Using Hashtags to Grow Your Business
Now this is the question that I got asked the most on social. "When does Jasmine get to the hashtags?" "When is she getting to the hashtags?" Now, remember how we said we're building the soci-- we're building the creative live Lego Bootcamp, right? Everybody wants to go to "How do I get my business found?" I don't wanna, I didn't wanna tell you how to get your business found, because if getting more followers was not getting you more business, why would I help you how to get more followers, right? So, now we have like a perspective shift. Okay, so, using hashtags to grow your business and get dream followers. We're gonna get into that video now. Now that we have targeted our dream customer, created content for them, written captions in a way that capsulates their voice according to categories and topics that are reflective in a division of our brand. We've planned out a month of content in just a couple hours because we have a streamlined way to find our words, our ideology, and connec...
t the people in a way that they talk back to us. How can we get our posts seen by more people? Well that brings us to this section. We're talking about hashtag strategy. So, I don't believe that there is a "right" or "perfect" hashtag. But, I do believe that we can be a lot more strategic with our approach. Earlier we had mentioned the hashtag "butterfly." (laughs) We're gonna start honing that vision in, queen! I just feel like I'm gonna look you, "#butterfly."
That's her fault. (laughs)
No, there is no fault, there is not blame. We have a ton of room to grow. I wanna do this, because who doesn't love a good cocktail? We're gonna have our five-part hashtag strategy cocktail. Five parts, here we go. Instagram has been totally open and okay with us using 30 hashtags. People are like, you shouldn't use all 30! Instagram has come out and said, "No, you can use 30 hashtags." Make sure they make sense on the photo. So, not as a joke, but if there wasn't a hashtag in the photo itself, it could potentially penalize the photo. Because, Instagram has noticed that people are trying to use hashtags to get their photos seen by more people, even if it's not applicable. And, Instagram's whole trajectory and goal, is to be relevant, and applicable to people who are searching for that thing. Which is why, we shouldn't hashtag, "Kim Kardashian, Kanye West," and like, "LeBron James," if what we're taking a picture of is a hot dog. So, we've gotta be a lot more strategic about that. So, I prefer that of the 30 hashtags, we break it up into five parts. Something to take into consideration, and the first of the five parts would be searchable terms. These are what you think your dream customer is searching for. Now you know her. Now you've created content for her. Now you've spoken to her. Now, the idea would be, sure, there are reasons why somebody comes on Instagram, that she could find your stuff. I believe that marketing happens in two main forms in today's present age. Stumble upon marketing, and searchable marketing. Searchable marketing means that that person knows that she's going to Instagram looking for a customized beach towel. That's a much smaller market, right? Searchable marketing I think works extraordinarily well on Pinterest and Google. People go there knowing what they want in their mind. Stumble upon marketing happens a lot in social. People don't know, though there could be an opportunity, plenty of moms who are scrolling through Facebook, and they see, "Oh, I do need "a customized towel for my daughter!" That's stumble upon. I didn't know the thing that I needed. So, when it comes to searchable terms, we want to makes sure we're putting ourselves in the shoes of our customer. I think searchable terms will comprise the most of your hashtags. But, we're gonna divide it out. I think searchable terms would be a great way for about six to seven of your hashtags. So, keep that in mind. Now, I want you to put yourself in the shoes of your customer, not what you think. It is good for you guys to have personalized towels. Do you think your dream customer is going on Instagram searching for personalized towels, personalized blankets? Probably not, even though it's tempting to use that hashtag. Occasionally you can test it, but what are they really looking for?
They're just scrolling.
They're just scrolling.
But, I dunno.
Great, they're just scrolling. So, we're gonna get to, "they're just scrolling" hashtags in a second. But, if we were going to push it with strategy, let's just say, it's Christmas, it's a birthday, it's, it could be personalized gifts, it could be room decor. We have to think that there are women, there are men, there are customers going to Instagram looking for something specific. This is what this segment of hashtags will focus on. Those people who know what they're looking for. When I was focused on wedding photography, I would get my wedding photos and I would hashtag them according to what was in the photo, #VeraWang, #ManoloBlahnik, #PeonyBouquet, #BrooksBrothers. Because there were customers who were going to Instagram to see how brides were wearing Vera Wang, how grooms were wearing Brooks Brothers. So, I was hashtagging according to what was in the photo. That's what made my photos stick out in a hashtag because other people were hashtagging Vera Wang, and there aint no Vera Wang in it. So those were trying to attract brides who had no idea what they were looking for. I knew what my brides were looking for. And I was targeting a high-end client who would go to Instagram looking specifically for Vera Wang attire. If I was a baker, I wouldn't just hashtag cupcake, right? 'Cause there are millions of hashtags for cupcake. You can find derivatives, "cupcake recipe," "cupcakestagram," "buttercream," "sweet tooth." All of these things, could be things that somebody are searching for that's still related to the thing that I'm doing. Second type of hashtags. So this is our five-part cocktail. Location searches. Location searches, this goes back to thinking of geographic locations for Facebook ads and Instagram ads. Location searches are absolutely incredible. Absolutely. So, if you can think of beaches that you think your customers are going to, lakes that they're going to, Bahamas that they're going to. We could start hashtagging locations. So, hashtagging are powerful things for, powerful for things, people, and photos in a specific location. So, even though you are not in that location, your clients are. So, finding out, doing a little bit, having one of your assistants doing a little bit of research. So, let's just say there's a family, they go to like, Saint Martin. But, you don't know they're in Saint Martin. They're just hashtagging your tail, and tagging you. What you're probably gonna have your, train your assistant to do, or yourself, will go to that Instagram account and, be, do a little bit of research. Where did she tag her other photos? Did she geotag it? Because once you know her geotag, you can add that to your photo, on your account of where it's at, and you'll be found in geotags that are completely appropriate to the location. This is how we're gonna be really strategic with putting your business in that type of demographic and clientele and have it be pertinent to that photo.
