29: Hashtag Your Way to Fame and Fortune on Instagram (or at least more engagement)

Hashtags are absolutely necessary on Instagram. But they are so confusing! Which ones do you use? How many? Do you repeat them? Where should you use them? Animal, equine and pet-based businesses SHOULD have a hashtag strategy that includes different types of hashtags. On this episode Kim and Cara talk about the nine different types of hashtags that business owners can start using right now to increase engagement on Instagram.

Our Big 3 Takeaways

Know Your Types of Hashtags

Brand Hastags, Exposure Hashtags, Influence Hashtags, Ketchy (just for fun) Hashtags, plus the 9 different kinds: Product, Niche, Community, Events, Location, Daily, Phrases, Acronyms, Emojis

It's Like Building an Online Album

You are building an online asset — and contributing to other’s online assets — by creating “albums” for people to leaf through when they are on Instagram.

Create a Hashtag Strategy

A strategy for using and expanding your hashtag use will greatly help you stay focused (and sane!) when creating your Instagram social media.

“I love the Business Animals and have learned so much from their podcast!” <— does this sound like something you might say? YES! Please leave us some stars and a review on your favorite podcast app. Reviews help us to reach more entreprenuers just like you who are seeking support on their business animal journey. You can use the SUBSCRIBE button above to make it easy to access our podcast page on all the apps. Once you “hit the stars,” on most apps, you’ll be able to leave a review. If you see something we can do better — or have an idea for us — please email us at podcast@thebusinessanimal.com rather than leave a review so can respond accordingly. 


Mentioned in the episode:

Fast Horse Photography

Be More Business

Phyllis Burchett Photography

Terri Cage Photography

2021 Instagram Hashtag Guide: How to Get More Reach


Join the Business Animal VIP List so you don’t miss a thing!



Transcripts are autogenerated and may contain typographical and grammar errors. This transcript is copyright©2021 Kimberly Beer and Cara Taylor Swift. DO NOT COPY in whole or part without written permission.

