Episode Transcript

Announcer

Welcome to the boat marketing podcast, where will feature tips and advice that will help your boating business grow and thrive while you’re listening. Subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any future episodes. And now here’s your host, Kristen Bachmeier

Kristen

Hey, everyone, and welcome back to another episode of the boat marketing podcast. My name is Kristen and I’m the director of operations for Boat Marketing Pros. And today we’re going to talk about hashtags. I wanted to make it sound really exciting, even though it might not be all of that exciting, but it is exciting to somebody like me and hopefully somebody like you since you’re listening to a marketing podcast. So if you are unfamiliar with hashtags, hashtags are keywords or phrases with a, as I would call it, a pound sign in front of in front of them, you can put them anywhere in your social media post to connect to a specific topic, theme, event or conversation.

Kristen

And what they really do is they really make it easy to discover posts around specific topics and keywords so that you can show your content to people who are interested in that. It really works. I mean, if you have an Instagram, if you have a Facebook, if you’re on Twitter, you kind of get the sense of how hashtags work. So you log in and say you click a hashtag, you see all the photos and content related to that hashtag.

Kristen

So a lot of businesses, especially in the boating industry, will ask, you know, how can I use this effectively for my business account? Does it really make sense for me to use this for my account? And, you know, the answer to those questions will be, yes, I think everyone should be using hashtags with discretion, though. I don’t think that, you know, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter is going to be the place where, you know, you go on and let’s say you’re a boat club.

Kristen

I don’t think that adding 15 to 20 hashtags is going to break down the door with new members. But I think it’s as a part of an overall marketing strategy. I think it’s important. But just want to set that expectation early that, you know, adding hashtag suddenly to your social media posts is not going to lead to more new leads at the drop of a hat. And so all of this is to say, you know, we’re going to give you some tips about how to properly use hashtags.

Kristen

You know, with that explanation I just gave about what they are and why you can use them. So give you a little bit of insight as to how to use them and then use them to your business profiles advantage. So step number one is to do some keyword research around your industry or your niche. So in the marine industry, for example, some of the more popular hashtags could be revolving around if you’re a boat dealership and you carry a certain line of boats, check out what they’re using because they’ve already spent the time and the money to grow their audience.

Kristen

You’re selling their products so you can piggyback off of what they’re doing. The best first example I can give of this is Robalo boats. And if you follow them on social media at all, you will see that they use hashtag Robalo Nation and most of their posts. And, you know, one of our clients sells that line of boats. We try to include those hashtags in their posts as well just to get in front of their general followers. So it’s important to start there.

Kristen

Think about, you know, in your mind, what are some keywords or hashtags that come to mind. If you think about a post, do some research, though. First, don’t just assume that everybody’s using the same hashtags. You are. And some hashtags have thousands of posts each day, meaning that if you’re a smaller business, your post might get lost in a sea of others. And here competition matters, especially because most people don’t scroll through, you know, one hashtag for a long amount of time unless they’re really into that topic.

Kristen

All that is to say to choose your hashtags carefully. You want to stay within, you know, popular hashtags, but you don’t want them to be so popular that you’re competing with one point three million other profiles. Another helpful feature that we found on Instagram is the recommended hashtags that will appear below the hashtag you searched for. So if you open up Instagram and I’m going to do this right now while I’m recording this podcast, we open up Instagram, go to the the search area and type in.

Kristen

Let’s see, how about I just type in boating and see what happens. You type in your keyword, navigate a couple of tabs over to tags, and I typed in boating and what I’m seeing is hashtag boating. There are five point four million posts, boat hashtag boating life, five hundred and forty two thousand posts. Boating fails to to about twenty five hundred posts. Hashtag boating season, about one hundred thousand posts, boating lifestyle around ninety three thousand posts.

Kristen

And when you log on Instagram and you look at these, you’ll get a sense of just how many people are posting about certain keywords and some of these you might even be surprised. So I looked up boating and I was kind of surprised to see a lot of boating dogs, boating dogs. So people posting with their dogs on their boats. That tends to be a pretty large one. Boating quotes another one boating days. So you just you know, you go on Instagram, take a look and see keyword you might have in mind or hashtag you have in mind.

Kristen

Do a little bit of research to see how many people are posting what that hashtag and then find your kind of sweet spot where you don’t want to be in a sea of boating. What did it say, five point four million posts. So I think that’s a little bit too much, a little too big of an ocean to be in in terms of hashtags. But if you can narrow in on the ones that matter to your business, just, you know, with some post, but not that many.

Kristen

And I think you’ll get a sense of this as you take more time posting on Instagram. Another really nice feature within Instagram is that you can see the posts related to the hashtag that you’re looking for. So, for example, I’m still on my phone here. I’m going to check out what people are posting related to hashtag boating life. So shows up with a real on the the left hand side, which for those of you that don’t know real, is Instagram’s version of Tik-Tok.

