From the time Twitter users started creating categories with hashtags in 2007, the rise of the pound sign has been swift and fierce. With the power to expand your content’s reach by the thousands, it’s easy to understand their immense value. We all know that posts using hashtags on Instagram outperform those without. But with everyone in the Insta-verse applying up to 30 hashtags per post, how can you stand out from the competition? With just a few strategic moves, you can instantly upgrade the Instagram game for your multifamily community.
Before I get into hashtagging, however, the first step to Instagram for multifamily is making sure you have the right posting strategy in place.
Instagram lets you add up to 30 hashtags per photo, but many camps think using more than 10-15 appears spammy, and using too many has been shown to negatively affect engagement in some cases. Using a lot of tags can be a great way to initially build a community and following, but once you’ve got a solid base, try easing up on the hashtag gas. A recent study by Piqora (above image credit: Piqora) showed that posts with seven hashtags yielded up to 23% more engagement, but it’s good to test what works best for your audience.
There are three rules of thumb for determining which hashtags are applicable to your post. They should relate to the multifamily industry, your target audience (think local tags), or specific elements of the photo. Avoid adding irrelevant tags. Mis-hashing could cast a negative light on your brand. With all due respect to Kooheji Real Estate, their use of hashtags does nothing for engagement or their brand.
It’s important to select tags of mixed popularity (some with media counts of thousands and some with hundreds) to cover all your bases and increase staying power. There are about 70 million photos shared on Instagram each day, so using only A-team tags will bury your image in a matter of minutes. It’s also good to track which hashtags are currently banned from the platform. Most of them are the obvious, NSFW kind of tags, but some, like #photography and #popular, are less known and will hide your photo from searches.
There are myriad tools to aid you in snagging the perfect tags. Iconosquare and Hashtagify.me let you quickly search for related hashtags. Iconosquare displays the number of media filed under each tag, which makes picking mixed-popularity tags super easy. Hashtagify.me computes the top 10 tags related to your searched hashtag. Results are graphed both by popularity and how closely they correlate with your searched term. You’ll have to weed through some irrelevant suggestions, but there are solid starting points here.
If you want more in-depth analytics, try Tagboard. When you search a hashtag with this tool, it compiles every photo filed under it. It also tells you how many posts per minute are using the tag, whether it has a positive or negative connotation, and how it’s currently trending.
Also remember to copy thy competitors. Create a list of people who succeed with Instagram for multifamily. Check their accounts to see what hashtags they’re using and save the standouts.
Use trending hashtags when possible. One of the best ways to find trends is using the platform itself and observing the userbase. Other resources like Hashtagify.me list the top 30 hashtags for the week and month. Keep in mind that while many trending tags may not seem applicable, there are creative ways to associate them with your content. If something’s trending but you can’t figure out what #avi (avatar) or #ootd (outfit of the day) mean, a simple search in Tagdef will solve all of these head scratchers.
Create a branded hashtag for your building similar to what National Development’s Arborpoint Communities did above. You should use this only on property-specific content, as you want users who search it to see a vibrant portfolio of your community and not be distracted by irrelevant images. Posting property photos or collages with a text overlay of your tag is a great way to create awareness of it. Promote the hashtag even further by adding it to your bio and integrating it into your Facebook and Twitter posts.
Hashtag strategizing is a lot to take in at first, but if you save successful tags on your phone or tablet, you can copy and paste them directly into your future posts. Once you’ve honed in on what hashtags work best for your content, the work will only get easier and engagement is sure to surge.
Of course, if you’re still feeling overwhelmed, GTMA is always here to lend a hand and do the heavy lifting for you.
Any questions, comments, or feedback? Let me know in the comments or reach out on Twitter at @GoToMyApartment.