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A Lesson on Hashtags & SEO

By: Kenzie Contillo, Content Creator, Blue Shoe Content

Do hashtags help views today?

Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri says “not really.” Hashtags help us understand what a post might be about which means it might be more likely to show up on a hashtag page. It is not a strategy of distribution. Hashtagging does not expose you.

Are hashtags dead?

No. But, how they are used is dead. Instagram has moved into SEO practices meaning, when someone searches for something, they will be previewed posts that have keywords or phrases will appear. SEO strategies are alive, hashtags are dead. Choose your keywords carefully.

Hashtags do not improve your views. You have to have more engagement in the beginning, THEN, Instagram will preview your post on the hashtag pages. The hashtags in this situation are only important after the content is already engaging. Instagram only uses hashtags to organize your post amongst other people’s posts, not advertise you. If a post does better than another, it is not because of a switch in the hashtags, it is because the post was simply more engaging.

The goal should be to create quality content with keywords first, then use specific hashtags. These specific hashtags can describe the visuals of the post, content itself (hashtags to describe your caption), and industry/niche. *be as descriptive as possible*

At the bottom of this post, you'll see an example of keywords our team put together for our own publishing arm, Blue Shoe Publishing.

Helpful tool: Hashtag Slayer - an application to help create a collection of hashtags, and analyze competitors. They tell you how likely your profile will rank while using a specific hashtag.


NOW, onto SEO...

SEO - Search Engine Optimization

1. Understand what you want to be known for

2. Search what the audience is looking for

3. Create content around these topics

Where can you use SEO

1. Username on social media @blueshoepublishing

2. Name plate example: Blue Shoe | Publisher

3. Bio example: Designing, printing, publishing, & marketing your work. Let us help you bring your book to life.

4. Hashtags: some examples of what people are using include - #PublishingCosts, #FirstTimeAuthors, #PublishingDifficulties, #HowToPublish, #PublishingProcess, #FindAPublisher #BlueShoePublishing #BlueShoePub #Bookstagram (yes, we will use one or two generic hashtags)

5. Captions: include key words in the caption as well as hashtags

6. Use Alt Text - allows screen readers to describe your post to visually impaired

By: Kenzie Contillo, Content Creator, Blue Shoe Content


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