Gain more Instagram followers and reach your potential customers by creating a # Hashtag Bank
(Bonus: a # Hashtag Bank will increase your productivity and make you feel more organised too!)
How and why to create a # Hashtag Bank…
Let's start off with why. Unless you are a celebrity with millions of followers getting millions of likes one second after posting then you need hashtags! You need to use hashtags to make your post visible to new followers and potential customers. But simply copying and pasting hashtags from one post to the next - although a seemingly easy and quick method – can get you into trouble and can even get you shadow-banned* by Instagram. Instagram does not like spammy, bot-like behaviour and by using the same hashtags over and over again in exactly the same order you are effectively displaying this type of behaviour. It's ok to re-use hashtags but it's not ok to use the same ones over and over again. As well as risking getting into trouble with the ‘Instagram police’, you will also find that not all your #’s are relevant to every post, plus you really need to experiment with different hashtags to see which ones attract your ideal audience and customers.
Don’t get stuck in a rut. Don’t let your #’s go stale. And don’t for heavens sake risk getting shadow-banned*!
So these are the reasons why you need to create a large # Hashtag Bank with a varied selection of hashtags which you can continually add to and which is easily at hand. Now let's look at how...
How to create a # Bank…
Keep it simple. Use a word document or use notes on your phone and type in the title # Bank.
Start by listing your usual hashtags. Then put yourself in your ideal customer’s shoes – if they are looking for your product which #’s do you think they’d use? Add these to your list. Think about which questions they would ask. There will be #’s specific to your product and then more generic hashtags such as #idealgift. Take a look at competitor accounts and accounts that you admire and see which hashtags they are using – pay particular attention to their most popular posts – and add these to your list. Group hashtags in categories. Over time add to your # Bank.
To use your # Bank simply cut and paste a number of relevant and varied hashtags (up to 30 allowed) and bring them to the top of your list. This way you can always easily see which hashtags you used in your last post. When you have your set, post your image and caption and then copy and paste your #’s straight away as a post comment.
Final word: continually rotate #’s and add to your # Bank.
For a review of your Instagram account, including advice on hashtags take a look at the Instagram Review: First Impressions
*A shadow-ban is when your hashtags become temporarily ‘un-discoverable’, therefore reducing the visibility and growth of your account.