The Ultimate Guide To Instagram Hashtags
June 3, 2019
There is so much information on how to use hashtags on Instagram that it can be pretty intimidating and even make the most successful Influencer doubt their ability to effectively use the best hashtags in the right places. Here you will find the ultimate compilation of all the information you could possibly need to know how to use Instagram hashtags to get more followers.
Unlike spammy bots, using hashtags correctly can get you free followers on Instagram. These followers will be genuine and loyal followers, and add something to your account, which you don’t get when you buy your followers.
What is a hashtag?
First up, let’s make sure we are all on the same page in regards to what a hashtag is.
The technical definition is that it is a metadata tag which makes it easy for other users to identify content with a certain theme.
Basically, this means that a hashtag is a way in which you can make your content on Instagram, searchable to other people.
Who uses hashtags?
Pretty much everyone on social media uses hashtags. Posts with hashtags receive twice as much engagement as those with none.
Why use a hashtag?
The reason for using hashtags is simple, without a hashtag only your existing followers can see your post. Add in a hashtag and it’ll start appearing on searches, more people will see it and more people will engage with your posts and follow you.
If you want to get more followers and higher engagement levels on your Instagram posts, the quickest and most authentic way to achieve this is to start using hashtags.
Which hashtags do I use?
This is where it gets interesting and more complicated. Which hashtags you should be using depends on many factors. These include the time of year, how many followers you already have, your niche and your goal.
As well as seasonal hashtags keeping your posts relevant, location hashtags can work well for some accounts (such as local businesses) and if you have a large following, popular hashtags can be a good option. More likely though, you’ll need to narrow down your hashtags to be relevant to your niche but not overly popular for fear of them being swiped off the search pages too quickly.
Where do I find hashtag suggestions?
It can be daunting trying to figure out which hashtags to use, luckily there are plenty of excellent hashtag generators out there. Hashtags For Likes is one of the reputable choices and is great for helping you discover more hashtag choices.
It’s important to mix up your hashtags so they don’t become stale. Social media is all about content growth, and this extends to hashtags. Feel free to have your staples but mix it up as well.
Hashtag generators are easy to use. On Hashtags For Likes, it’s as simple as inputting one of your hashtags and it’ll generate relevant and trending hashtags for your use. This will help you increase your exposure and attract real Instagram followers. The software it uses updates the searches almost constantly to ensure the most relevant suggestions.
If you don’t have any ideas on hashtags and are starting from scratch, the hashtag generator site offers up suggests by niche as well, just scroll down the homepage.
If you’re in a rush you can merely copy and paste an entire chunk of hashtags straight into your post. Only do one of the suggested hunks though as Instagram limits 30 tags per post.
Hashtags By Niche
It’s hard to go into detail when broadly speaking, so here we delve into how to use hashtags within four niches. Much of the advice can be applied to every niche so it’ll give you an idea of how to focus your hashtags for your Instagram account.
If you are running an account focusing on weddings but don’t know where to start when it comes to hashtags and how to gain followers on Instagram, here are some ideas.
First of all, your hashtags should always be added in after your caption. This helps your post to look like a human posted it and not a robot. It looks less spammy and more personable, which helps in attracting more followers. You can also opt to add in your hashtags as a comment rather than within the caption if you prefer.
Adding in the location is important with wedding posts because people are often searching for specific types of weddings, and location often defines a wedding so it helps keep your posts relevant to what the user is searching for. You can add in the city or town as a standalone hashtag and/or add in keywords after the city or town. For example, #DenverWedding #DenverElopement #DenverEngagement #DenverProposal #DenverPhotographer #DenverWeddingPhotographer. This keeps it relevant and specific all in one hashtag.
Use the hashtag to describe the type of photo you’re posting. Is it a #destinationwedding or an #indiewedding? Is the bride a #hippiebride or a #traditionalbride? Is it a #samesexwedding #modernwedding or #vintagewedding?
Leading on from this, think about whom you want to find your post and hashtag accordingly. Hashtags according to wedding style, philosophy or subject could include #makeadventure #loveintentionally or #hubs_united.
Hashtags also work by grabbing the attention of like-minded accounts, so think about the accounts you’d like to be seen by and have your work to be shared by. Ideas for hashtags for wedding accounts are a combination of custom hashtags and popular hashtags #junebugweddings #elopementcollective #magnoliarouge #risingtidesociety #stylemepretty
A final note for wedding accounts – always include the custom couple hashtag! Almost everyone who gets married has one now, and by adding it to your posts you’re pretty much guaranteed to get your photos in front of all of the wedding guests who use Instagram. Since they have a personal connection to the photos they are also highly likely to engage with the posts, which boosts your photos higher up newsfeeds.
