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Small Business Marketing

The Magic Formula of Hashtags for Instagram

Secret Instagram hashtag formula I was on Twitter the other day when my friend, Anne Parris, tweeted that the optimal number of hashtags for Instagram was 11. She was at Affiliate Summit in a session and we chatted a bit about it until she went to another session. Follow Anne, she is a smart cookie.

11 Hashtags for Instagram Posts

Why 11? After our convo via Twitter I wanted to do some more research and test it out. Buffer says:

Instagram is another hotspot for hashtags, and the good news for those who love to extensively tag photos is that there doesn’t seem to be a saturation point.

Interactions are highest on Instagram posts with 11+ hashtags.

A rule of thumb could be: Don’t sweat your amount of Instagram hashtags.

Limits to Hashtags?

Well, you can only post 30 in your initial caption. You can put 30 more in each comment after, but that might be a little too many.

Friday Fun! Working on my blog content calendar for the month. I use a Passion Planner, Post It Notes and a Sharpie to lay out what I want to focus on each day and throughout the month on my blog. Creating content everyday is my goal for the remainder of 2015 and my blog is a big part of that. Are you creating content everyday? Blog posts, Instagram posts, tweets, Facebook posts, Periscopes, YouTube videos, email newsletters? All of it counts towards helping you brand your business and help your potential customers understand that you are an expert in your field. Having a plan helps tremendously. Winging it everyday, not so much! #plannergirl #planneraddict #plannernerd #planner #goals #calendar #PostItToDo #ToDo #blogging #content #writer #creative #businessinspiration #marketingpro #entrepreneur #success #marketingtips #dogoodwork #branding #keynote Brands tagged.

A photo posted by Jacqueline Wolven (@jackiewolven) on


How To Easily Add Hashtags?

I have a note on my iPhone that is called Hashtags. I have added hashtags under subjects that I post about often.

Goals: #plannergirl #planneraddict #plannernerd #planner #gettoworkbook #planner #plannerlove #goals #getthingsdone #makeithappen #calendar #PostItToDo #ToDo #JustDoIt  #DontQuit #NeverQuit #NoLimits #hustle #workhard #inspiration #determination #motivation #dreambig #success


Simple Living: #simpleliving #livebetter #simple#happy #lessismore #minimalism #KonMari #cottageliving #tinyhouse #simplicity #liveauthentic #ozarks #backtotheland #realsimple #slowliving
Marketing: #businessinspiration #marketingpro #entrepreneur #success #marketingtips #hustle #workhard #dogoodwork #onlinemarketing #wordpress #branding #keynote
When I post a photo I can quickly go to my note and copy and paste the hashtags.
How to Research Hashtags for Instagram

One place to find comparable hashtags is hashtagify.me. It allows you to put in a hashtag that you want to use and gives you others that are used in conjunction with it. Plus the interface is kind of fun. hashtags data by hashtagify.me

Another option is Google+ /Exlpore, but this awesome tool might disappear soon. Put your most used hashtag themes in now to get your list that you can use for a while. Given that we know that Google is shutting the door on G+ any minute!
My Experiment with Hashtags on Instagram
I have been using Instagram for quite some time, but never with any real brand intention. It was just where I showed my life as it was unveiled. I realized (a big Aha!) that I was wasting this really powerful social media tool by not spending the right energy, time and focus on it for my brand. Last week I started posting things that are more relevant to my brand and adding using the magic formula of 11+ hashtags and I have seen really positive results.
Instagram Post Research
Old Instagram Post
Instagram Post Research
New Instagram Posting Style
Instagram Post Research
NEW Instagram Posting Style

That is a pretty significant jump. I’m not a lifestyle brand with pictures of fashion, pretty parties, or other things that catch the eye of Instagram lovers so I have to be a little creative in my posts. The challenge is fun and I’m excited to see if I can get better at this.

xo – Jacqueline, who believes that we all have the power to learn new things and if you are on Instagram you can follow me here.

A little hashtag humor with two of my favorite people: Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake (and Quest Love!)  

10 Things Every Business, Entrepreneur, Blogger, Artist, Maker, Writer, Nonprofit Director Should Do in 2015

10 Things Every Business, Entrepreneur, Blogger, Artist, Maker, Writer, Nonprofit Director Should Do in 2015 There are 10 Things I want every small business, entrepreneur, blogger, artist, writer, nonprofit director – anyone who is selling anything to do this year. These aren’t huge and they are meant to make your life easier. They are also meant to make your work and life better. Isn’t that what we all want?

10 Things Every Business, Entrepreneur, Blogger, Artist, Maker, Writer, Nonprofit Director Should Do in 2015

Pick Your Hashtag

That’s right. Pick the one hashtag that you are going to use every single day and stick to it. You can have more throughout the year, but it is time for you to pick one and go with it. Having trouble figuring out what you want to choose? Post your options in the comments and we can brainstorm that out together. Personally,  I am considering #GoodLove or #LoveYear – my little word is Love and I want something that works with that. Which do you like? For our Main Street district we are sticking with #OnlyinEureka because Eureka Springs offers experiences that you just can’t get anywhere else.

Choose Your Social Media

Pick one social media that you want to rock and really go for it. Personally, I am choosing Instagram for myself and Pinterest for our Main Street District. It doesn’t mean I am neglecting other media, but I am spending my energy where I want to grow. Several of my clients are focusing on LinkedIn and Facebook. So, do what works for you – and your business. Just choose one.

Live Your Brand

If you brand is about making everyone else’s life better please don’t publicly be a mess on social media. If you are a happy brand learn to tame your inner bitch. If you are progressive don’t keep talking about retro things. Really. I see these mistakes everyday and because we live our lives and business online you are showing who you are everywhere. Think before you post.

