member of the Facebook group, Boston Businesswomen, and I was looking for a photographer to do a photo shoot. And it all connected back and she's like, I wanna be onstage at CreativeLive, right? Do you wanna grab the mic for a second, is it right near you? Like this? Yeah, do you wanna just quickly talk about the Boston Businesswomen and the hashtag? Well, I think it was a, one of these serendipitous things, where you posted and somebody who knows me, who frequently sees me posting, immediately came to mind. And maybe two or three people in that feed. Feed, right. And so you called and you lived close by and it all worked out. Yeah, and here you are, right in the front row, at CreativeLive. Yes. (laughing) It's pretty awesome, right? So when you're using the right hashtags, you can attract the right people. So even if it's someone that you wanna do business with, or someone that you're hoping will be a part of your launch campaign, it really is in, you know, the magic is in the hashtags, as I like to say. But let's go through what kinds of hashtags that you should be using for our campaign. So we're gonna go back to the Boston example. And these are the four things that I really want you guys to write down, okay? Location-specific hashtags. So, if you have a business in and around a certain area, research those hashtags. If you are a photographer or a videographer who lives in a certain area and only likes to travel a mile radius of that area, know what the towns are and the locations where people like to do the photo shoots. Those are good locations hashtags to use, as well. So then you wanna look at community-related hashtags. So that's the one that Alana and I are both a part of is the Boston Businesswomen community. And so she showed up in that hashtag, someone tagged her, and then we connected. You also wanna consider your industry-niche-specific one. So, small business life is the hashtag that I use. And then your branded hashtag. So, for me, I have a community for my Ready, Set, Gram course, it's called #RSGcommunity. Many of them are tuning in right now and hello to all of you. This is the community hashtag I tell people to use every time that they post, so that I can support them. So that I can go into that hashtag, because now you can actually follow hashtags on Instagram. So once you've found the hashtags you like, you can start following them and they show up in your feed just like someone does when they, who you follow posts. So all the people that you follow, when they post, you see it in your feed. And if you start following a hashtag, that shows up in your feed, as well. Now, when you, little ninja tip for you guys. When you are following a hashtag and you see a post within that hashtag and you don't really like that post, you can tap on the three dots on the top and you can say to show less of that kind of posts within that hashtag. Okay? So definitely pay attention to the location, community, niche, industry, and branded. And you should really come up with 10 to 20 in each of these categories, if you can. But more importantly, you wanna research them. You wanna tap in and see what the content is that's being shown there. Okay, here's hashtags that you wanna avoid. Okay, #love. (audience laughing) 'Cause that just moves so quickly and everyone uses it. And if you look and see the content in there, it's like, people that work out and people that do, you know, that have quotes and their kids are in it. Like, it's random. Random hashtags are gonna get you random results. It's a nice word, but it's not a great hashtag if you're gonna be strategic for your business. Also, #likes4likes, follow for the follows, that's when the bots kick in, and thank you Instagram, finally they're, like, really cutting down on all that. But that's when you start seeing posts in your comments that say, nice pic, follow my account. Come over here, I'll teach you how to do this. Like, instantly when you use these hashtags, okay? And then, this is, also, if you are a marketer and you're using the same hashtags that everyone else is in your field, in your space, you're attracting your competitors. The people that do what you do. You need to think of the followers that you want to attract and where they're hanging out and the right hashtags to use that would attract them, not the people that do what you do. Okay? Can I sneak in with a question from online? Just about hashtags, there's a few that have come in. Somebody's asking about using hashtags on product packaging. Would you recommend that? Oh yeah, I love that, absolutely. So, in fact, back to the Spanx example, #armtights is on her packaging. When you physically sell something, it is so important for you to promote what you do. It is not the person receiving the product in the mail to guess what you want them to do. So by at mentioning your Instagram account, telling them your Twitter account, if that's the same, your Facebook account, if you wanna put that, but if you have a branded hashtag and you want them to be part of the campaign, you want to have that hashtag loud and proud everywhere. And by putting it on physical products, like a sticker or the box or, you know, they insert it, is really smart. Good question. Perfect, and also, how often do you recommend updating your hashtags? Yeah, so this, especially during a launch, I actually recommend, you know, constantly checking, and that's why you wanna be following your hashtags, to see what content is being populated in there. And so a lot of people that are feeling like their engagement is down or oh my gosh, my last post got 200 likes and this one got 100 likes, when you look at the hashtags and you see if there's a difference there, that might be one of the reasons. So I recommend updating the hashtags, especially during a launch, weekly. Like, checking in to make sure that you're reaching the people that you're trying to reach. Thank you, those were good questions. Okay, so let's go back to the videographer. Okay, so, lotta action here with, when you search it, right? So this is niching down a hashtag, okay? So now we've got videographer and it's 1.5 million posts. So what you wanna do is, you wanna see which ones are in the top. Which ones made it to the top nine, and you wanna click in and see why. And then you wanna see what hashtags they're using. 'Cause you might get some ideas of what you need to use based on the top, I always say pay attention to the top nine. 