Open the Transcript
Jaz 0:01 Welcome to The Business Animal podcast. Saddle up for a gallop to the top of the animal industry, where you’ll learn how to tame your wild business beast, with tips, techniques, and tools that will take overwhelm to obedience school, and have you wagging your tail with joy. And now your hosts, Kim Beer, and Cara Taylor Swift. Kimberly Beer 0:23 Hey there business animals, it’s Kim with Be More Business Cara Taylor Swift 0:26 and Cara with Fast Horse Photography, Kimberly Beer 0:29 and welcome to The Business Animal. Today’s episode is really going to be entertaining, I have a feeling. Today we’re gonna be talking about hashtagging your way to fame and fortune on Instagram well, or at least getting some more followers. I love that I love the title of this episode. hashtags are one of the things that I get asked about a lot when I am doing my marketing seminars, if they are it is there an interesting little topic that that people don’t often understand even what they are, let alone how to use them. So I think that this is an appropriate episode to have to talk about this Cara Taylor Swift 1:16 This such an appropriate episode. I don’t know what’s going on with some of these animal based business owners out here. But I’m pretty sure they don’t know what a hashtag is. So this episode is for you, if you don’t know what a hashtag is, if you aren’t using hashtags, if you are thinking about using hashtags, but aren’t sure what they are and aren’t using them. So this is a great episode for you. I am shocked at the number of amazing animal based business owners out there that are posting images on Instagram, and they’re not using any hashtags you guys are missing. Kimberly Beer 1:51 No hashtags? Cara Taylor Swift 1:52 None at all. None. Guys are really missing out on the searchable feature of Instagram and really another way to be found online. You know, Kim, I always say social media shouldn’t be your only marketing. But if you’re going to use it like at least use it in the way that can help bring you more followers get you out there get you seen. So that’s why we’re talking about this today. Kimberly Beer 2:14 Absolutely, absolutely. And you know, it’s funny that you say they aren’t using any because some people at least usually make a stab at using a hashtag. And for those of you by the way, who are hashtag users don’t shut this episode off. Because one thing about it, Cara has outdone herself in finding some really entertaining information about all the different types of hashtags that there are that you can use on Instagram. And I will tell you, we are going to focus this particular episode on Instagram. Now later on, we may come back and do another one on Facebook or Twitter and hashtags or LinkedIn who was really, really late to the hashtag party game. But now who’s like said, Okay, we’re coming in, we’re going all in. But we’ll come back and do those other social networks later. What we’re interested in talking about today is Instagram, because that one is is a really important hashtags are like super important on Instagram. So curate, I think that one of the things that I find in my classes that people they don’t even understand what a hashtag is or what it does. So I’m going to back up and give my little spiel that I give when I’m teaching a class about social media and the topic of hashtags comes up. So what I tell people is to imagine that there’s folders in a file drawer. The hash tag is the folder label that tells you what is in that particular folder so that you can go and find it. So for example, if you are an equine photographer, if you’re looking for an equine photographer, you might want to open the file drawer and look for the hashtag horses or horse photos. And inside that folder, you would find all of these varieties of horse photos from a bunch of different horse photographers. Or maybe you wanted to be more specific, maybe you wanted to look at photos of American quarter horses. So you might look under the folder that has the hashtag AQHA on it. And when you open up that folder, then there’s all the photos of quarter horses. So here’s the thing from the consumer standpoint, or the person who’s looking at the photos in this case, they want to be able to see a wide range of photos but they may not know me or Cara or Phyllis our friend Phyllis or Carien or anyone personally who has a bunch of quarterhorse photos so they don’t know to look for Fast Horse Photography or Kim Beer Photography or Phyllis Burchette Photography. They only know that they want to see pictures of quarter horses and if we have all tagged our images with hashtags that are Aqa or quarter horse or whatever they happen to look for, then pictures show up in that particular folder for them to explore from a business perspective, if you’re not using those hashtags, Honey, you’re not in the folder. Oh, the person looking for quarterhorse photos, he is not going to find you. Because that means you’re not exposed to that new individual who didn’t know who you were, but now is looking for that particular type of an image. And this goes much deeper than that it goes for products and other kinds of services. I mean, honestly, it’s very expansive and very extensive. And on Instagram, if you have an interest that’s going to last a long time, you can even follow certain hashtags, so that those images from those hashtags show up in your newsfeed. So if you’re not using hashtags, you’re not showing up, you’re not showing up. So it’s really important to understand how to use them and to understand how to play this hashtag game. So Cara did that description of how hashtags work makes sense. I’ve tried really hard to come up with that. Over the years, Cara Taylor Swift 6:11 Yeah, so you did a