You might already be using hashtags in your Instagram captions and comments, or you might be skipping those for now. Whether you’re trying to boost your impact or get started, these tips will help you to hashtag like a pro! Here are a few tips to help you master your Instagram hashtag game.
Tactic #1: Do Your Hashtag Research
First things first, it’s important to realize that the art of hashtagging is much more than simply adding the hash sign in front of words you think of. To use hashtags in your Instagram content in a meaningful and effective way you need to do your research. So where to start? Here are a few ideas:
Start searching: Type hashtag ideas into the Instagram search bar and see what autofills.
Check your competitors: See what your competition is doing, as well as brands and accounts that your target audience is likely following. Getting inspiration from other accounts can be super helpful to gain an understanding of what hashtags are trending in your specific niche.
The key to selecting good hashtags is to ensure they are on target with your target audience’s interests, and popular but not overly popular—you don’t want to get lost in the clutter.
Tactic #2: Get Inspired By Other Instagrammers in Your Niche
There is absolutely nothing wrong with spying on your competition from time to time. In fact, when it comes to hashtagging this can be a super useful investigative activity. Joining in on trendy industry topic hashtags and finding niche industry-related tags that your audience is likely following can be insanely beneficial for upping your hashtag game.
Tactic #3: Check Hashtag Volume Using Instagram’s Tag Search Tool
When it comes to finding the best hashtags, post volume is a really important metric.
If a hashtag has already been used on millions of posts, the chances are your post will be drowned out amongst the masses.
On the other hand, if a hashtag only has a few hundred posts, it's likely that no one is searching for it on the Instagram Explore page. For a safe middle-ground, aim for hashtags with between 10K-200K posts.
To check a hashtag's post volume, head to Instagram's tag search tool on the Explore Page.
This is a great way to vet your hashtags, and can also provide valuable inspiration. For example, you might discover a more niche hashtag that starts with the same keyword, but has a much healthier volume of posts.
Tactic #4: Keep Your Hashtags Consistent (Kinda)
As discussed above, it is important to research your hashtags for each post and ensure you aren’t using hashtags that are overly popular. If you do, your posts are likely to get lost in the sea of other hashtagged posts. But should you be using a new set of hashtags for every single post you compose?
The answer is no. There is absolutely nothing wrong with reusing the same well-researched, highly targeted hashtags if those are what appeal to your audience. In fact, you should keep a note handy so you can easily copy and paste your commonly used hashtags into new posts. However, spicing things up a bit is also encouraged.
For example, use the same five or so on-brand hashtags, but add in a few new ones that are even more relevant to the photograph or video you are sharing. Relevancy is critical when it comes to hashtag use: If someone is exploring a hashtag and your super irrelevant post pops up, it could make the entire brand look unauthentic.
So Now What?
Remember that Instagrammers use hashtags to find content that interests and inspires them. By employing these tips and using a variety of relevant hashtags, you’ll help the people most interested in your message find you — and hopefully, become devoted followers and customers.