'Cause they got there because they got that engagement quickly. And what is it? Was it the photo, was it the video, was it the hashtags? And look at the content and see why they're there. And then go to what Instagram is showing you as related hashtags, as well. And when you scroll there, it keeps going. There's a lot more that you can dig. So I then went to video production, did the same thing. Well, there's less, 958,000. You go to the top nine and you do the same exercise again. Notice at the top, you guys, where we're seeing the hashtag within a story. So that is something I'm gonna talk about later, but I'll point it out here, as well, is that when you're using those hashtags in your stories, you can show up in that Instagram story, as well. Each hashtag, you know, especially when there's posts with a lot of hashtags, you'll see an Instagram story with that hashtag in it, as well. Not every time you click into a hashtag will you see that there's a story on top. But these both have a lot of views. So, again, if you're someone that's going to be doing Instagram stories for your campaign, that is where you can spend time, seeing what those stories look like. And not every single hashtag makes it into the story, either. Okay? All right, so now I'm gonna show you two examples. Jen, Coach Jen Rulon, is a client of mine. She went through Ready, Set, Gram. She was a hot mess two years ago. She had no, as a triathlete, she was, she found me on Snapchat, when I was on Snapchat, and she liked my potty mouth, let's just say that. Okay, and Jen, as you can see, has a potty mouth as a hashtag. And I clicked into all of these, and she has like the top nine for that hashtag. And what they're doing here, because we talked about this earlier, right, they are, Jen and Amy, and I'll talk about Amy in a minute, her hashtags are location based, community based, industry based, and branded. So her branded hashtag is her Rulon tips and her Rulon racing. She has her own community now, where she coaches triathletes to, she coaches coaches and triathletes. And she is amazing. She just finished her race in, she went to Hawaii and Kona and she made it and she finished it and it was her first time, this year. So she finally figured out what she wants to do, like Cerissa, you know, she was a triathlete and, you know, she ran triathlons, and she was a triathlete and she finally figured out that she wanted to train other people to do what she did. And so now she sells and launches online courses doing just that. So that's really, and she's so happy and her Instagram stories are hysterical. So if you need a kick in the butt 'cause you're not moving enough, go follow Jen. (laughing) Amy, who spoke here on stage not too long ago, do you guys know Amy Schmittauer from Vlog Like a Boss? She's awesome, I love Amy. She knows her hashtags. This girl has it goin' on all the time. And Amy has, you know, her hashtag at the bottom, vlog blog like a boss, that is her branded hashtag that we talked about. So having a hashtag around your launch is really important. And then she knows what hashtags attract those that she wants to be doing business with. And they both have a lot of hashtags here. The most that you can use is 30. I don't, you know, use as many that make sense for your launch. Maybe it's 15, maybe it's 12. Like, you don't have to use all 30, but the more you use, the more engagement that you might get, right? Okay, so the next is, how do you organize those hashtags that you wanna use? How do you group them and organize them? And I have a little ninja tip for you guys. Because you wanna make it really easy to post those hashtags 'cause it's all about timing. Getting them in the comments or getting them in the description. So what I suggest doing, in your notes, (laughing) well, you're seeing all my notes, okay, in your notes is, grouping them. And this is, I go in and I change them. So at the top here are location based. Some I'm gonna use for, when I'm talking and teaching Instagram, my community ones, #readysetgramcommunity. Sue B meetup, whenever I do a meetup in person I have a hashtag for that meetup. Saturday sipping with Sue B, Saturday snacking with Sue B is for my community. I do it within my VIP group. I have a fun little hashtag for that. And #suebmademedoit. (audience laughing) Okay, you guys are laughing, but you're gonna write that one down. Okay, 'cause you know what that one is? That's when you take a selfie or take a photo of yourself or your deskie, and you post it on Instagram and you use that hashtag so that I can see it and you become part of that community. There's almost a thousand people who have taken the Sue B Made Me Do It Challenge. Typically, when I'm interviewed on a podcast, at the end they say, is there anything else you want me to say? I'm like, yes, can I have people take a challenge? And that way I can find people who have listened to podcasts that I've been interviewed on, and I can go say hi to them. 'Cause I don't know who's listened to all these interviews, right? Because I've been interviewed on so many. So you can use hashtags for different reasons, right? And so I always like to have one because the truth is, a hashtag pulls together a micro-community or a larger community. So you can have your own branded hashtags. As long as you tell people to use them, they will show up in that hashtag. And then you can follow it and you can keep tabs on them and you can go over and say hi to them when they're posting on Instagram. It's a beautiful thing. Okay, all right, because it's, when you post on Instagram with hashtags, and even if it's just one, you get 12.6% more engagement. So you wanna be using those hashtags. And here's that handbook that I mentioned earlier. I said HH, but this the handbook that I want you guys to check out if you're still, if you have that hashtag headache. This handbook will help you significantly. We've spent hours and hours and hours doing all of that digging that I showed you with the videographer, like, go deep, go deep, go deeper. And these are ones that really work for industry specific. So if you wanna check that out, you can. Okay, and if there's one thing that I've learned, after teaching four classes here, (laughing) it's that you guys want more resources. So I'm giving you that. All right, so let's recap. You wanna seek out new hashtags prior to your launch. This is gonna take you time to do. So you gotta dedicate the time and put it on your calendar. Popular hashtags will get you random results. They're crowded and they're not the best option for your brand. And you wanna follow those hashtags that you really do want to monitor. And create a branded hashtag for your launch. I would love, you know, all of you here in the live audience if this is something that you wanna go over with me later, and those of you watching, having a branded hashtag is like so exciting because you have conversation around something that you are passionate about. And the shorter the hashtag, the better. Just so people, or the more recognizable, you know, that's in line with your business, the better, so people will say it and actually use it.

