Instagram can be a wonderful tool for your growing cake business. Great photos of a freshly baked and iced cake can have your followers not only salivating but liking and commenting in an instant. But with limited ways for your followers to share your posts on Instagram, how do you go about extending who sees your posts and growing your following? Using hashtags is one way to do this.
What is a hashtag?
A hashtag, where # is added in front of a word, becomes a clickable link on Instagram. They can be used as a way of searching the app for content that you’d like to see. By using a hashtag, your photo will show up in searches for that hashtag. In fact, using relevant hashtags can help your target audience find you on Instagram. So how best to use them on your posts?
What hashtags should I use?
For each picture you post on Instagram, you can add in up to 30 hashtags, and I would recommend you use them all! But what hashtags to use? A simple approach is to split your hashtags three ways. Those that:
- Describe your picture
- Describe your target audience
- Describe your location
You can also add in a few trending or more general hashtags if you wish. But by focusing in on hashtags that describe your business and potential customer, you’re more likely to be found by people who will be interested in your business.
How do I find relevant hashtags?
Use the categories above to brainstorm some suitable hashtags. Some good starting points could include:
#[description of the cake] eg #unicorncake
#[cakeflavour] eg #chocolatecake
#[specialist dietary requirements] eg #dairyfree
#[yourlocation] eg #Epsom
#[yourcounty] eg #Surrey
You could also add in your own hashtags relevant to your business, but check first that they aren’t being used for spam content or anything else you don’t want to be associated with. Try to use a mixture of popular hashtags and those which fewer people (up to 100,000) are using, to ensure your post isn’t always immediately lost in the feed for that hashtag.
Lastly, research other suitable hashtags for your posts. What are other similar businesses using to describe their products in hashtags? Also check out other local businesses to see how they target local customers.
Rhiannon Abbott works with small and start-up food businesses to help them use social media to promote themselves online. Having set up The Epsom Bakehouse back in 2012, Rhiannon found social media key to growing and developing her business from home, and learnt plenty about promoting a food business online along the way. Rhiannon runs a free Facebook group for food businesses who want to learn more about social media within a supportive community – do join and get involved today.