really good job of like the breaking it down. So the basic definition for it is a hashtag is a combination of letters, numbers, and or maybe an emoji preceded by that hashtag symbol, that numbered symbol. And it’s used to categorize content and make it more discoverable, which, which is what Kim was talking about with the folders. But the interesting part of hashtags is they’re clickable. So anyone who clicks on an Instagram hashtag, or conducts an Instagram hashtag search will see basically a feed that shows up with all the posts that are tagged with that hashtag. That’s why that’s important is because it’s how you can get discovered and a post that has at least one Instagram hashtag averages at least 12.6 more engagements than posts without hashtags. So you guys have got if you’re on Instagram, you got to be using hashtags. If you are operating a pet, an animal or equine based business that you want to really start gaining some traction, you got to use hashtags. If you’re not, you’re just kind of floating around out there, and you’re not really as easily discoverable. Let’s do our big three real quick. Kimberly Beer 7:10 Yeah, you’re rolling right into that first one, which is I think one of the, I’m rolling right in. So go ahead and do the big three Kim, let’s do the big. And then because I know care is excited. And I’m actually excited to share this too, because it’s a pretty interesting, I found it fascinating. Alright, so the big three before any further ado, number one, know your types of hashtags, so that you know how to craft the hashtags for your own business and for the images that you’re putting out there. Number two, when you’re considering all of this and kind of how to develop your hashtags, you want to start thinking of it as a big online album that you can use in yourself and in conjunction with others to create a more discoverable universe for the people searching for you. And then finally, in this process, you need a strategy for this because it can get really overwhelming really quickly, there’s a bajillion different hashtags that you can use. And there is a point where it becomes too many hashtags. And you need to be able to choose the ones and think about it really strategically. So that’s the third of the Big Three. The first piece of this is the fun piece. That’s the types of hashtags now I came up with four types of hashtags on my own. So to me, there’s the brand hashtag, that’s the hashtag that you create anything that’s associated with your brand. So for me, it’s #bemorebiz or #sustainableentrepreneurship or #beerranch or #KimBeerphotography, those are all examples of brand hashtags. Kara has a really interesting brand hashtag of #FastHorseHerd. So it’s not necessarily just your business name, it can be something associated with it. The second one that I came up with is exposure hashtags. These will expose you to a certain general audience like if you’re a horse photographer, #horses, if you’re a dog groomer, #grooming or something along those lines, so it exposes you to a certain audience and Cara is going to break down there’s there’s a ton more than I came up with. The third in my list is influence hashtags. So those are ones that are going to expose you to a certain person or entities like minded audience. So for example, you’ll see a lot of equine Western equine photographers using the #cowgirlmagazine, #cowboysandindians. So they’re appealing to not only that publication entity, but they’re going to appeal to that entities audience as well. And then my final of my four is catchy hashtags, those are ones that are just for fun. Like when we do our retreats, I use #onemoretime that has nothing to do. People are not going to Look at that hashtag and go, Oh my gosh, I need to click on that to see pictures of photographers telling models to do it one more time, which is a big photographer thing once we always say right one more time. Can you do that one more time? One more time. There’s always one more time. So but they’re catchy hashtags or #anythingfortheshot. That’s another one that I’ve used when and shown pictures of photographers like hanging off the edges of cliffs to try to get the shot. So but those are catchy and fun, but Cara you have nine different types of hashtag to consider and this just thrilled me no and I must be a really off the wall nerd because I just got so excited when I saw this I thought, well, first of all, damn, my four is not very many, but I grouped a few of these together in my four. Go for it. I can’t wait for you to share this. Cara Taylor Swift 10:55 Your equine based business has unique needs. It’s your job to tell the story of your horse brand. You know what you want to say. But creating or finding powerful storytelling images that grab the attention of your ideal client can be a challenge, especially when you’re busy running your business. That’s why equine industry business leaders turned to Fast Horse Photography, and a library featuring 1000s of searchable images available for businesses just like yours. And guess what 100% of those images are horse related. Now finding the right horse images for your website, social media, and all your other needs is easier than ever. Find the perfect images for your equine business right now at FastHorsephotography.com. That’s FastHorsephotography.com. Instagram actually suggests that there are nine different types of hashtags to consider. And considering we’re talking about Instagram, I feel like they probably know what they’re talking about. They are Kimberly Beer 11:50 awesome days. Cara Taylor Swift 11:52 They are hashtags that indicate your product or service. So this might be really product specific like dog leash, #dogleash, #saddlepad, and then there’s also hashtags indicating