Kristen

And then you scroll through and you just see all the posts. Some were posted seven hours ago, some are posted a few days ago. And there are just a lot of people posting about hashtag boating life. And the nice thing you can do here is when you click on a specific hashtag and you go to see all the posts that are related to that hashtag, you can also follow a hashtag. So I think that was a feature that Instagram introduced a couple of years ago.

Kristen

And it’s really helped us from a digital agency perspective on behalf of our clients. We follow hashtags for the boating lines that they carry or like things like voting life. And then we see the other type of content that is getting put out there and gives us more of a gauge of what’s going to get engaged with, you know, what’s going to be a top performing post versus, you know, checking out some of these other ones that might not do so well.

Kristen

So highly recommend doing research on hashtags, kind of like keywords for if you were working on SEO and then also following certain hashtags, because that really helps to narrow down the type of content you can put out there if you’re kind of low on ideas. So now that we’ve talked about what hashtags are, the purpose that they serve, how you can research some hashtags to include in your own social media. And I didn’t put this disclaimer up at the front of the beginning of this podcast, but I’m talking about Instagram exclusively here.

Kristen

I think that Facebook and Twitter are completely different beasts by themselves. So Instagram, I think, is the most simple approach and one that relates the most to the marine industry as a whole. But anyway, just wanted to recap that part of why I’m talking about only Instagram. Next thing I want to talk about is a really common mistake that I think you should avoid is flooding your captions and your posts with hashtags. You know, Instagram’s AI and their platform overall is really smart.

Kristen

So it almost knows exactly what’s in your photo or video as you post it. And if you’re oversaturating your posts with hashtags, Instagram will know which ones might not be related and it won’t help your engagement. If anything, it might hurt it. So, you know, I think Instagram I don’t know how new this data is. They could have changed it as recently as yesterday. But you can use a lot of hashtags. I think it’s up to 30, but I definitely wouldn’t recommend using that much.

Kristen

I went to a couple of conferences about just digital marketing in general. And most of those conferences and sessions I attended, they said that you shouldn’t use more than ten hashtags per post. So find ten hashtags and don’t make them the same for every single thing that you post. Because if you’re posting different images, different video, it’s pretty clear that your hashtag should they can be related, but they shouldn’t be exactly the same for everything. So if if you take anything away from this podcast, just, you know, no more than 10 hashtags per post is the sweet spot to be in.

Kristen

And, you know, one final tip that I have is a great tool for hashtag research, which is called flick. So it’s F is in fairy, L. I C. And then K, the tool checks for hashtags offer suggestions, filters using key hashtag metrics, metrics and other things. So when it comes to your hashtag strategy, you can do the research on Instagram that I just talked about, get a sense of what your audience and what businesses in your industry are doing, and then maybe use this tool called Flick and then find other.

Kristen

That might be relevant and help you get a little bit more engagement. So here’s a good method to consider. Again, we don’t really recommend more than 10 hashtags per post, so focus on like one to two, maybe really popular hashtags, one to two moderately popular hashtags. When I say really were very popular, I mean, three hundred thousand to a million posts. Moderately popular would be eighty thousand three hundred thousand and then maybe one to two very specific hashtags.

Kristen

So if you can get that formula right and make sure that it’s related to the thing that you’re posting or the content you’re posting, you might get more engagement, get a few more followers and the like. So that’s the goal. I also wanted to take a moment to talk about branded hashtags. We’ve had several clients that have come up with their own hashtag, and I have some thoughts about this and they’re not great. So when you come up with a branded hashtag, it seems like something really cool.

Kristen

It’ll catch on. And it very well might. I mean, stranger things have happened. But unless you are planning to put money and time and other advertising into branding this hashtag outside of Instagram or Facebook or Twitter or whatever you’re using, I would not recommend using branded hashtags I mean, if it’s your business name, that’s one thing. But I think there is a client of ours that used a hashtag, the long story short, didn’t make any sense, didn’t generate any engagement or following because it was their own branded internal like slogan.

Kristen

And nobody’s really going to be searching for that except you and maybe your team. So, again, unless you’re willing to run a contest or put some more advertising dollars towards promoting that hashtag, I really wouldn’t recommend very specific branded hashtags. So I just wanted to add a quick tidbit about that. You know, all in all, I talked a lot about hashtags today. And if you have any questions, don’t forget that we have our [email protected] email, you’re also welcome to come to our website and send a message through there. And all in all, you know, take the time to research some hashtags that you can use in your profile, incorporate those and then tweak as you go along. It might not work out the first couple of times. You might not get many followers or engagement, but on social media and digital in general, it’s all learning and adjusting as you go forward.

Kristen

So that’s all I’ve got for you today. And as always, if you have any questions or any topics you’d like us to cover, just email us at podcast at bookmarking post.com. See you guys later.

Announcer

Thanks for listening to this episode of the Boat Marketing Podcast. If you have any questions for Kristin and the marketing pros team, send them to podcast at both marketing pros dot com for additional resources and strategies to help grow your business. Visit both marketing pros dot com. That’s both marketing pros dot com.

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