Your Hashtag Strategy for Instagram

Hashtags for most of us are those odd phrases clumped together that we are forced to append to the end of our Instagram posts.

Sometimes, it can be a pain to think up new ones so you might just make one up or post the first thing that comes to mind.

If you are trying to make your profile more popular, you might just have to start paying closer attention to hashtags.

Here, we will tell you all about what hashtag strategy you can follow to make your Instagram posts more popular.

Pick hashtags that are relevant to your particular niche

There could be several hashtags that are immensely popular and are related to your specific photography themes. What works best is to narrow in on a specific set of hashtags that will attract the specific demographic you are looking for. As an example, #naturephotography throws up 104 million posts. But if you’re more of a tree person, you can use the hashtag #treesofinstagram, adding you to about 1 million other posts. Users looking for interesting trees are probably following this hashtag already and can stay tuned in for more.

Cash in on a trending hashtag

Through the year, different events or seasons are likely to pique people’s interest. If your photograph is related to an ongoing trend, it makes sense to look for and use those specific hashtags. For instance, if you are going to be taking pictures in and around your home during isolation, it is a good idea to add any one of the many isolation hashtags (#lockdownlife #lockdownphotography) to your post. You can combine these hashtags with ones that you might regularly use for your photography to increase the hits your post gets.

Pick a number, any number

So how many hashtags should you use? Instagram allows 30 hashtags on every post and that’s the number you gun for when you are new and growing. Remember, a lot of hashtags could significantly increase your reach. Over a period of time, as your followers grow, you can reduce the hashtags to look less spammy. You can choose to have anywhere between 5 to 25 hashtags for your posts. 11 seems to be the magic number as per the below infographic. 

Pay attention to banned hashtags

Instagram has community rules which need to be strictly followed. While nudity and obscene content (adulting, americangirls, curvygirls etc. related content)  is always banned, there are few spammy hashtags (tagforlike) which are not allowed. The best way to know is click on a hashtags and scroll to the bottom. You will either see no content or you will see posts hidden.

Put your key hashtags in your bio

As your follower count goes up, you will want users to know how they can always find your posts. You can put key hashtags that you often use in your bio so they can just click it or even choose to follow the hashtag. That way, Instagram will show them more of the related posts. We recommend that you limit the number of hashtags in your bio to just three so that people will be able to read it at a glance.

Do some hashtag research

If you still feel you aren’t drawing in the right crowd, you might want to just overhaul the hashtags you are using with some well researched ones. Take a look at what other photographers from your area or niche are using. See if those hashtags are popular enough to get you some hits as well. You can also try searching for specific hashtags and taking a look at the volume. Use a mix of popular (high volume running in millions) and niche hashtags (medium volume running in grands). It is difficult to rank for popular ones sometimes and that’s when the niche hashtags come in.

Pay attention to analytics

Every month, take a look at the numbers your posts are drawing in. How many likes, engagements or new follows did a post get? Could any of these be attributed to a new hashtag you used or a combination of hashtags? You can use this analytics to refine your hashtag strategy for the next month of posts.

When all else fails, use hashtags generators and other social media tools that can automate your hashtag search. Just throw in a bunch of keywords and these tools can churn out hashtags you can use on your post. Try these tips out and increase your impressions.

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