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This post is part of the series on Instagram for Makers. If you haven't set up your account yet, go check out Instagram for Makers: Begin and Adventure and Hashtags 101 for Makers: How to be Found on Instagram.
Now, it’s time to hone a strategy for selecting hashtags to optimize your reach.
Ready to rock this thing?
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Building A Hashtag Strategy for Handmade Sellers
Now, I don’t want you to get bogged down with yet-another-task for your business and I don’t want you to get distracted by becoming a perfectionist with this strategy. Instead, I want you to look at it as an opportunity to get started with a strategy that will be examined and tweaked over time.
Let’s get started by talking about different categories of hashtags that you might use and then, be sure to snag your copy of my Hashtags for Crochetpreneurs that lists over 100 hashtags that you’ll find helpful for your crochet business.
These are the tags that relate solely to your brand. For me, these would be my business accounts #crochetpreneur, #thecrochetpreneur, #madewithatwist, #madewithatwistcrochet, and #mycrochetbiz. I might use one or more of these in a post.
These are going to be words that describe your particular target customer. Not all crochet businesses have the same target customer, so do some brainstorming and research around this. For me, depending on the post, I’ll use tags like #cruchymoms, #millenialfashionista, #campusdiva, #momstyle, #fashionistamoms, or #bohofashion, for example.
Hashtags that connect a larger similarly-focused or niched group of a people are called community hashtags. Some popular tags in the creative community are #crochetersofinstagram, #risingtidesociety, #crochetseller, #etsyseller, #handmadeseller, and #creativepreneur.
It’s important to use 2-3 content-specific tags in your list because they will connect you to a highly targeted audience. For example, you might consider #grannysquaresweater, #cardigancrochetpattern, #fauxfurpompom – simply use the tag to describe what your image is about.
Using location tags will help you be found by the community in which you live or are visiting – this will help you gain exposure to individuals who didn’t even know they needed your products or services! Particularly important is using location tags when you’ll be selling at a local market, to reach local buyers, or at a conference, to connect with brands and peers. Most conferences will have their own branded hashtag, be sure to use it when posting images from the event.
Take a look at the image you’re posting….are there any products that you might be able to tag? Think of your yarn, your hooks, your coffee mug, or your jeans…what companies might you be able to tag in your post in order to gain a wider distribution of your content? Some examples are #lionbrandyarn, #redheart, #madewithmichaels, #target, etc.
There are several accounts that are set up to be sharers-of-content and many of them are crochet or handmade specific. Some feature accounts require a fee (I recommend you avoid these) and others are free.
Some feature accounts post only features and others post a mix of their own content and the content of others. To be considered by feature accounts, you’ll typically need to use the branded tag of the account you’re interested in.
I host a feature account at @thecrochetpreneur where I share my own content and also feature the content of other, budding Crochetpreneurs. My branded hashtag is #mycrochetbiz.
Some others craft and crochet-related feature accounts are #handmadeisbest, #craftsposure, and #stitchandhustle.
To receive a more comprehensive list of feature accounts, click on the bar below to get your list of Hashtags for Crochetpreneurs.
Honestly, it’s going to be trial and error, but my Hashtags for Crochetpreneurs can help. Other than that, ways to gather the best hashtags are:
- Check out the competition. Not in a weird stalker way. Just check out the competition and see what hashtags they’re using, play around with them, and see if they work for you, too.
- Check out our target customer. Find some of your target customers on Instagram and see how they self-describe. You can use some of their own descriptive tags as your target customer hashtags.
- Related tags. When you click on the magnifying glass to search for hashtags on Instagram, the app will show you a list of related tags. This list is very helpful in finding tags that relate to your current search. You never know, look around, you just might find a treasure trove of tags.
- Auto-posting Apps. There are many services around that will help you with auto-posting your Instagram content and recommend hashtags for you. I happen to use Tailwind for this service and love that they often suggest tags that I wouldn’t have thought of and their recommended tags are categorized into niche, good, best and competitive. You’ll want to stick with a few niche, some best, and several competitive tags.
A Maker’s Strategy
While every business and every niche will require it’s own unique strategy, I recommend using the following frequencies when building your hashtag strategy. Again, play around with your tags and your ratios to find what works for you.
- Brand Specific (1-3)
- Target Market (2-4)
- Community (2-5)
- Content (1-5)
- Location Specific (1-2)
- Brands (1-4)
- Feature Accounts (1-7)
Yes, there are hashtags (that you may already be using) that are banned.
These words, in and of themselves, may not be offensive to you or your followers, but Instagram has deemed them unusable, no matter the reason. If you use these tags, your post will not be found and you risk being shadowbanned (you don’t want that.) Here are some banned hashtags that you might be tempted to use in your crochet business, but should be avoided.
- sopretty, and
There are many more and you can find them by doing a search for “banned hashtags” on Google. Just be aware and don’t use them on your posts and you’ll be fine.
Well, that’s it. That’s our strategy. In short:
- Be relevant
- Do your research
- Use a range of tag popularity
- Use a range of tag categories
- Mix up your tags
- Don’t use banned tags
Finally, be consistent. I love using Tailwind for my Instagram posting because it helps me to remain consistent. I can plan out all of my posts for the week, set it and forget it. They say that someone needs to see something at least seven times before it becomes familiar and begins to build trust. By posting consistently and using relevant hashtags, you will begin to build trust with your target customer, build your following and grow your business.
Want to fast track your yarn-based biz growth? Grab your credentials to my Crochet Business Resources Library and have the Hashtags for Crochetpreneurs spreadsheet and many more useful worksheets, checklists, and spreadsheets available, at your fingertips, to continue building and growing a crochet business you love.