Instagram done right: How to nail your Instagram strategy


There is so much to cover with Instagram that none of us has the time or patience to cover every corner. But his week on my Innovators and Content Creators Facebook page, we’ve been covering all the juicy bits. Think of this blog as the bread that mops up the leftovers that are yet to be consumed…

So far, we’ve covered the importance of getting all present and up into Insta Stories. The engagement and raw enthusiasm from followers you can find there can lead to a huge boost in not only followers, but also in sales. Once again, the idea of being visible and present is cropping up – because people want to connect with you. You are the brand and people want to hear your story.

Next, we started looking at the powerful marketing tool that is #HASHTAGS… So much to cover, I needed to do the rest here! We touched on the significnce of using them (↑ engagement and visibility in searches), the different types (community, branded, campaign, etc.) and how to choose the perfect hashtags for your business. This is where I ran out of space a little bit, so let’s revisit…

choosing your hashtags

To be found on Insta, you need to choose a solid mix of hashtags with different levels of a following. For instance, #love is the all-time most popular hashtag, so not that good for standing out amongst the millions of posts each day. Equally, #myhairisgreenbecauseimessedup is pretty specific, and unlikely to garner much visibility in the feed.

It’s more important to develop hashtags that are more relevant to your audience (once again, circling back to the questions around knowing your audience). There are a huge number of tools available to help you along the way with usage and analytic data, by the way – you never have to go it alone.

Hashtags that have a smaller, niche following almost always have a fully engaged audience relevant to your industry and are less competitive generally. So, for instance, a hashtag like #unicornhairdontcare (18,185 public posts) has a really specific following within the ‘beauty’ space (as opposed to #beauty, with 381,757,387 public posts). So doing your research and getting really specific around where your customers might be looking is a great help.

organising your hashtags

If you’re kicking it old school like me, you’ll be saving your evergreen hashtags in an excel doc for future use. Thanks to predictive text, half of mine turn up as I type, which is handy, and there are also tools you can use within apps such as Later and generators like All Hashtag to really get things moving, especially if you’re struggling for ideas.


Your Killer Instagram strategy

Strategy #1: No overkill. DID YOU KNOW?? You can use up to 30 hashtags per post on Instagram? I didn’t, but I definitely wouldn’t get to that many any one post – overkill ain’t pretty. Apparently, the magic number is nine, but as with everything, there are rules and exceptions to rules, so don’t take it as gospel.

Strategy #2: Keep your hashtags OUT of your captions. There are two reasons here. The first, they’re taking up valuable real estate where you could be saying something else more useful (a final CTA, perhaps?!). Secondly, if you’re going to use any kind of tool to make a post to both Facebook and Instagram simultaneously, it’s really obvious when that’s happened if there are hashtags showing up all over the place. So, and I say this with absolute love and kindness … stop it. Weirdly, hashtags on Instagram are helpful, but on the whole, hashtags on Facebook are distracting. So it’s best to either minimise hashtag use altogether to just a few or ideally put all of them in the first comment of the post.

Strategy #3: Seek out and engage with your competitors. For one thing, it’s better to create a community vibe, rather than something adversarial between you and your competitors. But for another few things… 1. You can measure the performance of their campaigns and adjust your own accordingly. 2. You’ll discover trends to jump on to and be a part of. 3. Their customers will see you, too.

Strategy #4: Use hashtags that are already trending. There’ are two ways to tackle this… Option 1, wait until a hashtag related to your industry is trending. This is fairly rare to happen, but far more targeted to your audience. Option 2, use trending hashtags that aren’t directly related to your industry like holidays or current events.

Strategy #5: Give good image. Last, but certainly not least, if Instagram is anything, it’s a place for epic visuals. make sure everything you put up there is polished and gives people a good reason to stop and look!

So that’s a start! The world of Instagram is surprisingly complex! I hope this has given you a few ideas to get you going with your own Instagram success stories. If you need a little more of a steer, you can always book a chat with me, to see how I can help! Now then, onto LinkedIn week…

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