Thanks to some creative insight from Veronique at Cedar + Oak Photography, and the much needed desire to simplify a tedious job, I created a Hashtag randomizer on Excel. I think you need this in your life. I know I do.
This is pretty rudimentary and basic in it’s design. It works for me, and I’m happy it’s free. When you own and operate a business every app, tool, and more begins to add up in costs. If I can keep my costs down with a basic excel spreadsheet, then I’m happy. And, because I work with multiple cloth diaper brands and bloggers to create and manage social media feeds, this is something that is a thousand times more efficient.
Why a Hashtag Randomizer?
It’s generally recommended that you use a variety of different hashtags and that you don’t use the SAME hashtags every time. Honestly, I use the same hashtags 80% of the time, and so far, it hasn’t been a major penalty for my accounts.
Maybe, you want to mix up the hashtags to mix up your reach, find a new audience, and break out of the same-old, same-old. Maybe you have a niche that has dozens of high ranking, engaged hashtags, and you never know which to use but you want to keep it under 12, or 20.
Whatever your reason for randomizing hashtags, this is how I’ve been doing it for clients. If you want my cloth diaper specific file, you can sign up for the download here: https://clothdiaperpodcast.ck.page/7f7297a20a
Create a Hashtag Inventory
You have a lot of freedom here in creating what you want. You can create a variety of categories based on how you want to build your hashtag cloud.
For example, if it’s important to you to use large and small hashtags, you might to create categories by size. I’m using cloth diaper content for this example, so you could choose to Cloth Diaper – Large (re: tags with over 500,000 posts), and sort them that way. You can also choose to sort by other categories that make sense to you. This is what my hashtag database started to look like.
Create a Random Index
Now that you have a list of hashtags, you want Excel to randomly pick one from each list. To do that you need a function. This is the function that I used: =INDEX(A7:A21,RANDBETWEEN(1,ROWS(A7:A21)),1).
I then dragged that function across all the rows to autopopulate.
And then went in and adjusted the selected rows to match the size of the selection. For example, Handmade is only columns D7:D11.
Name Your Boxes
This is just something to make it easier – I went in and named my cells with a quick keyword that I could remember. This means that instead of typing in “A3” I just have to type in “clothdiapers”. Names need to be singular with no spaces.
To find the name, click on the cell you want to name and go up to the left corner. In the image below you’ll see it says clothdiapers, but for you it will say the cell number “A5”. Click on that box and just start typing what you want to type.
Combine together using a =CONCATENATE Function
You have your hashtags, you have a random one selected from each of your lists, and now you just want to create a sentence of hashtags that gives you exactly what you want so that you can copy and paste and create magic every day.
Note: I exclusively schedule all my Instagram content from my computer. So using an excel function like this on my computer is really easy for me. If you are on mobile, I could see how this could get finicky and be difficult to use. You could also create 5-6 different assortments of hashtags, save them to your mobile device, and then randomize between them.
The CONCATENATE function combines multiple cells together into one cell. It’s magic. This is an example of what my function looks like: = CONCATENATE(clothdiapers, clothlife, clothnappies, baby, eco,)
the only problem that I have is there is no space between the hashtags and I have to add that, let me know what I’m doing wrong here.
And then I get an autopopulated randomized list of different hashtag categories. I click copy cell, and this is what I get:
I then copy into my post, add the spaces, and any other hashtags that I want for that image. This now gives me a unique hashtag group for every post. To reset the random, I click back space on any random cell and the list randomizes again for me.
Do I you know I specialize in Cloth Diaper Communications?
If you need blogs, websites, or social media strategy uniquely catered to your cloth diaper business, reach out. I’d love to help you create content for your unique brand that helps customers get to know you, learn about cloth diapering and the support they need. As the creator at the Cloth Diaper Podcast, I understand the ins and outs of cloth diapering.