Learn Something New

The world changes in nanoseconds now (no, I don’t really know what a nanosecond is, but it sounds about right). So, there is no time for you to rest on your laurels. Learn something new. Sign up for a class on the social media that you have chosen. Take a webinar. Read a book. Do something that moves you forward. We can get better and better at what we do only by continuing to be lifelong learners.

Learn to Take Better Photos

The entire internet lives and breaths on images. Why? Because we are visual creatures who love beautiful photos. Learn to take better photos on your phone or with a real camera. This is one skill that will bring the most bang to you over and over. It is high on my list to just get more focused and better with my images this year for my own brand and for the clients I work with.

Learn to Say No

Learning boundaries for your business is THE skill I wish I could teach the whole world. This means saying no to being on the committee, buying the ad, being part of the crowd and focusing on your own plan. I see myself and businesses say yes to things that don’t move them forward in any real way and if they could harness the power of no it would be amazing. Let’s learn this together this year.

Focus On Your Own Stuff

I see too many people (and I am guilty of this too) focusing on everything everyone else is doing. Sure, it is important to understand what the competition is doing, but you do not need to know what everyone in your community or reach is doing at every given moment. I advocate a day a week of hands free work. Don’t scroll through Facebook, get off Instagram. Stop Tweeting and just do your own thing for a whole day. The time you invest in yourself and your own work will pay back in huge rewards.

Stop Complaining

I hear a lot of people complain about lack of traffic, not enough customers, not the right mix of things at any given moment. They complain and complain until that story is so stuck in their heads they are unable to see anything else. Just stop. If you can’t personally fix something in your business or work find another way to do it or focus on something else. The time wasted complaining is precious time that you can’t get back.

Know Your Stage

Today I was sitting in a meeting and it occurred to me that I am at a different stage in my career than other people sitting there. I am in the middle of my career where many of the people sitting around me were at the end of theirs. It completely released me of comparing myself to where they are or what I am doing in relation to them because we are at different places. You can not compare your middle with someone else’s ending. It is just futile. So if you are just starting out you won’t be getting the same accolades as someone who has been building their brand for years. That is ok. You will get yours if you just keep working hard.

Lighten Up

There is a lot of joy in the world (yes there is suffering, too) and we can tap into that joy every single day if we choose to. Most of us aren’t brain surgeons. Thank goodness. (I would not be good at that.) Our work is important, but it isn’t life and death. We can laugh a little. Enjoy the events we are at. Enjoy the people we encounter. Enjoy the actual work we are doing. Just because the work might be hard or the people difficult sometimes doesn’t mean we can’t relish in the times that there is a little more sun. Experience the joy and be grateful for the time you get doing the work that you love. Isn’t that what it’s really all about?

This is your life and your work and you get to choose what you do to make it amazing. I think these 10 are pretty on mark.

P.S. I send awesome other stuff that you might need to make your life a little simpler and your work a little smarter. You might want to check that out.

Do Good. Be Great.



Drop Your Resistance to Social Media for Your Business

Remove your resistance to online marketing

I had to have a “Come to Jesus” talk, I’m in the South and that is what we do, with a client last week about using social media to market their business. They were voicing resistance to social media; Facebook in particular. They were telling me it is bad for society, not good for relationships, yada yada yada. Yes. They are probably right. In fact, I think they are right and have written about it. Here’s the deal though – your competitor isn’t making those kinds of excuses. They are jumping on board, in fact they jumped on board several years ago, and they are kicking ass. You? You are trying to justify the time and energy.

Here are the facts about what is happening on Facebook right now:

  • As of January 2014, 74% of online adults use social networking sites and 71% of online adults use Facebook. Pew Research
  • Are you curious about all of the online sites? This is a pretty comprehensive look at the billions, yes billions, of worldwide users on any given online platform.
  • 53% of Facebook users are women and, in most cases, women make the buying decisions in  most households.
  • 16 million local business Facebook pages have been created as of May 2013 – I am SURE that number has increased greatly, and they are your competition.
  • According to Mashable we are spending 6.75 hours on Facebook a day. A day. That is a lot of time.

Isn’t it time that you got over your resistance to social media – the place where everyone is marketing their business and organizations?

Social Media is Just a Tool for Business and Organizations

Facebook and social media are just marketing tools like postcards, newsletters, billboards and television ads. Your resistance to wanting to be part of the social world is fine for you personally, but your business is your livelihood and not being part of it is a mistake. (I don’t mince words with clients. I’m pretty sure I cussed them out. They pay me for that and then to write about it later here.)

I Get Your Resistance to Social Media, but You Have to Meet People Where They Are

Here’s the thing. I know you don’t like cat videos, photos of other people’s grandkids, vacation  photos when you are stuck at your desk, and crazy making political posts from your uncle. I get that, but that isn’t what Facebook for business is about. It is about sharing your best possible business brand online in the place that they are – remember they are there 6.75 hours a day. A day! If you aren’t there someone else is getting their attention.

So, get over your reservations any way you can and be part of the party. Your voice is needed, your company needs to be represented online and you need to make the time. If you need help with any of those things maybe it’s time you got some help.

If Facebook isn’t your thing and you really feel that way. There is probably a social media channel that is perfect for you. You might be a Twitter all-star in the making, a photo king/queen on Instagram or drive your message home on LinkedIn. It isn’t about one platform being better than the other – it is about utilizing free marketing tools that can grow your business. Don’t miss the boat, it obviously makes me crazy angry because I want you to succeed!

Do Good. Be Great.