One of the most asked questions I get is “what is the point of hashtags and how do I use them?” To start with the first question, hashtags are useful (depending on the platform) in categorising content and making it easier for people to search for certain topics. They can help you follow live events, or breaking news. They are also great for filtering out topics you don’t want to engage with.
No one person or brand owns a hashtag. You can think one up and just start using it. But if you want to use them effectively to grow your following and amplify content, then you need to be more strategic in your hashtag approach.
Let’s look at some general principles for using hashtags across your social media channels:
Curate your hashtags for each channel. So, for Twitter, use 2 to 3 in a tweet, and include them contextually in your content. On Instagram, you can use many more, but don’t go overboard. LinkedIn has functional hashtags, so feel free to include 1 or 2 in your post. And while Facebook has functional hashtags, the jury is out on whether or not they are actually effective in amplifying your content.
Use a mix of trending, general and brand hashtags. For example, I might use #possumdigital, but as it’s not a widely used hashtag, I might also want to use something more general like #socialmedia or #digitalmarketing.
Keep your hashtag simple and easy to remember and use. You don’t want followers misspelling a well thought out hashtag only to lose the opportunity to generate effective conversation.
Avoid using hashtags that don’t relate directly to your content. Social channel algorithms are smarter than us in this respect, so just because a hashtag is trending, doesn’t mean you should force it onto content that is irrelevant.
Mix it up! Don’t use the same batch of hashtags every single time. Just like you need more than one channel to market your business, you need more than one group of hashtags to get your content seen by different people.
My best advice is to come up with a list of hashtags that you can use and swap out on your posts across social media channels. Make sure you keep it updated with trending ones, and remove any that may get banned or are no longer being used widely
If you are a photographer, a florist, or own a food based business, chances are you are on Instagram. For visual based businesses like your, is Instagram the right platform for you?
The short answer is yes!
Australia alone has 5 million active users on this platform. Australians, most specially women are fond of instragramming for random purposes. Some are consuming this for entertainment, education and now, even for businesses.
It enhances customers’ experience more nowadays as it has been considered as photo and video centric allowing people to share images and videos, record stories and go live.
Instagram for Business
Users are instagramming today, not only just for fun. What better way to tell the story of you business than through inspiring images?
In Australia, 31% of businesses are using this social network to market their business.
And if you started off with a personal account for your business and want to change to a business account, this is relatively easy; and using a business account will allow you to get access to analytics and insights. What you need to do is connect your business Facebook page by following the in-app prompts from “Switch to Business Profile” button found in Settings.
Once created, you can optimise your profile by changing it to your business name (if you haven’t already), username, profile photo and other details. Add as well adding your website and a short biography to let your followers know basic info about your brand.
Why Instagram is perfect for visual based businesses?
Navigating Instagram app is very easy once you’ve started to engage with it. As this platform is only about sharing images and video, there are few things that you need to do.
It’s also be easy for followers to show interest in you through liking, commenting and reposting.
Ability to add great content
As they say ‘images tell the story in a thousand words’ you can use your imagination to create stunning images and video to tell the story that word alone can not. It will instantly be displayed in the news feed and people following can see it. Too, making sure you add in an enticing description/caption with appropriate hashtags can amplify the reach of your content.
Grow your community through interacting
Just as followers can interact with your content, you should also interact with content from others, especially influencers in your industry. There are several options to do it:
Liking – this is the simplest way. Double-tapping the photo or tapping the heart button under the post means ‘Like’. It’s the easiest to do, but if you really want to boost your visibility, move to the next option.
Commenting – Posting comments and reply to images can be done by hitting the button next to like button, type the comment and send. Even better if you can tag in the account name of the image you are commenting on.
Mention – @ can be use to tag the other users on comments and posts. This will allow the specific person to get notified and can help you get noticed by more people. Just don’t spam
Direct message – Instagram Direct is sending private message, photo and video to other people. This is one good way for you to answer client’s inquiries, questions, suggestions and allows you to take private what you don’t want on your public page.
Instagram has been helping many businesses to grow through posting images and videos that tell the story of their business. As many people prefer visual content, this platform has the potential to increase your visibility online and drive more business for you!
If you want help getting more out of your social media marketing, please download our free step by step guide today!
With around 9 million Australians on Instagram, it’s highly likely that your target audience is using this platform. And if you have a visual based business, I would guess that you are already using Instagram to market your business (but there are lots of other business using it too!). So have you changed your account from a personal one to a business one?
It’s ok (and a good thing!) to keep your personal and business lives separated by different accounts; though you may want to have a little overlap between the two. However, if you’re using Instagram to market your business, I recommend using their business account as there are some key features that will help you get the best out of the platform.
These are the benefits of having an Instagram business profile:
You can have ‘call’ and ‘email’ call to action buttons on your profile. This makes it easier for people to find and contact you.
Content that you post on Instagram can be promoted directly in the platform. So instead of having to go into Facebook Ads Manager and setting up an Instagram specific as, you can simply post, and then promote with the click of a button. You do need to make sure you have a Facebook Ad account set up with your Instagram account attached for this to work
Having insights for each piece of content on your account. If you want to see how specific images or videos are performing, and how people found your content, this is a useful tool
The only potential downside to switching over is that there may be a drop in reach. While there is no real evidence to suggest this, there appears to be anecdotal individual stories that point to a decline in reach.
So now you know why an Instagram business account is worthwhile for your business, when will you start taking advantage of the platform?
If you are setting up, or refreshing your social media channels, it’s important to have the right size images. Below are the five main social media channels and the images sizes you need for each one. In this post we cover the main profile images for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Youtube. We will look at post and advertising image sizes in a future post.
For your Facebook page, there are two key images you need – a profile picture (the square image below) and a cover image (the rectangle image)
Profile picture – 180 x 180
Cover image – 820 x 312
For your Twitter profile, there are two key images to update – your profile picture and header photo.
Profile picture – 400 x 400
Header photo – 1,500 x 500
With your Instagram profile, there is one image, which is your profile picture. The size you need is 110 x 110. It’s quite small, so make best use of this limited space.
The LinkedIn platform has gone though many changes, including to the way personal profiles and company pages are displayed.
Sizes for personal profile images
Personal profile image – 400 x 400
Personal background image – 1,584 x 396
Sizes for LinkedIn company pages
Company logo image – 300 x 300
Square logo (shows up when your company is searched) – 60 x 60
Company cover image – 1,536 x 768
If you have a Youtube channel (and if you run a business, and use video, then you should have one), the two images you need are the channel profile image and the channel cover photo.
Today I interviewed Rosalie Gordon from Planet Properties on a Facebook Live to talk about how they market their business on social media. We also talked about using email, and how important it is to protect data you collect from your clients and others who sign up to receive marketing communications from you.