If you’re an avid user of Instagram, you’ll know that hashtags are a great way to build up your following and feed. But you might be feeling a bit confused by the information involved – so we’ve put together this guide to get you on top of your hashtag game!
Timing is everything
So you’ve posted your post and realised you’ve forgotten to add in the hashtags. Don’t panic! You can add them in later, but try to add them to your post within the first 20 minutes or so of posting. Instagram shows posts on the hashtag pages in order of when they were posted, not when you add the hashtag, so getting them in quickly is going to get your post seen by more people, especially if you’re using popular hashtags.
What hashtags should I use?
It can be difficult to know what to use on the relevant posts – do you stick to the most obvious hashtags with the potential for lots of views but a short life on the explore page, or lesser known niche tags where people who are really interested will see it but if they don’t know about it then it’s not much good!
Take a look at what other similar accounts to yours are using – their readers are probably the same ones you’re looking to attract and they may have used the hashtags to get to that post.
You could also use hashtags to group all of your posts on a certain topic together – Franky at Love Audrey does this well with her hashtag #la_platform9, grouping together her family tradition of taking photos at the sign for platform 9 at Temple Meads!
How many hashtags can I use?
The maximum amount of hashtags that can be used is 30 in a post, but you may find better results from 10-15 specifically chosen tags for the photo rather than a generic group of 30 that you use on all posts.
Where do I put hashtags?
First thing to remember – you are the only person who can add hashtags to your own photo for them to show up in searches.
It’s up to you where you put the hashtags – either in the caption of the post or in a comment. Personally, we think that putting the hashtags in the first comment (literally as soon as the post is uploaded, paste your list of relevant hashtags in there!) is much neater looking, but you could also put one or two hashtags in the caption to show what the focus of the post is.
How to organise yourself
This is obviously depending on how you work best, but there are lots of different ways that you can collect and organise your hashtags, you just need to see what works best for you.
Some people store them in their Notes app to be copied and pasted into the relevant post – this is good if you use a few different groups of hashtags and want to use the same ones for each type of post (e.g. having a group specific for any flat lay posts, a group for outfit posts, etc)
You could also use the auto correct function on your phone to speed up inputting the hashtags – set up a combination that you can enter and it will quickly bring up the list you want.
If you want to get deep into research, you could collect hashtags in a spreadsheet and categorise them all so you can quickly filter the hashtags that would work best for you.
What tips do you have about hashtags on Instagram?