Class Description

Think Instagram is just for beach vacation selfies and shots of your quinoa-kale bowls? Think again. With more than 1 billion active monthly users, Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social marketing platforms for business. But while you might recognize the power of Instagram and its millions of enthusiastic devotees, leveraging that power is a whole other story.

Sue Zimmerman is a highly sought-after social media marketing educator, speaker and business coach who specializes in teaching entrepreneurs, executives and marketing professionals how to use Instagram to boost their brand and drive their business forward.

Sue will explore every aspect of the Instagram universe—from how to use Instagram Stories and Highlights to how to master the site’s elusive algorithm—so you’re ready and able to grow your presence, build and engage your audience, and rack up sales.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Work with, not against, the Instagram algorithm.
  • Create effective and appropriate content for your feed and Instagram Stories.
  • Use Instagram Stories and bio links creatively.
  • Organize your content.
  • Craft an eye-catching and consistent look and feel.
  • Get your followers to take action.
  • Conduct hashtag research.
  • Figure out the end game for each of your posts.
  • Develop a posting schedule.


Cat in the Moon Photo

Can I just say, "I LOVE Sue"! I took her three day course on CreativeLive back in January when I had finally decided that I didn't want to be the only photographer NOT on Instagram. I took that class knowing absolutely NOTHING about the platform and by the end of it, I was up and running. When I heard that she was doing a new class, I knew I had to see it. By the end of the day my head was exploding with information. There are so many new things on IG that I am already WAY behind the times and have so much work to do. Sue delivered the course in true Sue form - highly entertaining and energized. The examples of successful businesses that she uses are so inspirational and make you feel like, "Yes! It IS possible!!" I am sooooo glad I own the course, because there is no way I could get the full benefit from just watching it once. I will be going back to this class MANY times as I develop as an Instagrammer!

a Creativelive Student

I love Sue's energy and her passion for her work is contagious. She is animated and articulate, making learning about Instagram not only fun, but inspiring. I found her tips to be very intuitive and easy to implement if you have the desire and drive to take your Instagram to the next level. I'm at a point where I've grown my Instagram to a respectable amount (13K), but I want to take it to the next level, so I'm doing a one-on-one consultation with her. I really appreciate all the work she's done into creating a program to uplevel your Instagram game.

Nick Davis

Amazing class, super helpful for understanding how to make your Instagram work for your business. And Sue B is engaging and fun to listen to. But make sure you have a pen and paper ready, because there's so much important information you're going to want to write it down! I'm about to start again from the beginning and this time take notes!