your niche and your industries they for me that might be #equinephotographer, or #doggroomer. And then there’s hashtags for Instagram specific communities within your niche. So #horsetrainersofInstagram or #InstagramDogbakery or #InstagramdogBaker. And then there’s hashtags for special events or holidays. These are usually the fun ones that Kim likes to talk about the #NationalDayofthehorse or #catappreciationday or that could even be you know, any of those like special events like holiday horse is one that I’ve used before #holidayhorse when I want to find specific images around a certain holiday. And then there’s also location hashtags. And this is a really important category. For example, #Floridahorsegrooming or #Tampabirds that are you know, just thinking about location specific and people will actually search location hashtags pretty frequently if they’re looking for a product or service in a particular location. There’s also fun daily hashtags, like one that I see a lot is #Mondaymotivation or wellness Wednesday, so #wellnessWednesday, but there’s also things like #nostirrupsnovember, hashtags that you can follow that are kind of specific to a time period. But also you can find them that or if there’s specific to your niche, and then there’s hashtags or phrases that are really important for what you do such as for me, it might be #takepictureswithyourhorse. Or if I’m photographing outwest, I might use a hashtag like #bemorecowboy. So thinking about some of those fun hashtags. And then there are hashtags using acronyms like Kim gave the great example of #aqha for American Quarter Horse Association, or #qoth. For quote of the day, so thinking about some of those, those are also a great option that people are using. And then the last one, another fun one is hashtags using emojis. So you might have hashtag horse with a cute horsehead. So that’s just an example. These are all hashtags that people are using. And when you’re thinking about using hashtags, you want to try to think about how do I pull from some of these different groups. So you don’t want to just be super location specific when you can add in some other options as well. So those are my nine different types of hashtags that people can consider. I wonder if there’s anyone out there and their heads exploding, Kimberly Beer 14:18 probably going, Oh, my gosh, I just loved it, because it gave me so many ideas about what I could come up with with hashtags for my own Instagram posts in my own business. And then for my clients, it’s a lot of fun to be able to think these through. So for me, when you’re putting together a post though, those four categories, you need to like some of these could go in in multiples of my four categories, like the product or service, if it’s specific to your brand could be in the brand category, or it could be in the exposure category. If you’re going for a more generalized piece. What I encourage people to do is maybe Think about all nine of those categories. And then make sure you hit three of the four categories that I listed out which were the brand exposure, influence, and catchy, the catchy or optional, those are, those are silly meant to get a giggle or laugh. They’re not really necessarily intended to maybe expose you to more business, but they do show your brand personality and they they’re fun, right? So they get a giggle out of the person that’s looking at it. But the other three, when you put your Instagram post together, you should be using tags that hit all three of those categories, you should, or at least the first two for brand and exposure. But once that hit those high notes, so that you are in this, I think brings us into the number two of this so that you are building into those online albums, whether it’s an album you’re creating in and of yourself. It’s an album that you’re creating with a select group of people, or you are contributing to somebody else’s album with those hashtags. So you need to be thinking about how does this particular image fit into my own business? My hashtag album, how does it fit into the hashtag album that I’ve created that other people are contributing to? And how can I use this image to contribute to other albums or file folders? If I’m going back to my original, original example, how is it that I can contribute to other people’s albums that they have already created, so that I can get access to that particular individual’s audience? Cara Taylor Swift 16:39 Absolutely. And that’s why your image that you’re posting in the caption that you’re posting, you need to use hashtags that are appropriate for that topic. So you don’t want to abuse the hashtags by putting stuff into the wrong folders, if we’re going to use that analogy. So just because a hashtag is popular doesn’t mean you should use it if your image and your caption in the story that you’re trying to tell isn’t appropriate. Kimberly Beer 16:59 Absolutely. And that goes for all things. hashtags are another kind of form of search engine optimization, or SEO, or search engine marketing, which is using words and language to be able to access audiences. And if you abuse that, then that hashtag will get taken away, or the influence of it will get taken away by the social media powers that be so don’t spoil the soup for everybody. Make sure you’re using your hashtags appropriately. And to be honest, those kind of marketing tactics, they don’t really work very well, they just simply disrupt the system, I think they just show that you’re not a very conscientious business. And to be honest, there are so many hashtags that you can choose from on Instagram, it’s so many of them that trend that I don’t know why you would want to buck the system anyway, because the best choice of you getting in front of the target