A great place to start is with general hashtags to get your account up and running. These include #GetFit #Cardio #Cycling #FitFam #FitLife #Fitness #FitnessMotivation #FitnessAddict #FitMom.
However, you don’t want to be maxing out your hashtag limit with general and popular hashtags. It’s good to add them in to try and maximize your visibility to a mass fitness loving audience, but on the other hand, it can be more effective to use more specific hashtags too.
Take a step back and look at what your focus is within fitness. If it is broadly ‘fitness’ that’s fine, but you’ll likely have more initial success if you narrow down your niche to one area within fitness. This could be running, yoga, home workouts, adventure sports, outdoor fitness, etc…
Once you have this figured out, you can use a hashtag generator like Hashtags For Likes to generate top Instagram hashtags for your specific area. This will help your posts come up in relevant Instagram searches, boosting your visibility.
Consider whom you want to find your posts when deciding on hashtags, as you’re essentially using them in a bid to be ‘found’. You can control who finds your posts by which hashtags your use.
For example, if you want to attract the millennial or generation Z users keep your hashtags to short words, perhaps six characters in length. These hashtags are fast to type out, and these generations are ones that like to find the quickest way of doing things. They won’t be typing out long hashtag searches, so by using shorter words, you’ll generate more hits within this audience.
Short fitness hashtags could include #Trainiac #FitFun #FatLoss #GetFit #Fitspo #IGFit. Don’t forget that if you need help finding similar hashtags, add them into a hashtag generator for more ideas.
Instagram is an obvious place for photographers to showcase their work. In order to have people to show their work to, they need followers. To get followers, they need to use hashtags. Not just any hashtags, they need to use the right hashtags to get noticed by the right people.
First off, consider the type of photography you commit too because this will change the hashtags you should use. By this we mean, don’t use the hashtag #instaportrait if you are a landscape photographer, or the hashtag #studiolighting if you are a nature photographer. Even if you are being ironic and it works well as a witty tag, it will end up bringing your post up in an irrelevant Instagram search.
The more entries a hashtag has, the more competition you have to be seen within the search. You can check this out by searching the hashtag yourself and seeing how many results come up.
A general rule is that if your average post gets 50 likes, target hashtags with 50,000 entries. If you get 100 likes, hashtags with 100,000 entries are good. 1,000 likes per post? Up it to 1,000,000 search results. Basically, multiply by 1,000 your average likes per post.
More important than how many hashtags you use, is the relevance of your hashtags. If you’re using 30 hashtags but they each have four million search results, and you only have 100 followers, it probably won’t have a huge impact on your Instagram growth.
A huge reason photographers use hashtags on Instagram is that it helps their work be seen by other photographers and big photography companies, which will feature their work on their account. This really gives photographers a big boost in terms of who is seeing their work. The aim of a photography account is usually business oriented, they want a higher exposure to help them get more work.
it’s always important to keep the goal in mind when you are looking at which hashtags to use. If you want to be seen by certain people, use hashtags they are searching for or using themselves. Keep your hashtags relevant, so your audience says relevant. If they are genuinely interested in your work, they’ll interact with it more and this helps boost the visibility of your posts.
Travel is a broad niche on Instagram. The first point is to whittle down your travel account so you are focusing on something more specific within the travel niche. Focusing your account makes it easier to target a relevant audience with your hashtags and avoid getting lost in search results for #wanderlust or #adventure.
A great way to narrow down your hashtags so they aren’t so popular is to take a popular one and modify it slightly. For example, amend #adventure to #adventureseeker. This way you’re more likely to actually get your post featured in the Top Posts Instagram search.
If you are a travel blogger, you can add in hashtags specific to this. Leave out the super popular ones like #travelblog and #blogger and opt for one like #travelblogging #bloggersofInstagram #tblogger #thattravelblog #bloglife #travellifestyle.
Perhaps you combine traveling with your work, if so you can add in some hashtags relevant to this in order to attract similar people to view your posts. These could include #digitalnomads #workandtravel #locationindependent #workfromanywhere #workhardanywhere #laptoplifestyle #officeoftheday #lifestyledesign.
If you want to add in some more general travel hashtags but don’t want to use overly popular ones, try testing out these ones #responsibletravel #seekmoments #momentsofmine #choosemountains #travelcouple #travelquotes #viewfromabove #tropicalisland #lovetheocean #foreversummer #ipulledoverforthis.
The most important factor to remember when deciding which hashtags to use and when is that they are relevant to your audience and your goal.
As long as you keep this in mind you won’t go wrong. It’s okay to use the more popular hashtags occasionally if they are relevant to your post and you think they will add something to it.
Using hashtags will help you get more followers on Instagram, and this will ultimately help you grow your brand or business in a way unique to Instagram, one that can’t be achieved through any other form of publicity. You can control which searches your post appears in, and can control the narrative through photos and captions.