11 Oct Refresh your Instagram Strategy- Hashtags and Keywords
We’re so used to seeing hashtags that we often don’t even register them anymore. When creating posts, we toss a few in there– why not?– and hope that they’re doing some good. It would be nice if we had some clue if we’re on the right track or not. Here is some guidance to help refresh your IG strategy so you can feel confident that you’re keeping up with trends.
Hashtags on Instagram
Hashtags function in two ways:
Users can search for a specific hashtag or click a hashtag in a post caption to find other related content.
Platforms (IG, Google, etc.) read hashtags to help them classify the post in their relational networks.
But which hashtags should I use? How many?
Type “how to use hashtags on Instagram” into a search engine, and the top results will show blog posts by tons of digital marketing firms. As you read, you’ll see all kinds of advice: Use 30! Use 11! Use none! Put them in comments!
Given the variety of suggestions, it’s hard to decide which advice to take. Your decision is also complicated because there isn’t one hard-and-fast rule that applies across the board. However, gathering insights from the highest-quality sources can help us build a strategy.
In March 2022, Instagram head Adam Mosseri explained how the platform uses hashtags: “They do help us to understand what a post is about, which means it might be more likely to show up in a place like a hashtag page, for instance, but in general, no, I wouldn’t try to think of hashtags as a way to get more distribution.” He recommended using 3-5 hashtags in a post.
Hashtags help the platform classify the post, but they don’t function as a way to expand the reach of the post. Since hashtags are less important to IG than they used to be, we should make sure that we’re selecting our hashtags strategically.
Align Your Hashtags with Your Goals
Your goals as a craft retailer on IG are to:
- maintain brand presence
- show up to loyal customers
- be discoverable by new customers
Your hashtags should include:
- your branded hashtag (e.g. #stitchcraftmarketing)
- descriptive hashtag- what is it (i.e. pattern, kit, item)
- specific hashtag- event tag, vendor tag, designer tag
- casual/fun hashtag- examples #yarnlove #quiltersofinstagram #stitchersgonnastitch, etc.
Be mindful of the look of your text. Crafters are visual artists and respond to aesthetics, after all. While the image is obviously your primary visual, you also want a caption that doesn’t look cluttered with an excess of hashtags.
Add Keywords to Your Captions
Next, you need to make sure your captions include keywords, because that’s another way that customers will find you.
A keyword is the short set of words that describes the content of the post. As search engine crawlers inspect content on the web, they create associations within their massive relational database. If you want to get the word out about your new product line, use the name of that product line in your caption.
For example, you’re carrying a new line of silk embroidery floss. You have a gorgeous picture and a casual, fun caption. Don’t neglect the opportunity to include the product keyword in the caption as well. Take a look at the captions below this sample IG post:
Simply adding the product name increases the likelihood that searchers looking for your new products will discover your post . Add the handful of hashtags you selected using the criteria above, and you can be confident that your strategy is in line with current best practices.
We hope these recommendations for Instagram hashtags and keywords help inform your posting strategy on IG. If you’re interested in learning more, reach out. Stitchcraft Marketing is a marketing agency of crafting experts. We customize every program to showcase your brand, engage your customer base, and generate sales in a way that is nothing less than magical. If you’d like to work with us, contact us today to get started!