market you most want to communicate to is by using the appropriate hashtags. So that doesn’t bode well if you’re trying to capitalize on a trending tag that doesn’t have anything to do with your business. So I hope in that process between the first two of our suggestions here that your hashtag motor is running, and that you’re starting to figure out some hashtags that you might like to be able to use for your business. And I think that kind of leads us into the third of the big three for this topic, which is creating a hashtag strategy, because that’s really important in the overall term of things. Because if you create a brand hashtag, and you only put five images in the folder, that’s not going to be very fun for the person who watches you know, who goes and looks for that hashtag. So you’ve got to think about how am I going to be able to make this useful for my business? And how am I going to use it to lead new customers to me, and then capitalize on leading them to me to make more revenue for my business. I know you have some thoughts around this Cara. So I’m going to turn that over to you for a couple of minutes. And then I have an interesting hashtag strategy that I used to give out in my classes. Cara Taylor Swift 19:09 Awesome. So one of the things I think about when I am putting content on Instagram, is I do think about my hashtags, I’m a big hash tag person, you can have up to 30 hashtags on a post and you can have up to 10 hashtags on a story in Instagram. So I try to use as many of those as I can. But I like to think about my hashtags. And I don’t just throw any old hashtag up there. So what I have done is I take a look at like those nine different possible categories and I look and see what fits my business and then I break that down into what’s appropriate for that post so that each one of my posts does not have the exact same hashtags, cut and paste from post to post to post. Okay, I like to keep in mind three things. I like my hashtags to be a combination of broad, narrow and specific when I’m putting those lists together. And what that means is I’m looking for hashtags. That have a broad audience. So maybe a larger audience hashtags that have a much more like kind of narrow down audience. And then hashtags that are really specific. So maybe they don’t have that many posts yet with that hashtag. There’s a reason I do this, the broad ones, they mean that a lot of people are following that hashtag. So it’s maybe like there’s a million or more people have used that hashtag. That’s an awesome thing. But the problem with that is it also means that there’s a ton of content that’s currently already out there with that hashtag. And it’s really easy when people are using a hashtag over and over and over again, and it’s really popular that your content is going to get lost real quick. So what I like to do is use some of those big ones. By the way, for folks that don’t know the number one hashtag is #love. Kimberly Beer 20:49 That is nice. That’s heartworm, yeah, Cara Taylor Swift 20:51 well, I’m just so happy. It’s not something like #murdercat, or something random like that, you know, like, it’s #love. I think that’s a pretty awesome one to be like the most popular like, I don’t know, 1.8 million or something people have used #love. Anyway, if you use #love, awesome, but you should know that you’re going to be like a blink, and then you’re gone on the radar. So you might want to type in #love. But then before you click it, look down and see what the alternatives are, there might be something like hashtag love with the heart that only has like 50,000 or 20,000 people that have used it, which means that your content will hang around and have the potential to be in the top category a lot longer than if you use a different hashtag. Or if you use the most popular hashtag. Kimberly Beer 21:39 Every small business owner wants to gain traction in their marketing. After three decades of working with small business owners just like you I have developed what I call my four by for marketing method. In just one 90 minute session, you’ll discover the four major focus areas of a successful marketing plan. And together we’ll uncover where your business is getting stuck, you’ll leave the session with an action plan of next steps that engage your revenue engine drop by BeMoreBusiness.com to request your session today, that’s BeMorebusiness.com. See you there. I wanted to just jump in and let people know something. And that is the fact that when you put a hashtag on an image, and it goes into that kind of online folder on my album situation for people to search for that if they go and look at that if a consumer or a person searching a hashtag goes and looks at it, it’s populated by the most recent posts generally first. So what Cara just said is you’re going to fall off it and what happens if a lot of people are using it like hashtag love, it fills the queue up. Because remember, an Instagram we only see X number of posts at a time in the little squares, it means that it’s going to fall further down the page, because a lot of people are shoving things into that album and they get pushed up to the top. Whereas if it’s not as if still popular, but not as popular, then your image or your post has an opportunity to stay on that initial page longer. Because it’s not as searched for a term. There’s this strategy and understanding that as an instagramer into understanding how the posts fall off of that hashtag page. And I encourage I don’t know about you, Cara. But I encourage people to go and look at the hashtags that they’re going to use to see what that hashtag is really about and how how much it’s been used and how it’s going to follow up. And I do have a funny story about that. I had a rooster