How Hashtags Can Get (and Keep!) New Followers Engaged With Your Pet Business

 

As a pet brand on social media, the first thing you need to do is get more followers. Why? Increasing your audience increases your customer base. The more people interact with your posts, the more visible they become, which again grows your audience.

Real vs. Fake
Bots are still a going concern, with many fake followers and robot accounts. These bot accounts can be bought to increase your followers, but they won’t do anything to help your brand. Only real people matter. Real followers who can learn about your products and services and become customers.

Digital Strategy
Increasing your followers should be part of your digital marketing strategy. Growing your audience can increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, and ultimately boost product sales. Properly used hashtags can draw attention to your posts, encourage audience interaction, and gain new followers.

Define your Target Audience
Before you set out to increase followers, ensure you target those who could be potential customers. What does your ideal customer look like? How old are they? What are their other interests? What are the pain points that your products or services can solve? Answering these questions will help guide your marketing. Knowing your target audience ensures you are constantly creating content that will be relevant, engaging, and interesting.

Create a Consistent Look
Whenever someone interacts with your brand (on Facebook, Instagram, or your website), they should find a consistent look and feel. Although you might tweak your marketing for different platforms, your brand personality should remain constant.

You may have a range of products, but keeping the colours and style consistent will give your feed a harmonious feel. If you want to share something out of sync, share via Stories instead of your feed. Your Instagram grid should look like a cohesive unit.

How Hashtags Can Help

Hashtags connect social media content to a specific topic, event, theme, or conversation.

Hashtags are one of the only searchable fields on Instagram. Using carefully chosen and thoughtful hashtags can increase followers within your target audience. People can search hashtags and find your account, or they may follow a hashtag, in which case your content could show up on their feed before they follow you.

Focus on hashtags specific to your brand, the photo you are sharing, and your target audience. You want to reach the *right* people – not just boost your numbers.

Including hashtags in your posts connects your content to larger conversations on that social media platform. Adding a hashtag makes your post visible to other people in that conversation. Connecting your content to the relevant discussions and categories increases engagement and boosts your brand’s profile through more shares, comments, and new followers.

Optimize your Profile
A full two-thirds of visits to your profile will be from non-followers. These prospective customers won’t choose to follow you if your profile is vague or unappealing. Your profile includes your website as a clickable link and your bio. Take the time to make the most of the 150 characters in your bio. WHY should people follow your brand? What will they learn? What will engage them?

Signing up for a professional account allows you to add more information, including contact information, type of business, and location. Add all the relevant information that will help new visitors become followers! Using geotags provides context to your posts and increases the chances of new followers.

Crafting your Hashtag Strategy
Choose specific hashtags whenever you can to reach your target audience. The right hashtags will help you communicate with your audience, grow your followers, and connect your posts to greater conversations.

Your hashtags need to be strategic. You can determine which hashtags help your posts gain traction through trial and error. A bit of research can also uncover the best hashtags to drive new followers. Before using any hashtag, search it on each platform you use. Ensure you’re not aligning your brand with an unintended message.

Monitor social media influencers to catch new trends and to see what hashtags drive engagement. Choose influencers within the sphere of your brand’s products and services, so you are engaging with people who will find your content valuable.

Monitor competitor accounts. Note which posts are gaining the most engagement and see if there are hashtags that would be relevant for your posts. Also, watch how many hashtags your successful competitors are using and which keywords are showing up.

If you have identified hashtags that work well for your brand, consider using related, but more specific, hashtags. Specificity can help narrow your focus to your target audience, connecting with golden retriever lovers as opposed to all dog lovers.

When you search a hashtag on Instagram, you will see a list of other suggested hashtags in descending order of popularity. Some of these suggestions may be relevant to your brand and your audience.

Use Hashtagify.me. This tool helps you find the best Twitter and Instagram hashtags for your brand. You can search any hashtag and see its overall popularity, whether it is recently popular, and the trends by month and week.

 

There is a fine line between too specific and too general when choosing your hashtags. Search for keywords on different social platforms to determine which tags will reach your audience and which conversations you want to connect your posts too.

Keep Records
Take note of which hashtags were popular in your past posts. If some of your most popular posts contained the same hashtags, you might want to include those hashtags in all of your posts.

Branded Hashtags
Creating a hashtag specific to your brand can effectively promote your business and drive engagement. Choose a simple hashtag that reflects a key part of your brand or capability of your product or service. Use that hashtag consistently wherever it makes sense with your posts to start connecting your content and creating a cohesive strategy #streetdogmarketing

Social Support
Hashtags can also allow your brand to lend support to different causes and movements. You can create content specific to an issue and use the common hashtags to join in the conversation. For example, showcasing the women in executive positions in your organization for International Women’s Day #IWD2022.

Hashtag Tips
Consider posting your hashtags as your post’s first comment instead of within the caption. This allows your followers to focus on reading your caption. Avoid using hashtags in the middle of a caption. Content broken up by a hashtag is more difficult to read.

Use Instagram Insights in your Instagram Business account to see how many impressions your profile gets from hashtags.

Feeling Overwhelmed?
The team at StreetDog can help you craft your digital strategy. They can research on your behalf and determine which hashtags will drive your brand and grow your followers. They can even write your content and schedule your posts! Talk to StreetDog today to learn how they can help you reach your goals.

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