The Hashtag: Part. II

When I last posted on ECSM’s blog, I was working on honing in my hashtag skills on Instagram to try and gain more followers and raise my online influential status. I interviewed Danielle, a successful low-carb blogger, and tried to use some of her tips and techniques to gain my own following. The original post can be read here.

So have I made progress? A bit. I tried some of Danielle’s advise myself and definitely found some useful tips for someone trying to have a themed Instagram. For anyone dieting, #fitfam is very popular. It creates a unison among dieters, a sort-of “us against the world” mindset. Tapping into this online “family” has given my posts approximately 228% more likes per image when using #fitfam than without, which is a huge increase.

I have also found that targeting other markets has been very successful. A diet similar to the Atkins diet, which is what I am on, is the Paleo diet. Those who live the paleo life do not eat any grains, dairy, or processed foods. Where we differ is that I can eat a boatload of cheese, and those lucky geese can have potatoes (in limited portions). The two diets overlap frequently. When I eat a meal that would be fine for a paleo-er, I am sure to use #paleo, which taps into an entire new family of Instagram users and boosts my likes as well. Here is an example of my findings.

Screen shot 2014-04-07 at 6.34.03 PM

On Instagram at various points, I have posted three VERY similar looking photos of buffalo wings from NYP. The first photo is arguably the most tasty one (I mean come on, look at those juicy wings), but it received the fewest likes at only three. What’s more, I knew all of these people in person. My hashtags were random. I used #buffalo, #wings, #sauce, #nofilter (why), and I tagged the friend I was with. All three people who liked the photo are girls I know in person.

The middle photo had a slightly higher success at 5 likes. By now I was dabbling with low carb hashtags and I used #lowcarb #lowcarbhighfat #atkins #wings #buffalo. Two friends I knew liked the photo, three were random.

The third photo was vastly more successful than the previous two. It had 18 likes, and the hashtags I used were #lowcarb, #atkins, #keto, #fitfam, #nofilter (again, embarrassing), #foodporn, #buffalo, and #paleo. Now before you say “WAIT DEANNA, this post is way more recent than your first, obviously that’s why you have more likes,” let me just say that I did indeed gain followers, 8 of them. Half were people I knew in person and in no way contribute to my number of “likes” on low-carb posts. There is no way that the small number of followers gained is the sole reason as to why I have 3.5x more likes on very similar photos of buffalo wings.

I firmly believe that #fitfam and #paleo are my two tickets to Instagram stardom. They have helped me to get an average or around 16-19 likes per photo, which I believe is is pretty high considering I have less than 60 followers. If I want to actually gain followers, I still face the same problem as last time: I don’t post enough. A college student living on campus just does not have common access to the culinary equipment or ingredients necessary to post appetizing low-carb photos on Instagram. Come May I’ll have an apartment, so I’m interested to see how many more followers I get once I start posting more frequently.

When I started this quest, I had 38 Instagram followers and my Klout score was 48. In February, when I made my first blog post here, my number of Instagram followers was 42, and my Klout score was 53. Today, I have 55 followers on Instagram, and my Klout score is 60.

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