that pecked me you’re going to get a giggle out of this. He constantly pecked me his little silver seabright rooster. And he was just adorable, but he always pecked me when I picked him up. And one day he drew blood and I took his picture with my bloody hand and put #badchicken on the picture. Well, apparently, #badchicken is like a biker gang. I didn’t look they followed me. As a matter of fact, there’s still followers of mine. today. I don’t know if they actually see my posts. But it was hilarious because I posted #badchicken. And I got a motorcycle gang to follow me. So it’ll tell you that sometimes that can get a little off. I’m so sorry, I diverged off of our main topic, but back to the thing. You should probably look at your hashtag in developing your hashtag strategy. Would you agree with that? Cara Taylor Swift 24:38 Absolutely. If there’s something that you’re using a lot it you know, I would suggest is definitely giving it a quick search just to see what other kind of contents on there. But you know, when I explore hashtags, you know, just good strategy is to really look down and see what other options pop up that might be a better option for your business or that you can add to a list of I’m sure you have a running list. If you don’t, you should start one of possible hashtags to do later. And it really, it can allow you the opportunity to make it into one of those top categories that we were talking about and more likely to be seen, you’re gonna want to select hashtags that have both a lot of popularity and some that have smaller usage to ensure that you’re getting in front of different types of audiences all the time. So once again, go back to that broad, narrow and specific when putting together your hashtag list. And when you’re first starting out, and you’re trying to think what hashtags should I use, and you’re starting to create those lists, start at that top nine that I listed at the beginning of the episode, that’s a great place to start. But another great place is two options. The first one look to your competition, what is your competition using, it doesn’t mean cut and paste their hashtags into your hashtag caption area, but look to see what they’re using. Because I have found some really creative stuff that my brain just never took me there, that’s totally relevant to my industry, because I looked to my competition, the other place to look is to your clients. So you have clients that are on Instagram, and they’re posting stuff, right. So I’ll go and look at the hashtags that they use. And sometimes I find some really great hashtags. Great example is I found a hashtag that a barn was using. And I was able to start searching that hashtag. And I started to see the clients that were using that hashtag that go to that barn. And I was able to start actively like interacting with those people all because of a single hashtag. And I was able to suddenly kind of come on the radar to that barn because of the hashtag that they were using. And I would never have found that if I didn’t look to my clients. So look to see what clients are using. Another great example with that is I photographed a Mustang trainer. And I was like, what it what I haven’t done a ton of Mustangs, and I’m gonna post something, and I’m not really sure what hashtags to use. So I just went and looked and saw what she was using. And because she’s in that environment all the time, she has a whole list of amazing hashtags that are related to the Mustang horse that I would never have thought of using. So look to your clients as well for great hashtag ideas. Kimberly Beer 26:57 That’s all great advice. Great advice. Years and years ago, when hashtags were pretty brand new people were trying to figure out how to use them as a marketing strategy. And in one of my classes, I gave an example, people asked me that question about how to how do I create strategies around hashtags, one that’s a short term, one, it’s probably easy for people to understand is if there’s an event in your area. So let’s say God forbid, there be a flood, we’ve had lots of floods here in Missouri, and maybe you do, I don’t know, animal rescue and floods, searching for that hashtag, even though it’s a very immediate and transient one, or posting with that hashtag will often get you into exactly the right place at exactly the right time. So that’s a strategy. It’s a short term strategy for being able to use those hashtags. And just like Cara said, she went and looked at a hashtag for a very specific barn and then was able to do probably twofold things. One be able to reach her audience that she wanted to reach, but also to get some good customer researching about who those people are, what their expectations are, what their needs are. The same thing goes with that flood example, if you do a service that would be beneficial to people who have recently been in a situation like that, you know, going and looking at what is it that they need right now, what’s happening in the images that are being used for that hashtag, it gives you some really good insight in how to make hashtags actually make you revenue relatively quickly. As an overall strategy. Cara, I want to pick your brain about this just a little bit, because you’re really good at Instagram. For me, I really want to give people a very solid kind of plan moving forward. And we’ve given them a lot of really good information in this episode. But would you suggest that step one is to go back to those nine categories and the the four that I gave, and really start to make a list of hashtags that you want to use consistently hashtags that you want to use here and there hashtags that are really important. So start with that running list kind of done up into categories, maybe use my four categories, where