Yeah, we have a lot of those.
Great. It just takes a little bit of work.
But, here's the thing. Do I think you should be doing it longterm? No. Figure out the system, pass that on over to your assistant and then execute from there. These are especially powerful for location based businesses. Like perhaps, you want to work with clients one-on-one in your hometown, that would be great. If not, that's okay too. They're still equally as powerful, but putting, insert hashtags can insert your business in other conversations. Also to take note, these hashtags are really great for conferences, trade shows, and pop-up communities. At Alt Summit, you want to tag the heck out of that. Your, your, literal, like your dream customer is surfing that hashtag. And that would be stumble upon. You guys take some of your towels, put it by the Saguaro, that's where the event was, right, Saguaro Hotel? Imagine putting out three of those towels early in the morning, bright colored walls, the towels in there, on your iPhone, tag the heck out of Alt Summit, makin' makin' it rain. Here's the best part of that. Even if you don't go to the Alt Summit next year, you could still insert your photos, be like, "Flashback Friday, loved our time at Alt Summit." It's a piece of content that's a year old, that's still applicable to the hashtag and people searching it even if you're not at the event itself. Cool. Katelyn, this works really well for when you go to your Amazon events, trainings, all that other stuff. You wanna put yourself in that location, geotag the location, hashtag the conference, hashtag the city that you're in as well. Cool. This is a few geo location specific hashtags that I would use that were powerful to put my business in other locations. So, I wouldn't just hashtag wedding. It's millions. I would hashtag super specific to the location. #FourSeasonsBeverlyHills, #FourSeasonsWedding, #FourSeasonWeddings. So, with all of these things, we're targeting a very specific client. The client who wanted to get married at the Four Seasons, which is where my business was strongly positioned. If I was a baker, and I had my location nearby any of these, The Grove Los Angeles is an outdoor mall, Irvine Spectrum is an outdoor mall, the OC Fair. Even if my business wasn't in this exact location, but close enough to it, I could insert myself in a social conversation about my business if somebody was going to be at the Irvine Spectrum and my business was about a mile away and they wanted to get great tacos, that was my business. I would definitely be hashtagging that too. Third component of a hashtag cocktail, would be geographic searches. Now, geographic searches are gonna be great for people looking for businesses based on a city or a state.
We've done that before.
It's the personally searching for cities and stuff.
We actually have.
Exactly. So, we know that they're powerful.
(Blonde woman in black) Yeah.
So, an example of this is JD and I go to New York City quite often. We will always search "NYC Coffee Shop," "New York Coffee Shop." This is what will guide us to where we ant to go. So, we've done this search multiple times. This search yields us at La Colombe Coffee Shop in Manhattan. And, we, when I was there, #NYCCoffee, Manhattan coffee shop, NYC coffee shop, NYC coffee shops, because they're different entries and people are searching for them differently. New York coffee shop. I ended up finding La Colombe by way of the hashtag, we went there, we geotagged, hashtagged, and tagged. At the time, La Colombe had 66,000 followers. They repurpose their photo on their feed. So, whenever you have the opportunity to create content relevant to that, they will repurpose it. You give them good content, man, they will repurpose you.
So now like, in that instance, like when, if you were to post that picture, like, you'd choose one of those hashtags or you'd use all of them?
Oh, I would use, depending on, depending on what, depending on what my business was, right? So, if I was a food blogger, I would use a lot of these, right? But, I am a photographer, and business strategist. I wanna be stumbled upon, somebody who's working in a coffee shop, right? A small business owner, but I'm gonna be using location based hashtags, right, so "La Colombe." and then so geographic, "New York City coffee shop," and searchable terms, "coffee," "rising grind," conversations that are inserting my account in other social conversations. Now, one thing to consider, in all of your hashtags, is spelling variations. So, "Los Angeles baker," "Los Angeles bakery," "Los Angeles bakeries." All of those are independent hashtags that you could put yourself in that are so highly specific to a particular business. Now, also derivatives of big city, "LA baker," "LA bakery," "LA bakeries." Now, I don't, not gonna here like overwhelm you. But think, "Hey, do a search for all of them, and see which ones are gonna be the higher chance of you sticking out. No, not the top.
