Oh, the beloved hashtag. It connects us to others like us, and allows those who are interested in our topics to see all of our lovely Instagram pictures. Utilizing hashtags in the right way has allowed me to grow my Instagram following and connect with people in my niche. I’ve listed out my top tips for navigating Instagram and put together this guide to show you how you too can learn how to use hashtags to your advantage on Instagram. BONUS – I’ve also put together of a list of hashtags for your specific blogging niche! Located at the bottom of this post
How To Use Hashtags To Your Advantage On Instagram
Use relevant hashtags
Only use hashtags that are relevant to your brand, niche and audience. Having more relevant and specific hashtags equals the more specific your audience will be. There may be moments where there is a big trending hashtag, but that doesn’t mean you need to use that hashtags on every photo for that day or week. Using the right hashtags will allow your account to grow faster with real organic followers because you are providing them something of their interest. Creating a specific hashtag for a campaign is beneficial as well for your audience.
For instance – Zicococonutwater has created a hashtag that followers and people drinking their coconut water – #InsideIsEverything
Use branded hashtags
A great idea for your brand, business, or blog is to create at least one branded hashtag. I created the hashtag #thecreativelocal. This is also a blog column I created and use often with photos I post. Using branded hashtags helps to establish brand recognition. So if you haven’t yet established one yet for your business/blog, get to it!
Make Sure To Do your Research
There is more to hashtags than meets the eye. Look up your competition and see what hashtags they are using, and other Instagrammers that fit into your niche. Ask yourself if they fit your brand/business. You can typically learn a lot from others and what hashtags they are using – it might just fit in with your blog/business.
Search Related Hashtags
If you have one hashtag that you know represents your brand or business well, then using the new feature ‘Related Hashtags’ will be beneficial to you. If you know one specific hashtag fits your brand and photo you are posting perfectly, more than likely the “Related Hashtags” will fit in with that same photo as well. Instagram rolled out this feature in 2016. When you’re on the page of a certain hashtag, you can see the related hashtags of the hashtag you searched at the top of page. Instagram allows 30 hashtags for each different type of Instagram post you have, so take advantage of that!
Use a combination of popular and niche specific hashtags
Using the more popular of hashtags will definitely bring in new likes, but when you use a VERY popular hashtag, your post will soon be lost in the shuffle. Using less popular hashtags usually live longer and have a better chance of being featured as the top 9 posts for that hashtag.
Save Your Hashtags
When you find that right combination of hashtags, save them so that you aren’t wasting precious time trying to remember them each time you post! I’ve heard a variety of ways to save them but one of my personal favorite ways is to save it in the notes section of my phone. I have specific lists saved for each type of photo I post. That way, I’m not wasting valuable time trying to remember my hashtags! For instance I have business, food, drink/cocktail, travel, quotes, and craft posts with hashtags related to each type of post. I saved these to get to them easily after posting an Instagram post.
Top Hashtags Are Money
For each hashtag there is a section on the hashtag page for the top posts. There are 9 photos in this section. Using more specific hashtags will gain you a higher chance of seeing your photo featured in this section. I have seen my photos featured in the section from time to time and I can tell you that I definitely see an uptick in new followers during the time period the photo stays in the top posts section.
My photos in the bottom three photos are indicated by where the red arrow is pointing. I utilized these hashtags (#cocktailtime, #bourbon, #midwestbloggers) on this photo.
If you post your hashtags in a separate comment, make sure to post your hashtags as quickly as possible afterwards. This will make it easier and more likely for your photo to show up in the Top Posts of each hashtag page.
Use hashtags in your comment section
Okay, you can use a few hashtags in your caption, however, it makes your caption look too cluttered, spammy and salesy. You want an amazing caption to go with your amazing picture, so why clutter it up with # after #? The caption should clearly and coherently relate what your image is about as it should function supplementarily. It has also been shown that engagement goes down when you have more than five hashtags in your caption. Where you should be placing your hashtags, instead, are in the comments section where you can post up to 30 hashtags. This way your hashtags are hidden but yet still functioning.
Looking for Companies To Collaborate With?
Many companies have their influencers use the hashtags #ad #sponsored as a disclosure when collaborating. You can look up those two hashtags to see what brands other bloggers are working with. Find the companies contact info and reach out to them asking if you could promote their product(s). This is a great way to start earning some money blogging!