you could put, these are my brand hashtags, these are hashtags that are going to expose me to audience these, these are influence hashtags that I want to use, Cara Taylor Swift 29:25 you’re going to have hashtags that you use every time Kimberly Beer 29:28 Yep. Cara Taylor Swift 29:29 And then you’re going to have hashtags that you use situationally Kimberly Beer 29:32 perfect. Cara Taylor Swift 29:32 So that’s absolutely right, start your list. Go back to that top nine. Start making your list of hashtags and have it ready so that when you post something, and you need to fill out the hashtag part of that caption that you’re not stressing and then trying to find them, you’ve got them ready to go. Kimberly Beer 29:47 Perfect. So start with the list. Maybe in that list, when you get them made up, get the hashtag list going and this should be an ongoing project. In other words, this is a living document. So put it somewhere where you have access to it mobily, I would recommend either Google Drive or Dropbox or somewhere like that. Maybe even create yourself a spreadsheet, not a big fan of the spreadsheet myself, but they’re really good and effective for things like this. So create a spreadsheet where you can get to them put the hashtag in, so you can copy and paste, if you have a way that you can do that through, I use a posting software rather than posting directly in the product, so in Instagram, so I can copy and paste from that and then go back and maybe highlight or indicate in some ways what Cara told you with the broad narrows specific. So then you have it even more coordinated to know, okay, I need to have a few hashtags from this category, and maybe from this category, and then take a look at that document. When you sit down to make your posts take a look at it and see what hashtags on the document are the most likely Cara Do you track your hashtags like how many times you use a specific hashtag, Cara Taylor Swift 31:04 I don’t track it. But I have an Instagram business profile. So if folks that have the Instagram business profile, you can actually use insights to see which tags are working best for you. So you should be able to access you should be able to have access to post insights that will really tell you how many impressions you receive from your hashtags. So I definitely will go in and look at my insights to see how certain hashtags are performing for me. And sometimes I will make changes based on that I can honestly say that I haven’t done a ton with my hashtag insights. But it is interesting to see how they are doing and which ones really seem to be performing. Well. Kim had mentioned that broad perspective versus the narrow perspective. And that’s as simple as saying, you know, we know #Love is the most popular hashtag on Instagram. But you might want to use that one occasionally, if it’s the right time of year or the right post for that. But you could also narrow it down and do something like #Ilovehorses or #lovehorses or #Ilovemydog. So you’re doing the same thing. But you can see how that’s narrowing it down to a less use hashtag. So yeah, I definitely recommend watching your insights, Kim and keeping an eye on how your hashtags are performing. And you might find some that are really, really good gems for you. Kimberly Beer 32:17 How often do you do hashtag research? In other words, how often do you set aside a little bit of time? And then how do you do that research, Cara Taylor Swift 32:24 every couple of weeks, I find myself searching for new hashtags and looking for something that’s relevant. And it really kind of depends on what I’m working on. If I have a desire to reach an audience in a certain location, then I’m doing hashtag research. And I am looking at location hashtags. And then I’m clicking on those. And then I’m digging even deeper to see what other people are posting in that area. That’s when I tend to do a lot of following of people in that area, a lot of interaction. I mean, that really gets into more Instagram growth strategy, as opposed to just hashtag strategy. But I do find myself really digging into hashtags pretty regularly. The other thing I’ll do is in my local area, I will every few days, I’ll type in some of my regular hashtag like Florida equestrian #Floridaequestrian just to see what’s new that’s out there that’s been posted, who’s using that hashtag, you know, I’ll do Florida horse lover or Florida horses for sale or St. Augustine horse because I’m in the St. Augustine area. So I really like to know, first of all, where my content is like, is it in the top posts where it is when people click on those hashtags, but also who else is using those hashtags? So I can kind of see if it’s competition, if it’s potential clients, you know, who’s using those hashtags, I really do keep tabs on that for location, especially in my area. Kimberly Beer 33:42 Absolutely. One final thought that I have on hashtags strategy is it’s not just you using your hashtags, it’s also getting your customers to use your hashtags. And your customers aren’t going to use them if they don’t know what they are. So it’s really important because not all your customers are Cara and gonna go searching around and hashtag research on their own. They’re going to make up their own hashtags if you don’t give them to them. So specifically, your brand hashtags, you need to be very forthright about what those hashtags are with your customers. And the best way to do that is usually just to hand them something with the hashtags on them that they need to use. Now our good friend Terry cage rewards people for using the appropriate hashtags, which I think is great. We did a whole episode back in season one on on customer loyalty and that kind of thing was social proof. It can be