Not the top?
But, we're gonna get to that in a second, were gonna get to that in a second
There's way too many.
Yes. The last, the fourth part of this five-part cocktail is industry searches. So, this is where people are like, "I don't want my peers, "I don't want my competitors searching for me in hashtags." But, these are gonna be great if they're specifically related to your industry, and they're used by peers or counterparts. I recommend about three to four industry related hashtags. Why? Because you could be squarely positioned to do collaborations with other businesses in your industry. So, these are gonna be probably searched by by other professionals. But, I have found that when you're hashtagging within your industry, it is a great way to get noticed, featured, and you can create sponsorships, alliances, and referrals. So, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with a lot of great people just because I used their hashtag. And you're like, they'll find kind of like, "Oh, I didn't know this person existed," "I didn't know what they were doing," "Oh, I didn't know they had such a big following." So, all of that kinda stuff parlays into it. So, it could be anything from groups that you're a part of, like luxury travel agent, it could be memberships that you might have, like Soho House, or if you're part of a country club and you want local business. Or, industry related clubs like if you're part of a 4H club, PTA, specific PTA stuff, and you wanna be found locally as well. So, the thing to think about when it comes to using industry hashtags, is abundance and opportunity. So, I have seen hairstylists. So, #ModernSalon, has a lot of posts in it. A ton. But, a lot of people are using this, because Modern Salon Instagram account has millions of followers. If you use the Modern Salon hashtag, Modern Salon will feature your, not will, have, you'll have the opportunity to get featured on Modern Salon. People who are featured on modern Salon get a windfall of a brand new followers on Instagram. So, industry related hashtags could actually squarely position you to be an authority in the field. The last thing which goes back to something Erin had mentioned, of this hashtag cocktail, is the hashtag size. So, hashtags with more than 500, will make it difficult to get your post noticed. Because, if people are using that hashtag quite oftenly, like oftenly, often, your posts will get dropped, quicker. So, I prefer to use hashtags with less than 500,000 posts, at least for the majority of my hashtag selections. That's not to say I won't use big hashtags, nor am I saying you shouldn't. But, if all of your, if all of your hashtags have millions or hundreds of, 800, 900,000, you're gonna get lost much quicker. So, the smaller the hashtag, the more likely your post will be discovered in that particular search. So, something to keep in the back of your mind. So, let's get back down into a holiday hashtag that we could be using as part of our businesses. Example, the Halloween hashtag, we see people using this all the time. There's 50,000,000 posts. And every year that Instagram is around, that post, that, those millions and millions get even bigger. So, what if were to be using hashtags, Halloween hashtags, that are specific to the photo. This will result in a higher likelihood of getting discovered. Specificity is key. Like, when somebody feels like they stumbled upon a Halloween blanket that's customized for their kid to put in their stroller, on Halloween. Or, you know, a blanket that comes in like a Halloween bucket. Or, you get your Halloween bucket for your kid, and whatever the case may be. So, let's get into specific hashtags using Halloween as an example. Searchable terms that are specific, "Halloween decorations," "scary Halloween costume," "Halloween makeup." Location searches, where are you celebrating Halloween? Or, where do you want to insert your conversation? "Disney Halloween," "Knott's Scary Farm," "haunted mansion." Geographic searches, where do you want your posts to be showing up in specific, probably for ya'll, high end target markets of where they celebrate Halloween. Industry searches, "Halloween makeup artist," "Halloween photography," "Halloween cupcakes." These are all gonna be so much more niched down and focused to the photo, instead of just using, hashtag Halloween. So, a really quick, "How to determine "how big a hashtag is," if you go to Instagram.com, there is a search icon. Instagram wants you to care about the hashtags. So, I could post it on like, "Oh, I might do a gluten free recipe today." If I put in "gluten free living," that's okay. 514,000, eh, all right. But, when I type in "gluten free," it will give me a list of options so that I can determine which is gonna be the best. So, creating a mix of that is gonna be easy and straightforward. So, your homework is to create 30 hashtags for your categories.
And where do you, you said to remind you, where do you store them, or how are you storing your hashtags?
Yeah, that is a good question.
So, I have notes. Like,
Keep 'em in your notes?
Keep 'em in your notes and then even in the, like, in the planning apps, you can store your own--
Yeah, we have 'em (laughs)
That's why butterfly exists. Okay, and then if you guys want extra credit, created derivatives, so if you have like your seven categories, right? And then each of you, you have topics, so like let's say a category is your y, and then you have like, your children, your husband, your dad. Hypothetically, right? Well, it would make sense to have specific hashtags, "kids." Like, you know, "boy mom," or "double the trouble," or whatever the case may be, and then you have like, your dad posts like, "daddy's girl," "daddy entrepreneur," whatever it is, right? So, it's like, I'm not saying to change all 30, but you could kind of have little small tweaks that would make it pertinent to anytime you talk about your dad, your kids.