One of the biggest struggles I have in using Instagram is deciding what hashtags to use. I usually use some that are consistent with each post, specific to my camera make (Olympus), location and type of photography.
How it Works
With Focalmark, you can copy up to 30 hashtags directly to Instagram or your phone’s clipboard. Focalmark works by asking you three questions. First, it asks you to pick up to two styles of your photograph. For this one, I chose “coffee” and “bokeh.”
Then, it asks you for the location of your photograph. The locations it offers seem to be limited to big cities or states within the US, so if your exact location isn’t listed (like Grand Rapids, Mich.), you’ll want to keep an eye out for hashtags not specific to your area. Alternatively, you can skip this step.
Finally, it asks you for your camera make.
From there, it determines the best hashtags to use based on an algorithm that determines which hashtags will be most effective and authentic for your audience. You can show up to 30 hashtags, and you can shuffle them if you want to play around with different orders of the hashtags its generated.
Copying Your Hashtags to Instagram
There are two buttons displayed to get your hashtags into Instagram, both of which seem to do the same thing. By clicking the Copy to Instagram or Copy to Clipboard button, you can paste the hashtags (along with the periods displayed, for separation between your caption and hashtags) to Instagram for your next post.
Customizing Focalmark for Use
There are a few different settings to optimize Focalmark for your personal preferences.
One of the big things I wanted to turn off is the five dots, which is used to separate your caption from your hashtags. I personally put my hashtags as a comment instead of putting them right in the caption area, so the separation isn’t necessary.
You can also add custom hashtags that you want to use each time, as well as block hashtags from appearing with the blacklist feature.
What the Upgrades Get You
With the Unlocked upgrade (99 cents), you can unlock sliders to control the number of hashtags specific to each style, location or camera choice.
The Unlimited upgrade ($2.99) also adds the ability to unlock the analytics feature and all future Focalmark features.
You might have a great Instagram presence and technique, but having something like Focalmark can really help you speed up your process, and further cater your hashtags to your audience.
For more on Photography Marketing, see our weekly column.
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