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Day 36 - How To Manage Your Hashtags

Day 36 of #100daysmarketingcreatives - How To Manage Your Instagram Hashtags

In Day 34 - What Hashtags To Use I gave you an idea of how to start thinking about hashtags. By this point your have probably tried a few and come up with some more by looking at other people's posts and doing some of your own research and by now you probably have well over 30 hashtags to use but how do you work out which ones to use and spread their usage over time until you have a better idea which ones are working for you and which are not? Can you really be bothered writing in individual hashtags in a post and working out whether or not you used the same hashtag yesterday or not and whether it is a valuable one that you should be repeating?

Later in the project I will recommend some software to help with scheduling post that will also help you to manage hashtags. In the meantime, however, I will show you a simple technique that I have used before that you can easily employ. The basic principle is that you create a text file on your phone containing your hashtags. On my Android phone there is a memo app but there are many memo and notepad style apps available for both Android and Iphones. In the text file show a title for each group of hashtags and list hashtags you find along with the number of posts in that hashtag so you can gauge its size and popularity as follows

Art General

#artwork_daily 96k #sketchbookart 301k #sketchbookdrawing 128k #sketchpad 312k #sketchdaily 886k

 

Young Artist

#helpyoungartists 2k #youngart 56k #youngartist 1m #youngartists 167k #youngartisthelp 49k #youngartistshelp 15k #youngartistsofinstagram 6k #youngartiststogether 4k #youngartistcommunity 1k #youngbritishartist 1.3k

 

UK Artist

#ukart 109k #ukarts 3k #artgalleryuk 1.3k #ukartist 247k #ukartists 42k

 

Local Artist

#derbyshireartist 2k #derbyshireart 3k #highpeakart 4k

 

Fantasy Art

#fantasyart 2.2m #fantasyartist 115k

 

Animal Art

#animalartist 151k #animalartistry 49k

Obviously in this example there are less than 30 hashtags but as you continue to add more relevant hashtags your list will get bigger way beyond the 30 hashtag limit in Instagram. Add a mixture of hashtag sizes and aim low initially with a few high value hashtags and as your following picks up start to aim for more bigger hashtags. You can decide which hashtags in each group you want to use every day if they are being effective for you and which ones you want to rotate. If your group is small you might use half the hashtags on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and the other half on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Alternatively use some on even days of the month and others on odd days of the month. It is important to have representation in all groups and across all hashtags but you might post in some more than others so if this list climbed to say 60 hashtags I might then refine it as follows (I currently manage several hashtag lists with in excess of 400 hashtags in them so this technique is really just for your small list at the beginning) 

Art General

daily #artwork_daily 96k

sun mon tue wed #sketchbookart 301k #sketchbookdrawing 128k

thur fri sat #sketchpad 312k #sketchdaily 886k

 

Young Artist

daily #youngartists 167k #youngartiststogether 4k #youngbritishartist 1.3k

mon #helpyoungartists 2k

tue #youngart 56k

wed #youngartist 1m

thu #youngartisthelp 49k

fri #youngartistshelp 15k

sat #youngartistsofinstagram 6k

sun #youngartistcommunity 1k

 

UK Artist

odd days #ukart 109k #artgalleryuk 1.3k #ukartists 42k

even days #ukarts 3k #ukartist 247k

 

Local Artist

#derbyshireartist 2k #derbyshireart 3k #highpeakart 4k

 

Fantasy Art

#fantasyart 2.2m #fantasyartist 115k

 

Animal Art

#animalartist 151k #animalartistry 49k

In this scenario it could be that #artwork_daily is proving to be a good hashtag with lots of interaction so I want to use it daily but rather than post to the other 4 art general hashtags every day I might choose to only post to two of them half of the week and the other two in the other half of the week leaving more hashtags available for other things. Because there are so many young artist hashtags I might decide to home in on 3 good ones and post daily but spread the other others across the week with a different one each day. 

Some of the more general hashtags will get very large in number and therefore need to be spread around the week or month. Others specific to a specific subject matter such as fantasy art or animal art might start off smaller and be used in their entirety when they are relevant to that particularly post.

If I were doing a post on a Monday and the date was 15th of the month and my subject matter was fantasy art for example I might copy and post this full set into the bottom of my post and then refine it to the following

Art General

daily #artwork_daily 96k

sun mon tue wed #sketchbookart 301k #sketchbookdrawing 128k

 

Young Artist

daily #youngartists 167k #youngartiststogether 4k #youngbritishartist 1.3k

mon #helpyoungartists 2k

 

UK Artist

odd days #ukart 109k #artgalleryuk 1.3k #ukartists 42k

 

Local Artist

#derbyshireartist 2k #derbyshireart 3k #highpeakart 4k

 

Fantasy Art

#fantasyart 2.2m #fantasyartist 115k

As you can see at this point I have left the topic headings in as well as how many posts there are in each hashtag. This will then help me to make decisions such as if I have now got my list of 60 hashtags for today's post down to 35 and therefore I need to lose another 5 I might choose to lose some very high number hashtags such as #fantasyart as the chances of getting spotted at this stage in anything over a 500k hashtag are quiet slim indeed although its always worth throwing 1 big one in incase you just get lucky! My final set of hashtags for today's post could then be edited down to become

#artwork_daily #sketchbookart #sketchbookdrawing #youngartists #youngartiststogether  #youngbritishartist #helpyoungartists #ukart #artgalleryuk #ukartists #derbyshireartist

#derbyshireart #highpeakart #fantasyartist

This might at first seem really complicated but if you try it for a while and stick to it you will find that it isn't nearly as complicated as it seems at first and you don't have to stick to my technique of grouping hashtags by topic and day. The key thing is that you have a set of reusable hashtags to hand that you can quickly copy and paste into your post rather than spend an hour on each post working out which 30 hashtags to use or worst still using only half of them because you cannot be bothered to find any more.

There are also several apps available to help you to manage your hashtags. These might be a little quicker to manage than the technique above. I used one for a while called Leetags. Here you get to enter a subject matter and it pulls up a list of what it thinks are the top 30 most popular hashtags for that subject. You then get to select how many of them you want to use then copy them to your clipboard and into your Instagram post. The plus side of this is that its quick, the down side is that the app's idea of the best ones to use may not actually be your own experience. Perhaps using the app to start building your own lists might be good but then consider refining those lists yourself later. The key points here are

 

  • keep it simple
  • keep it quick to avoid it becoming a chore
  • use all 30 available hashtags
  • spread hashtags around so that you cover more
  • learn and refine over time 

If you have found this free advice useful, please return the favour by following me on Instagram or Facebook liking my posts and mentioning me to your friends! Thanks.

 

How do you manage your hashtags?

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