Hashtags, Captions and Tracking Links: How to Share Your Work and Measure Results
You’ve spent time coming up with engaging content for your social posts, and now you’re ready to share your amazing thing with the world. Make sure you’re getting the most out of your posts by understanding what makes a good caption, how to use hashtags to help grow your followers, and how to add tracking to your links so you can get clearer view of what’s working.
Works by Teo Zirinis, Eric Fan and Alister Lockhart
Using asc Links to Track Your Traffic
If you’ve ever copied a link from your shop or profile pages, you may have seen the characters “asc=” in the link. We added this tracking parameter to your profile and work URLs so you can more easily track incoming traffic from links you’ve shared on the internet.
You’ll be able to see “asc=” in your own URLs if you’re signed in and you’ll notice this link is also available at the top of the uploader page when you edit a work. There’s no “asc=” in the link if you copy someone else’s URL.
Creating the links manually
You can also create these links for your works by adding “?asc=u” to the end of a work link. If we take ‘German Market Signs” by Madebyhorses (our blog header image) as an example, the work link would look like this:
The same works for your profile link but there are a couple of other cool things you can do to customize and personalize the main link to your Redbubble shop. You can find out how to do this in our post on How to Customize Your Profile Link Using a Trackable Vanity URL.
How to view your incoming traffic using “My Shares”
If you want to measure how much traffic you’re directing to your Redbubble shop, go to your Dashboard and scroll down to Audience Traffic Sources. Click on “My Shares”.
“My Shares” shows all incoming traffic attributed to URLs that contain “asc=” – so the ones you’ve copied from your shop and shared online.
Sharing links with the “asc=u” at the end of the URL is a super effective way to see the impact of your sharing compared to overall traffic, so if you’re not sharing these links already we’d suggest giving it a try.
My Shares … from someone who needs to share more asc links!
Best Practices for Writing Captions
Before you start thinking about what to write, it’s important to be clear about your goals. It’s helpful to break your goals down into specific actions you’d like someone to take, to help work out the basic information you need to cover in your post. Let’s take the following three examples for an Instagram post.
If you want to reach new fans and get them to follow your IG profile, you’ll need to include hashtags so your work is discoverable by people who are not following you, and add a call to action (CTA) to your caption, prompting them to follow you.
If you want to let followers know you’re having a sale, and prompt them to head to the link in your bio and click through to your shop, you’ll need to add a link to your shop in your bio (make sure it has asc tracking!), let followers know about the sale in your caption or as part of your image, and add a call to action to prompt them to click the bio link.
If you want to share a new work, let people know it’s for sale, and prompt them to head to your bio link and click through to the work page, you’ll need to add a link in your bio and mention your work is for sale via your bio link.
Sounds fairly straightforward but if you break it down to the basic elements, you can easily see if you’re providing all the right info to make it super easy for someone to take action.
Esther Fallon Lau and Prints Project show us how it’s done on Instagram
Draft your captions, edit them, then edit them again
Good captions take a little extra effort so channel your inner J.K Rowling (or Stephen King if that’s your thing) and take time to craft them. Reading back over and fine tuning your words can make a difference to how someone engages with your post. A great visual can stop someone in their tracks but a well written caption can hold their attention.
Make it personal. Share your personality.
Do you want to build a following of people who think your work is amazing and genuinely love and support what you do? That’s what the internet is really good at. In amongst all of this ‘social media management’, all you’re really trying to do is connect with those people. So don’t be afraid to share your personality as well as your work. Write in your voice, not in the voice you think you should have, and certainly not in a robot voice. Unless you’re trying to connect with a community of robots.
Works by Milkyprint, Sophie Corrigan and Siolin
How Many Hashtags?
You can use hashtags on most social platforms including Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. As hashtags are searchable, they’re a great way to reach new audiences and engage more followers. But there are plenty of measures in place to penalize people who abuse hashtags, so it’s a good idea to follow a couple of golden rules: 1. Don’t go overboard, and 2. Keep them specific and relevant.
There are a million articles online with recommendations for the amount of hashtags you should use on each platform. We don’t have time to read a million articles so we’ve gone straight to the source.
- Twitter recommends no more than two per tweet
- Pinterest suggests using no more than 20 per pin (although in practice we see a lot of people using fewer than that)
- There’s no recommended amount for Facebook and Instagram though they have published a useful guide to best practices.
You can add up to 30 hashtags on a regular Instagram post and up to 10 hashtags on a Story. There’s no hard and fast rule but we use between 8 – 15 for a regular post on our @redbubble and @redbubbleartists Instagram accounts. By aiming for a lower number you can avoid looking spammy and keep your hashtags relevant.
Most advice on Facebook hashtagging suggests being very selective. There are a lot of articles that recommend using one hashtag per post. This great article looks at the stats behind hashtag usage and engagement for all the main platforms and suggests that Facebook posts perform better without hashtags at all!
Works by Chloes-drawings, Tony Riff and Rachel Krueger
Congratulations! You’ve made it all the way to the end of a very meaty post. We hope you’re inspired to try some of these tips for your social posts. If there’s anything else you’ve learnt while trying to master the art of social media, we’d love to hear your advice in the comments below.
Header image: German Market Signs by Madebyhorses