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Episode 73 – Hashtag Strategy for 2020

It’s not rocket science that a good hashtag can bring the right kind of engagement, leading to more sales, better brand recognition, and a stronger social game. But it only works if there’s a strong strategy to back it up!

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HOW TO SET A GOAL FOR YOUR POST AND FIND HASHTAGS TO MATCH (04:18)

Your goal is going to be slightly different for each post, and your hashtag game will need to back it up. Choose it carefully. 

Do you want to connect to your clients and attract new ones? Educate or entertain them?  Do you want to improve SEO?  Are you after exposure, engagement or are you fulfilling a specific requirement of your audience with the post? Are you setting yourself up as an expert in your industry?

If your motivation for hopping on the SEO bandwagon centres around someone having TOLD YOU that hashtags are the key, or reading some “100x your growth in 2 days!” type article, you’re not in the right headspace to win here.

THE TWO WAYS TO WIN WITH THE RIGHT TAGS (11:53)

One. Take up real estate. Think of it as a mini lottery.  How many tickets have you bought? 

You what Laura? What tickets? Have you been drinking already?

Hear me out.  Each time someone searches for a service that’s just like yours, and your name is not coming up on searches, it means you’re losing out.  How likely is someone to click on your posts if you haven’t made an effort to tag them so that they can find you?

Be that person who makes an effort.  Show them you’re using Instagram, you’re creating content consistently. You’re showing you care, that you’re up to date, and that you’re putting a lot of thought into your business.

Two. Let your post be a direct answer to someone’s question. (15:53)

Don’t just jump on the bandwagon because everyone else is doing it.  Reach the right type of followers. Show them exactly what they’ve asked to see. When your post is providing an answer to a specific question, you’re so much more likely to get clicked on. The reach might be smaller, but the chances of engagement are better because you are the answer to their question.

HOW OFTEN TO POST (12:48)

Naturally, the more, the better.

Think of it this way.  How often do you want to compete?  Every single time you show up, you’re buying a lottery ticket, and you’re increasing your chances of being found in a specific search. The more tickets you buy, the more chance you have to win.

Quick case study for you.  You have 10 competitors, who each use a hashtag specific to your industry once a week. That’s four hashtags in a month, and there are 10 of them posting. A total of 40 posts are accumulating in this lottery pool every single month. If you plan on competing in this space, at the very minimum show up on social media and use this hashtag once a week. If you do, you have the exact same amount of chance as anyone to get clicked on by those using that specific search.

Post as much as you can.  You can double your odds, especially when you’re using the right hashtag, and a well thought out strategy to get your work seen.

With each post,  speak to your clients by being present,  showcasing to them what you can do.  Not once, not twice, but up to five times a day.  This is how you can compete in that space and take up more real estate.

TRENDS THAT AREN’T WORTH TRYING (17:37)

Don’t even think about using “love”, “authentic” or a combination of these hashtags. That space is already cluttered, and it’s not a direct answer to anyone’s question. Don’t be the one who’s using hashtags just because they know someone else who’s using it.  No one is ever going to go to their feed to see couples being loving and authentic. 

If you’re gathering hashtag inspiration (53:13), you may come across people with a large following. They have a big audience, and you see them use a big block of hashtags.  You’re tempted to just copy-paste it. Don’t.  They probably don’t have their sh.t together as much as you think that they do. Don’t just steal hashtags.  Invest in that extra time and figure out a strategic use of hashtags unique for your situation, serving your specific goals. Your goals are never the same as theirs. It does not serve you to have the exact same bank of hashtags as someone else. By all means,  gather inspiration from other people. Then write them all down and have on one side the hashtags that you love, and on the other side the inspiration you gathered. Pick a few from each side that you think might serve you well. Try them out. If they don’t work for you, they don’t work.  Cross them off.  Keep tweaking and editing your bank.

BUILDING YOUR OWN HASHTAG BANK (26:33)

Imagine a hashtag pyramid.  It has a wide base, a middle part and a very fine tip.  These are your real estate pieces that will be showing up for anyone interested in any of those fields. 

Find your hashtags and their variations on the Instagram app where they come up as a suggestion.  Save them and use them over and over again. This is your bank. 

For your base, you’ll need 15-20 tags, for the middle you’ll need 8-10, and for the top, you’ll need a maximum of 5. Less is more at the top. 

Go the extra mile. It’s never crowded there. It’s going to get you that engagement, brand recognition and lead you to more sales.  

Organize your hashtags in this way, and you’ll be giving prospects a chance to see exactly what they want to see while setting yourself up as an expert who has a lot to offer them and a clear reason why they should be following you.  

Before you roll your eyes and exit this screen because you think creating 30 hashtags will take you two straight days – STOP.  Start small. To get started, create a base and gather 10 industry-specific ones. Try them out on a post. Always think:  “What is specific to this photo? What questions are my clients asking right now that I can answer?”

Start now. Curate yourself a beautiful little corner on the internet that you can dominate. You’re going to build as you go. 

What’s neat about this is that the hashtags in your bank are going to be reusable post after post, as long as you’re updating them and changing them to make sure that they fit.  Save them in a note on your phone, or put them in a document.   Make sure that they’re easily accessible to you when you’re actually posting.

WHY YOU NEED UNIQUE BRANDED TAGS (42:18)

Create brand recognition by setting yourself up as an expert, and you’ll find it’s not only clients who will find you but vendors who compliment your services and want to work with you.

Hop on to unique hashtags of other brands or experts if your work is true to them. They won’t mind.  It will drive up your sales and allow you to take up real estate in other little tiny cities and towns.  Double win.

That’s it. 

As you can see, this strategy is not about checking out what the biggest trends are in 2020. It’s not about how to get the most engagement and the most followers.  It’s about your goal.   What are you trying to build? How can a hashtag serve you and serve the client?  When you treat hashtags with this much respect, people feel it and value it. It really shows. That’s how you win with hashtags. 

Maybe it’s not trendy or cool.  But it works.

This episode is course material for the students in my one-on-one coaching program! If you’d like to find out more about the program, visit www.laurakelly.co

And make sure you’re following along on instagram: @laurakelly.co

Episode 73 – Hashtag Strategy for 2020

In this episode I’m walking you through a hashtag strategy made for instagram in 2020, including:

> How to set a GOAL for your post and find hashtags to match

> How to NOT GET BANNED for using the wrong hashtags

> The TWO ways to win with the right tags

> How often to POST

> TRENDS that aren’t worth trying

> Building your own hashtag BANKS

> Why you need unique BRANDED tags

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