Not sure what the heck to do with hashtags or let them help you extend your reach as a yoga teacher?
You are 100% not alone in this - hashtags are tough to figure out! And that’s because things change all the time with them. A few years ago the answer was “only use a few that are super specific to the topic” and before that it was “use all 30”.
This blog is being written in April of 2021 so keep this in mind whenever you’re reading it but no matter what day you’re seeing this, here’s one thing that will always serve you:
Know what works best with your audience, not “everyone using Instagram”
The best way to know this is to test things with your audience. For example, use 10 hashtags over and over and over again in every post for a month and see what happens. Then test using 10 different hashtags and see what happens. Then test using 30 hashtags, etc. You get the point. Test what you’re hearing as the “new hashtag strategy” to see if it works for your audience because that’s the only thing matters.
There have been many times that I’ve read that “X is what to do” and I try it and it actually doesn’t work with my audience. The only thing you can do is try.
2021 Instagram Hashtag Strategy For Yoga Teachers
Here is an article from Later.com that goes into much more detail about the “best” strategy for hashtags in 2021. I’ve combined this research with others as well as experience with yoga teachers to come up with what I share below as my suggestion for you.
How Many Hashtags To Use
There are many different answers to this question. My suggestion for you is to have a list of 5 to 10 hashtags that you use in every post. This can include your branded hashtag and your general keywords that you want to show up for. Ex: #amandamckinney, #amandamckinneyyoga, #yogabusiness, #yogabusinesscoach, #yogamarketing, #yogaentrepreneur, #yogateacher, #yogainstructor
You can add up to 30 hashtags per Instagram post and if you have 30 that work for that post in particular, then use them! But if you don’t have 30, that’s okay too. Use the hashtags that you have identified and schedule your post. Test different things to see what works best for you and your audience.
How To Know What Hashtags To Use
Look at what your competitors and your target audience is already using
Focus on the topic - niche hashtags perform better than general ones
Use Later’s hashtag suggestion tool if you’re using that scheduler
Start with your main topic/keyword and find similar hashtags
Where To Place Hashtags
There are two options: (1) in the caption or (2) in the first comment
The most important thing to remember is that you need the hashtags to show as soon as the post is live so if you are using a scheduler this can get tricky.
If you are using the free plan on Later or using Facebook Creator Studio to schedule your posts, then I suggest including your hashtags in the caption. You can make this look better by adding line breaks using periods then adding the hashtags.
If you want to put the hashtags in the first comment you will either need to manually do this as soon as the post is scheduled (this is not recommended because it doesn’t help you save time) or you can use the paid version of Later.com where you can also schedule the first comment.
How To Track Hashtags
IG’s insights tool is limited so you can’t see which hashtags are working best for you.
Later.com has an analytic tool that helps you see which hashtags are working better for you. This is a paid feature.
How To Use Hashtags In Instagram Stories
You can have up to 10 hashtags in an Instagram Story but you don’t have to show them all. Sometimes you want to share the hashtag so others can see it but not always.
If you want to show the hashtag, simple use the text or hashtag “sticker” to add them onto your story image or video.
If you don’t want to show the hashtag, add the hashtags using the text option and then “pinch” the text to make it really small. Then you can add a sticker to cover up the text that contains the hashtags.
Create A Branded Hashtag
To create a hashtag, all you have to do is use the hashtag. You can also add the hashtag to your bio so that you’re telling your audience that you use that hashtag.
There are no limits to how many hashtags you “create”. So use this to your advantage by using a specific hashtag when you run a yoga challenge, or use hashtags to help you curate a list of your content.
For example, if you share tips on back-pain yoga you could use #lowerbackpainyoga and #upperbackpainyoga to help showcase the different types of videos and content you have. Then if someone searches for that hashtag they would see all the content of yours related to that topic.
I know this can feel like a lot but take it one step at a time and have fun with it. Look at this like an experiment to see what works best for you and your audience. You’ve got this!
Listen To A Podcast Episode All About What To Post On Social Media
Listen to episode #84 of my podcast where I walk through the formula for what to post on social media step by step with even more examples.