If you want your content to be seen by people outside of your ‘friends’ and ‘followers’ on social media, then it needs to be searchable, and the way to do that is to add hashtag’s. But the key is to make sure they are relevant, popular and trending.
If you combine relevant hashtag’s and post at peak times you will see a big difference in engagement from others with your content.
Here are some simple tips to get the most out of Instagram and Twitter.
Instagram allows up to 30 hashtag’s per post. I recommend using 3 – 10 relevant hashtag’s, as quality over quantity is always the best rule to follow. Do a little research into what’s trending and associated with what you are posting.
In addition to using relevant trending hashtag’s, you also have to think about the timing of your post. Who are you targeting? What times of the day are they on Instagram? Posting in peak periods will attract more attention. You will find the peak periods are between:
7- 9am: People scroll through Instagram while eating their breakfast, or commuting to work.
11am – 2pm: This is the time slot when office people break for lunch. Social media is a time filler for those who eat alone, or even those that dine with friends and colleagues. Have a look around next time you are out; people spend more time looking at their phones that conversing with those around them.
4:30 – 7pm: Peak time for commuters after work.
Another thing to keep in mind with timing is the time zone. Which time zone are you targeting? This is important for brands especially as the target audience may not be in the same time zone as the person posting.
These peak times are generic world wide, but the only way to find the best posting time for yourself is to analyse your own target audience and experiment with timing and find out which times, and days, generate the best results.
If you match trending hashtag’s and post at prime posting times you will find you will attract more likes and followers usually within 20 minutes of each of your posts.
As Twitter is constrained by 140 characters you have to be choose your hashtag’s wisely. For Twitter I recommend using only one or two. It is also better to separate your hashtag’s from your message rather than hashtaging words throughout your message.
There are about 6,000 tweets per second, so your tweet will move down the news feed very fast and can easily be lost in the noise of Twitter. That’s why adding at least one relevant hashtag to your post can give some life to your tweet when people conduct a search. Most people will search hashtag’s to narrow down what they are interested in reading. So keep this in mind when thinking about which hashtag is the best to use.
If you post regularly on Twitter you might want to consider using a scheduling program like Hootsuite or Buffer. They allow for add-ons like Rite Tag that analyse your hashtag’s, making it easier to choose the most relevant one.
Like Instagram, the time you tweet is extremely important, even more so on Twitter as your tweet can be easily lost in the flood of tweets per second. Again, most people check Twitter during the commute to and from work, but the key timings for Twitter are:
12 – 1pm: During the lunch break seems to be a favourite viewing time.
5 – 6pm: You will gain more re-tweets and favourites during this time.
Again, it is extremely important to think about your target audience and times that they access Twitter. So spend time experimenting with different times and make note when you receive more responses.
Another tip to try with posting timing is just before the hour and just after the hour. This seems to be popular as people use social media as a time filler while waiting. Most appointments are on the hour, so while waiting for appointments or meetings people turn to their phone, same for when they are finished.
Follow these simple guidelines and you will notice quite a difference in the attention your posts will receive.