Let’s talk a bit about hashtag strategy, why you should be using hashtags on Instagram, and how to use them effectively.
Hashtags are used to sort and categorize posts on Instagram, and you can add 30 to any given post. Hashtags help other users who might be interested in whatever you’re posting FIND YOU, and for YOU to find other cool and interesting content on Instagram. They’re the most powerful way to search for content, and can help you grow your following.
Here are 5 Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind when you’re using hashtags:
(1) Do use 30 hashtags. Insta allows it, so you might as well take advantage of this. How to find the best hashtags? Take a look at your content, then look at influencers doing similar things, and see what hashtags they’re using. Pick at least 5 influencers or accounts you love, and make a mashup list of their hashtags. Other research options like Hashtagify.me track patterns and usage of hashtags and can certainly help you pick new # to use.
(2) Don’t put 30 hashtags in your main caption. Insta allows users to put relevant hashtags in the comments section and counts them toward your post, so there’s no reason to cram 30 into your caption. Pick 1-3 of your most relevant hashtags to include in your caption, then put the rest in a comment below. Oh, and don’t just throw all your hashtags in the first comment – stylize it, so your hashtags are essentially “hidden” as your first comment. To do this, use the 5 period + hashtags method (that’s 5 periods followed by a line break, then followed up with your list of hashtags). Your comment should look like this:
#lookathowcoolthatis #nowyouredoingit #27morehashtagsfitinhere
(3) Do keep a list of your hashtags WITH the periods above on your phone in a note-taking app, then copy/paste your comment! It’s WAY easier than typing out 30 hashtags in a comment each time, trust us!! Work fast, as the goal is to be the first commenter on your photo. It may not always happen (and it doesn’t seem to hurt you if you’re not), but that’s the goal!
(4) Don’t forget to mix up your hashtags! You likely wouldn’t want to use all your best foodie hashtags if you’re posting a workout picture at the gym (#nomnomnom just sadly doesn’t apply there), so do your hashtag research and keep multiple lists on your phone by category!
(5) Do use a brand hashtag! If you’ve got your own hashtag, by all means, use it in your caption! Encourage others to use your hashtag, too. Oh, and don’t forget to search your hashtag, and if someone is using it in their posts, give ’em a little thank you shout out!