A Beginners Guide to Using Hashtags on Instagram

A Beginners Guide to Using Hashtags on Instagram

So you’ve been browsing through article’s to do with Instagram lately, have you?

I know even as I write this article I’m still constantly looking for new ways to grow my number of followers on this platform.

“It’s a constant game of posting consistently and interacting with others.”

Well today I want to analyze one particular strategy under the branch of how to grow on Instagram, that being hashtags.  They’re perhaps the most important tool in growing on Instagram and I’m going to share why and how to use them correctly.

Let’s get started shall we? 🙂

Why Use Hashtags on Instagram? 

The biggest reason to use hashtags, is to get your photos noticed. Without the use of this strategy, how do you expect people to find you? Some may find your account through other users or social media, but beyond this, how do they find your photos? This is where hashtags kick in. By including multiple, relevant, hashtags in the description of your images, people who search these hashtags will find your photo!

Pro Tip: Hashtags can be an amazing tool especially during events, as many people will be adding photos and viewing other’s under that specific event hashtag. Stores sometimes have their own, locations and coffee shops, to name a few. Always keep an eye out for these sorts of things. In the photo below for example, I was wearing a new kimono from Altar’d State, so I went to their website and found their specific store hashtag they encourage customers to use! It was “#myaltardstate,” and using this makes me discoverable to people who like the brand and the brand itself. Hello potential sponsored posts in the future? 😀

“Using hashtags is like leaving a trail for people to find. If you don’t create the trail, few will find you.”

How to use Hashtags Properly:

Step 1: Snap a photo you want to share and take a look at the content in it

I like to think of hashtags as descriptors of a photo and so the first step naturally, is to examine the contents of it. In this photo I’m wearing a new kimono I bought at Altar’d State. I’m also a fashion blogger in Pittsburgh, around the Murrysville area in the East Coast. My style in the photo is boho chic. These different details are words I could use in hashtags to describe the photo/person in the photo.

A Beginners Guide to Using Hashtags on Instagram

Step 2: Research different hashtags people are using

This is a very common step I have to do for almost every photo I post on Instagram. Once I know what kind of keywords I might use for hashtags, I type them in to see what other keywords people are using for similar content.

In the case of this photo, I might type into the search engine, “#Altar’d State” and see what other people used for their photo. This is almost always the easiest way for me to discover relevant hashtags that match the content in my photos, and therefore make them searchable and easily discoverable.

Step 3: Chose smaller hashtags and use at least 30 per photo

The general rule of thumb, is to never use a hashtag with over 500,000 posts. Reason being it can be quite easy to get lost in all the other hundred thousand other posts. I usually use hashtags more around the 200,00 or less range, really trying to get some local attention. When I stick to hashtags like this, almost all of my photos are at the top even days later.

It’s also best to shoot for 30 hashtags per photo. This is actually the limit Instagram puts on you, hence where I got the number! lol 😀 This simply gives your photo the best chance possible to get noticed!

Step 4: Find niche specific hashtags 

If you’re looking to get discovered in your niche, use specific hashtags within it. In this photo I might use hashtags fashion bloggers might use or female influencers. I highly recommend finding lists of niche specific hashtags you can easily find on Instagram. You can then refer to the different lists every time you post a photo.

In conclusion, just make sure you’re researching what’s relevant in your niche hashtag wise, under 500,000 posts and matches the content in your Instagram photo. If you stick to these rules you can never go wrong with your hashtags. Although the growth organically has taken its time, I’ve noticed a dramatic increase in my followers on Instagram using this method. Before the use of hashtags I only had 110 followers and now have 380. Hopefully through the use of hashtags I can get 1,000 followers this year on Instagram! Hopefully you learned a little something today with my article and will experience some growth on Instagram yourself! 🙂