I am human. One of the qualities of my human nature is that I like to see people smile. I am not conceited or self-centred by any measure but it always thrills me to see people smile when they read or view my work. And how do I know when they are smiling on my Instagram platform? Well, they have given me that customary ‘like’. That means they like what they saw. But there have been those dry weather spells when no one has been smiling, not for days on end.

I thought about this. And I wondered why so many of you do not appear to be smiling right now. I thought about this for a bit longer, and I wondered whether this may have had something to do with the fact that you have not been able to get likes on Instagram, certainly not at a rate you would judge yourself to be quite popular in your niche on the Instagram platform. So, the rest of this note goes out to you as a reminder.

It is a reminder because if you have been with Instagram long enough, these are things you should know already. But alright, I do understand the plight. We are just all so busy. We are easily distracted in our rush to get things done that we conveniently forget the most important tasks that turn out to be quite basic indeed once you put it into practice. My article heading has hashtags as its focus. This is just one of the key fundamentals towards helping you to get the most out of your platform in terms of gaining traction or exposure.

Tasks you will want to focus on going forward are as follows. Start from scratch and create a dedicated series of hashtags. Then put together a program of work that allows you to promote these dedicated hashtags at a consistent rate across all, not just Instagram, of your platforms; your social profiles, your websites and even your email accounts. It is good to have more than one social media profile and email account in place. Apart from the potential in broadening your exposures, the extras serve as good contingencies.

Just as much of your posting and caption writing work should be, the hashtags you create should be indicative of your best creative work. You are encouraged to exercise a sense of humor, keep things positive. At times, you are also allowed to indulge your readers in irony. They should be intelligent enough to recognize it. But of course, there is nothing stopping you from explaining the point, but never belabor it because you only really have so much white space to work with. At this stage, you would also want to be watching how other hashtags, all relevant and coincidental to your work, are trending.

Apart from experiencing its effectiveness, you are also encouraged to join in the conversations that these trending hashtags are encouraging. Finally, work your bio page always to keep it relevant and fresh.