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How to Optimize your Hashtag Strategy in 2020

Hashtags. They’re everywhere. We went from the pound sign to custom wedding hashtags, and by the looks of it, they’re not going away anytime soon. But how do you make it work? Follow these tips to optimize your hashtag strategy for 2020.

Find the right audience

Find the right audience

We’re not putting hashtags out there just to find any audience — we need to target and reach the right audience. For example, if your brand is all about makeup, it wouldn’t help you to reach car-lovers. Sure, they may view a few of your posts. But when they lose interest or realize that they’re not following an account that is relevant to them, they’ll move on.

Not sure how to find the right audience? Look at these things:

Age
Gender
Interests
Background
Career/industry
Other pages they follow

Use relevant, specific hashtags

The winning formula for a great catalog of hashtags is relevant + specific. That means tapping into your brand — what you do, who you are, what you believe in, etc. — and using that to find hashtags that will help you tell your story.

For relevant, you should be using hashtags that are currently trending and relevant to what you talk about. Say your profile is all about photography — an irrelevant hashtag would be #video because that’s not what you do. On the same token, using a really broad hashtag like #art may not be the best either because it’s not specific enough to your craft. In this case, describe your photography. If you take portraits, call it #portraitphotography. Or if you take pictures of nature, you may use #landscapephotography. See? Easier than you thought!

Do some research

Do some research

Since you’re allowed up to 30 hashtags on Instagram, you may run out of ideas. We won’t tell you the magic number (it’s really up to you), but you should be using more than just one or two hashtags when you’re trying to grow your business.

Start by exploring. Look at competitors and the hashtags they use. Browse Instagram Explore and see what’s trending. Or use a tool to get insights on hashtag performance.

Look at your previous posts

Looking for some inspiration or a sense of direction? Just look at your previous posts to see which ones have done well. You may notice that more hashtags boost your presence, or you may see that less hashtags have a better impact. Another thing to note is what kind of hashtags are performing well. You can run experiments on your own to collect data for this — numbers play a huge role in hashtag research.

Look at posts per hashtag

 Look at posts per hashtag 

Sometimes you’ll make up your own hashtag, but a lot of the time, you’re using hashtags that hundreds (maybe even millions) of other users are using. For example, if you use #waterbottle, you can probably imagine you’re not the only one using that hashtag.

When you’re deciding which hashtags are right for you, take a look at how many posts are currently using that hashtag. There’s a sweet spot here. You don’t want to use a hashtag that is too popular because it’s hard to stand out in the crowd. On the same token, using a hashtag that doesn’t have many posts loses credibility and may go unnoticed. Later recommends hashtags that have somewhere between 10,000 to 200,000 posts.

2020 is off to a unique start, but your hashtag strategy can still thrive. Use this extra time at home to really work on your social media strategy.