Hashtags are talked about, but this client learned the hard way why you need to use hashtags. Here’s her story:
It was a Thursday afternoon and I was sitting with a client. This client, in particular, is one of my favorites. I get to teach her how to implement Instagram into her marketing and how to launch her Etsy site.
We have a consulting relationship where I teach her and coach her and she implements it. I do some things for her, but for the most part, she likes doing it on her own.
This particular day was no different than any other day… except I was so happy because she learned a great lesson on why you need to use hashtags.
There are times where you can try to teach a client how to do something but until they do it themselves or make a mistake by themselves, it doesn’t sink in. In this particular case, we were reviewing Instagram and what she was seeing from her interaction and from her posting.
I was scrolling through her photos asking her her thoughts on the account’s growth and then I noticed something weird. Her last three photos has barely any interaction. This was weird because her photos before had gotten 40+ likes and a couple comments here and there. The more recent photos had six maybe seven likes if she was lucky. Here’s everything that we checked to come to our conclusion and you can implement these to increase your interaction.
Here’s her a post before recently with around 40 likes:
Here’s one recently with barely any likes or interaction:
At first, I thought maybe she was posting at random times in the night. I mean, you can get some people from Australia and maybe even Japan, but that’s not our target market. Our target market is people within the US.
I asked her when she posted and she said, “I post at around the same time every day. I try not to forget too.” She mentioned it was in the middle of the day or after the word day has ended. I sat there and thought that that couldn’t be it.
One thing a lot of people forget to do is to tag locals within the photo. Heck, they don’t even need to be locals. In photos if you click on them, black tags will pop up with the person’s Instagram name in them, like this one below:
If you haven’t noticed from our Instagram account, we’re pretty big into quotes. This company and picture was no exception. Whenever I repost someone else’s photo I always make sure to give them credit in the caption and also in the photo.
This is the same idea when you’re tagging locals in your photos. Here’s an example; my client is a local photographer and she takes photos of things around Orlando. It’s a huge opportunity to tag local accounts. Examples of local accounts are:
It’s another huge opportunity to tag places that have an Instagram account. Why should you do this? Simple. So they’ll repost your photo and credit you for it. My client took a photo in Winter Park and tagged a couple of locals account in hopes of a repost.
After we determined she had done this (a little excessively) we moved on to the next conclusion. I asked her if she tagged the location of the photo location. She said, “Of course, I go through and down the list of items to fill out.”
We checked it out and she did in fact, fill out her location for the majority of her photos. We then checked the older ones, and those had the location too.
By the way, the reason you fill out your location is because the location is a search mechanism too. People can search by location and if they do this, your photos will appear. Here’s what it looks like if you have a location:
Well, we had walked through the entire process of posting a photo and everything seemed so similar we were stumped… until I clicked on the photo. I noticed that she had a couple likes (as mentioned above) but she has ZERO hashtags.
I asked her about this and she was baffled. She said she wrote everything out and even showed me the Notes on her phone to prove it. She had copied and pasted her hashtags into the caption so she KNEW that she had done it.
I asked to look at her Notes. I saw a lot of great and relevant hashtags. She was learning! I then asked her if she used ALL of the ones listed. She turned to me and said, “Well, yeah. That’s what you told me to do.”
I did tell her to use a lot of hashtags (around 11 to be exact) but I didn’t tell her to use all of them. Here’s why you need to use hashtags. When you use over 30 hashtags in one photo, Instagram deletes everything when you hit “Post.” The limit to hashtags is 30. Not only does it delete your hashtags, but it deletes your entire caption too.
Finally. We found the answer. Here are what her photos looked like with very little interaction and why you need to use hashtags:
The conclusion for her was she needs to use less hashtags and she needs to keep an eye on the interaction.
The conclusion for you is that unless you’re using hashtags, you’re missing out on being found on Instagram. Why you need to use hashtags is now, hopefully, apparent. This scenario was the perfect test to that statement. With her hashtags, she received around 40 likes (see above), without, she received 5-7. That’s a HUGE difference, especially when you’re trying to gain interaction online and for your business.
This was a great learning lesson for her and a great opportunity for me to share this story with you. I feel like these ‘real life’ scenarios are the best opportunities to share and maybe it will resonate with you.
If you or someone you know is looking for help with their Instagram or social media, give us a ring or sign up for your FREE 30-minute consultation directly on our calendar here.