as simple as you know, putting your hashtags on the bottom of your email signature when you’re sending out stuff or to put them on your product labeling or your business card or to make up a very specific card to give to people you know say hey, if you post socially Would you please use these these hashtags on your social posts and for yourself where you’re using them to be really consistent with your brand hashtags so that people are able to use those consistently, because we want them in our strategy to be going into the appropriate online albums, not some random online album that is never going to get seen by people. So it’s really important also, to train your people, Cara Taylor Swift 35:24 I use a customer loyalty program, and I have a card that has all of the different ways that the fast horse herd can participate. And when they do a certain number of these things, they receive a reward for that as part of the being part of the loyalty program. And one of the things I do on there is I mentioned making a post about your experience with fast horse or about an upcoming excitement that you have around working with fast stores, and then using #fasthorseherd or Fast Horse Photography. And then they get points for that. So I definitely tell them how to do it, where to do it, encourage them to do it and provide incentive to use my hashtags. Kimberly Beer 35:57 So that’s another part of the strategy. For those of you we’ve kind of been around a little bit in the strategy, I want to go back and kind of hone in on that. And then we’re going to review the big three and close this episode out. So the first thing I think that you need to do is to start to create that hashtag list. So get that put together, get them categorized into the different categories, look over those nine types, I think that we can probably put that on the show notes page where people who didn’t get the didn’t get them written down, that’s a pretty easy thing for us to do. We’ll put those in the show notes for you so that you can have them. But create that spreadsheet, then you’ll have a good stockpile of hashtags, choose the ones that you’re going to use most regularly and then work towards figuring out what your strategy is going to be. How are you going to get your research in? How are you going to use hashtags strategically to build your business? And then how are you going to encourage your customers to use the appropriate hashtags. Our overall Big Three, just as a review from this episode are number one of the big three is know your hashtag types. So that’s really important. It’ll help you be able to discern what hashtags need to go on that list, then think always of your hashtags is building those online albums and how you want to strategically use your hashtags in order to create those online albums to be best positioned to get you discovered by new eyes, as well as convinced people that are researching you, as well as reach bigger audiences through referrals, anything you want to add to the end of that care. Cara Taylor Swift 37:38 Yeah, the only other thing I want to add is there are programs and apps out there that help you do hashtag generation to help you explore and find new hashtags. And I’ve tried several of them. And I have not found that they are better than actually doing the research yourself. What I have found is that when I do the research myself, my hashtags make more sense for my business, they’re less general, they’re more concentrated, and they helped me meet my audience a lot faster than when I’m using hashtags that have been generated by one of these programs. So nothing against the programs that are out there. I’m not going to name any names of the ones that I’ve tried. But I have found that so far, nothing beats actually doing the work yourself, unfortunately, Kimberly Beer 38:18 and I’m going to totally concur with that I have tried those. So probably the same programs that you have and had the same result. I agree the boots on the ground guerilla style marketing and understanding your customers are better than trying to use an algorithm or a software to be able to tell you what hashtags that you should or suggest the hashtags that you should use. It’s much better for you to look for yourself. So we hope you have enjoyed this episode and that you are probably really excited or hopefully really excited about hash tagging your way to fame and fortune or at least a few more followers. We’ll see you next time. Jaz 39:00 Thanks for listening to this episode of The Business Animal. Be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode. And if you learned something today, leave us a review. To learn more. Find us at TheBusinessanimal.com we’d love to hear from you. Until next time, keep your business well trained with The Business Animal Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Earnings disclaimer: Every effort has been made to accurately represent the information in this podcast, our programs, and the educational value they provide. However, there is no guarantee that you will earn any money using the techniques and ideas in these materials. You should not rely on any revenue, sales, or earnings information we present as any kind of promise, guarantee, or expectation of any level of success or earnings. Your results will be determined by a number of factors over which we have no control, such as your financial condition, experiences, skills, level of effort, education, and changes within the market. We provide this content without any express or implied warranties. By continuing to use our site and access our content, you agree that we are not responsible for any decision you may make regarding any information presented or as a result of purchasing any of our products or services.