I suppose I’m not the only one that feels that Instagram is the dominant social media platform (or let’s say amongst the dominant ones) right now. I know facebook is still active but I experience better results in Instagram.
One of the things that have helped me reach out to more user with similar interest is of course Hashtags.
What are Instagram Hashtags (for the absolute beginner)?
These are the little keywords that you can put in your description and put that # symbol at the beginning of the word. So if you make a post about photography then your hashtag should look like this: #photography.
Why we need Hashtags?
It’s a great way to search and find what you are looking for. The search function on Instagram is reading the hashtags that people are using in their posts and it’s bringing you results based on that hashtag keyword. If you want to reach out to many users and be discovered, then you need to use them.
It has actually worked on me. It is as simple as it can get. The moment I started using hashtags I noticed more people who were outside of my friends circles, discovering and liking my posts.
How many hashtags can we use?
Technically, Instagram allows for 30 hashtags but you can achieve your goals with less. It might look spammy to use that many but it’s up to you.
What hashtags should I use? What is my strategy?
Now this is where I will break it down to as much detail as I can.
Let’s say you are into photography. We will use that hashtag and you can apply the same in other categories as well.
You took a nice picture and you want to promote. Great! Now you must thing, what is this photography about? Is it a city scape? is it a forrest? Landscape? Is there a lake? Are there people? Are there sky scrapers? These are questions that their answer will lead you to the proper hashtag.
Let’s say it’s a fantastic landscape with mountains and lots of green nature and a lake somewhere. You can use all these words as hashtags. But better yet you should do a research first. By research I mean start your instagram app and go to the Search tab. Search for #photography or #landscapes and browse the results. Find a picture similar to yours and see what hashtags are used.
Do you get kind of broad results that are not really your thing? Narrow it down. Is there a lake? Search for #waterscape. See the results. You should be getting there. Go inside a picture that you consider similar to yours. See what type of hashtags that person is using. You can by all means use the same. As long as it’s not any brand-name, anything else that is generic like #forest, #landscape #waterscape #lake and so on are perfectly ok to copy and use.
So in brief your strategy can be summed up in 2 points:
- Use 20-30 hashtags
- Do your research for keywords/hashtags and see what other people are using. Get inspired.
If you don’t want your feed to look spammy you can make the hashtags “disappear” but still have them on the post to help with search-ability. When you are done writing your description press enter a few times and even a few dots like this:
What it does is that it is hiding all those hashtags on the feed and users will see up to the “… more” part (as seen on my print screen here). That way your post is still searchable by all these hashtags but the post itself looks much cleaner. This is something that can affect your branding efforts. If something looks not professional it might discourage users liking or following you on Instagram, thus hurt your brand.
These are my tips for hashtags on Instagram and I hope you found them useful. If you have any questions regarding Instagram or hashtags please let me know in the comments.
Thank you for reading and have a nice day.