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How To Grow Your Instagram: Hashtags

Hashtags allow people outside of your followers to find your posts, so it’s a fabulous opportunity to try and attract new and relevant people to your account.

If you’d like to read the other ‘How To Grow Your Instagram’ blogposts in the series, here they are: Content, Engagement and Showing Up.

My Hashtag Tips

  • Research the right hashtags:
    • Most people play a bit of a guessing game with hashtags on Instagram. They scan the picture they are about to post then kind of describe it with hashtags. However there need to be more layers than that involved – try using this formula instead:
    • choose a mixture of the following hashtag categories
      • a) descriptive #s about the your picture and caption (eg sustainable soap)
      • b) descriptive #s about your industry (eg homeware shop)
      • c) #s that your target audience are using (eg women who love interiors).
    • I applied this formula to the post below. I used the hashtags to describe what was in the post (a prompt challenge), to describe my niche (Instagram) and I used hashtags my target audience would be using (eg #smallbizowners). 20% of my views on this post came from the hashtags I’d used.
instagram advice.
This post was more successful because of the carefully chosen hashtags

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  • Where to find those hashtags?
    • Check out what hashtags your competitors are using.
    • Look at what hashtags your ideal followers are using.
    • Look up words relevant to your industry or your posts and see what comes up eg if I type in candles and click on tags I get #candlesofinstagram #candleshop #candlesscented and many more options.
    • When you find a hashtag page you like, look at the ten related hashtags offered. Eg when I look at the #instagramtips hashtag page other related hashtag are: #socialmediamanager #marketingadvice #instagramstrategy
interior hashtag page instagram.
The #eclecticallymade hashtag page offers lots of related hashtags near the top of the page eg #interiormilk.
  • Research The Less Popular Hashtags
    • If you are using the really popular and generic hashtags like #summer which has been used 500 million times, your account has less chance of being seen. If your account has less than 10k followers I’d suggest you mainly use small hashtags (eg hashtags that have been used less than 20k times). If you have more than 10k followers still use small hashtags but you can mix in some bigger hashtags too. But when I say bigger hashtags – still pick ones that have been used less than 100k times. Over 100k and you will struggle to be seen.
  • Use 30 hashtags with each post
    • This is the maximum number of hashtags you are allowed to use. You can you use less, but where possible try and use 30 relevant hashtags with each post because it will increase your chances of your posts being seen.
  • Mix up your hashtags for each post.
    • If you repeatedly use the same hashtags, Instagram doesn’t like it and your hashtags will stop working. Also the more you keep using fresh hashtags the more you’ll be seen by new audiences. Keep a range of lists of relevant hashtags in the notes section of your phone to make it easier.
  • Be aware that hashtags are a bit of a hit and miss affair
    • Using hashtags doesn’t guarantee that your post will be successful. They are unpredictable in performance so don’t be disheartened if all your hard work doesn’t seem to be paying off. But stick with it, because whilst it won’t work brilliantly for all your posts, it will for others.

Good luck with implementing your hashtag strategy. If you’d like to let me know how you’re getting along with it send me a DM on my Instagram Account.

If you enjoyed this, you might like to try: How To Do An MOT Of Your Instagram Account

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