One of the most popular ways to get your posts seen on Instagram is by using hashtags, as you already know. However, the question that’s probably running through your mind is, “Which hashtags do I use?” The best way to create an interaction between you and your followers is to not only use hashtags, but to use the right hashtags.
How to Find the Right Hashtags For Your Instagram Posts
1. Search up hashtags
If you know what your brand looks like, whom you’re targeting, and what you’re about, you should have a broad idea of some of the hashtags you'll be utilizing. For example, if you’re in the fashion industry, the first hashtags that would come to mind are #fashion and #style.
While you should be including about one to three of these broad hashtags, if you use too many, your post won’t be seen. They’re too broad, and it’s hard to break through the noise. They’re good hashtags, but if you were to post a picture of say, a model wearing one of your newest looks with that hashtag, your picture would be pushed down at lightning speed because of how many other people are using it.
According to Instagram, the #fashion hashtag alone has 564 million posts. When you’re using that hashtag you’re among hundreds of thousands of other fashion brands (shoes, clothing, hair, etc.), young people posting their #ootd, and random selfies.
Most of those people aren’t your ideal client. Your ideal client knows about fashion, so they’ll be looking up more specific and niche hashtags. Those are the ones you want to use, so how do you use the search function to find them?
You can find these hashtags by:
- Going to the ‘Search’ option on Instagram
- Once you click the search bar, click the option that reads ‘Tags’
- Search up something broad relating to your niche (for the sake of the fashion example, say you look up #fashion)
- Click the hashtag
Once you click that hashtag, you’ll find the page with the millions of posts. Above the posts is a section that says ‘related.’ There you’ll find ten related hashtags that others are using. If you click those hashtags you’ll find even more related hashtags. Some will have about the same amount of posts but others will have a dramatically lower amount.
Have a good mixture of both, and use the ones you think would be best.
2. What hashtags are brands similar to yours and in your niche using?
Since you’re already in the hashtag section, and there’s an abundance of images in those hashtags, another good tip is to research what brands similar to yours and in your niche are using. Click any picture that looks like something you would post, and then find their hashtags. The hashtags will either be in their caption or in their comments section.
Ask yourself whether or not the hashtags they’re using are of value to you and your followers. Write down all of these hashtags on your Notes app so you don't forget them!
Make sure you’re not writing down branded hashtags because those are hashtags specific to that account, and it would not be ethical to post in their space.
3. Use resources like 30 hashtags
There are a few websites that allow you to input one hashtag like #selflove, and it will generate 29 of the best hashtags related to the one that you input. If you want something quick, this is the best resource for this.
All you have to do is copy and paste it into your caption or comments. This is the best thing to do if you want to take all the thinking out of the process.
Websites like this include All Hashtag (this is definitely the best one) and Tag Blender. Top Hashtags will give you the top 30 hashtags for specific categories such as animals, holidays, and art, and all you have to do is copy and paste them.
4. Make up your own
The point of social media is to interact with people. It was designed so people could share snippets of their life and make connections. Maybe it’s hard to believe, but people not only want to connect with strangers they think are cute, but they also love to connect with brands.
It doesn’t matter if you’re in the fashion, self-help, or baking industry; there are people who want to:
- Talk to you
- Connect with others like them
- Share their own stories or pictures of their delicious cupcakes
- Join your family
You want to create a community around your brand—these will be your ideal clients. This is a great way for people to have a specific place to connect.
Invent your own hashtag!
For example, Instagram expert Sue B. Zimmerman invented a challenge on her Instagram page. She said, “Here’s the challenge. If you do this challenge use the hashtag #suemademedoit.” She got 120 people to use the hashtag, and people were excited about it. It made them feel like a part of the family.
Another example is a brand that we all know—Forever XXI. Forever XXI invented the hashtag #ForeverBabe where they encouraged users to post pictures of themselves in Forever’s clothes. This not only encouraged their followers to interact with the brand, but also gave them user-generated content (content that you can repost or share that was created by your followers).
You too can invent a hashtag for your followers to use that will give them an opportunity to interact with you and your brand. You can come up with a hashtag that revolves around a weekly challenge, a product you’re launching, or your tribe name. Have fun with it!
Bonus tip: You don’t have to use the same hashtags all of the time. You can have five different sets of thirty hashtags that correspond with the type of picture you’ll be posting. Experiment with these hashtags, and figure out which ones give you the most likes, comments, and/or sales.