OUR BLOG

26 Sep 2016

How to Choose the Best Hashtags for Your Instagram Photos

Tell me if this sounds familiar…

You find the perfect photo for Instagram. After adding a filter and using some of the Instagram edits, the picture is ready to go.

Excitedly, you post it – ready for a storm of new likes, followers, and praise to come your way.

Then? Crickets…

What should have been a successful photo doesn’t get nearly the “love” you think that it should. And it all feels like a waste – a missed opportunity

So, what’s going on? And how can you get more likes and followers every time you post a new Instagram photo?

Well, a lot of it comes down to one big factor that many people ignore:

Hashtags.

By choosing the right hashtags – and using the right amount – you can significantly increase the reach and impact of every picture you post on Instagram.

That means no more crickets, and no more wasted opportunities!

With this in mind, let’s talk about how to choose the best hashtags for your Instagram photos!

Find the Best Hashtags for Your Topic

One of the unhealthiest Instagram habits is to use hashtags that aren’t relevant to your post.

Instead, you should find the best hashtags for your topic.

To do that, you can use a tool like hashtagify.me. Simply plug in your topic and it will give you a list of popular hashtags for your topic.

For example, I searched “entrepreneurship” and here’s what came up…

If you hover over each bubble, it will tell you the popularity of each individual hashtag.

From there, you can click on each bubble it will tell you which related hashtags it shares with the main hashtag.

As you can see, this is a great tool for finding the best hashtags for your topic.

Aside from this tool, you can also check out this post from Later.com. In it, they highlight the best hashtags for a multitude of topics, including:

  • Adventure/nature
  • Food
  • Lifestyle
  • Fitness
  • Travel
  • Fashion
  • Bloggers

And a lot more! So, check it out and see which hashtags can fit your topic.

Each Day of the Week has a Hashtag. Use It!

You’ve probably seen “#TBT” (Throwback Thursday) and “#MondayMotivation”. But what you may not know is that each day of the week has multiple hashtags!

So, you can use at one of these daily hashtags in your posts, depending on the day.

Here are some possible hashtags to use for each day:

  • Monday: #MondayMotivation, #MondayMorning, #MusicMonday
  • Tuesday: #TransformationTuesday, #TravelTuesday
  • Wednesday: #WellnessWednesday, #WednesdayWisdom
  • Thursday: #ThrowbackThursday, #ThankfulThursday, #TBT
  • Friday: #FlashbackFriday, #FBF, #TGIF
  • Saturday: #Caturday, #SaturdayNight
  • Sunday: #SundayBrunch, #Sundays

Infuse a Few Popular Hashtags into Your Posts

The problem with popular hashtags is that they only give your post a little exposure. That’s because so many people are using them that your photo will quickly fall from the top ranks for that hashtag.

For example, “#summer” has over 250 million posts. If you use that hashtag, you might have a second or less at the top of that category.

However, it doesn’t hurt to add at least 2-3 of these super popular hashtags to your posts – because they will give you a broad range of exposure.

Use the Instagram Search Function

With Instagram search, you can find a list of hashtags related to your topic, as well as the amount of posts for each one of those hashtags.

Just hit the “search” icon on the bottom left of your Instagram tab, then click to the search box at the top of the app. From there, choose “Tags” on the menu. Then, you can plug in your topic and will give you a list of the hashtags.

For example, here are the results for a search about travel (at the right).

By choosing one of the lesser-used tags (as well as tags that are most specific to your post), you can expose your post to users who are specifically interested in your topic. What’s more, since these hashtags aren’t as popular, your post will stay at the top of the ranks for a longer time.

Use the Right Amount of Hashtags!

Instagram allows you up to 30 hashtags. That’s more than enough.

We recommend you use at least 10 hashtags for every post. Anything after that is a bonus. But you don’t really need to use all 30 – that can come off as a bit desperate.

10-15 targeted hashtags will do the trick and help you get exposure!

Where to Put Your Hashtags…

We’ve all seen it before…

A perfectly good photo description is ruined because it’s filled with a big bulk of 10-15 Instagram hashtags.

So, what’s the better way to do it? There are actually 3 ways to put your hashtags in…

1) You can add the hashtags within your photo description.

For example, “Our #DigitalAgency can help you get results like these with your #socialmediacampaign!”

2) You can click down several spaces and add them in.

This will also hide the big bulk of hashtags from your photo.

Here’s how you can do this:

  • Open a text editor on your phone
  • Type a dot “.” then press “Return” 5 times
  • Put your hashtags underneath the fifth dot
  • Copy the text and add it to your caption

3) You can put them in the first comment.

The key here is to post them immediately after you post the photo. Otherwise, your post will get buried under all the other posts for each hashtag.

To do this, follow the same strategy from 2 (above) with the dots. In doing so, your first comment will appear as “…” instead of the big bulk of hashtags.

If you’re scheduling your posts ahead of time, you can use a tool like grum.co, which also allows you to add a “first comment” with your hashtags (Grum is one of our favorite tools here at ARCH!).

Conclusion

Hashtags should be a crucial part of your Instagram strategy. By using the right hashtags, you put your content in front of Instagram users who are searching for keywords and phrases related to your brand or business, and significantly increase your reach.

In doing so, you’ll get more likes and new followers with every photo you post.

What are some of your favorite and most successful Instagram hashtags you’ve used? Let us know in the comment below!

Dave Perrotta

Passionate, conversational copy fuels your sales funnel. That’s where Dave can help you. Humorous, serious, or somewhere in between—he gauges each piece of content and figures out the best way to convey a compelling message that makes your prospects want to BUY. He’s an experienced copywriter who specializes in creating sales funnels with high-converting copy, blogging, content creation, high-quality landing pages, and email campaigns. In his free time, he’s writing a book to help guys understand how to pick up women, currently resides in Vietnam, is an undercover rap artist, and can’t get enough of bacon.