How To Find And Pick The Best Instagram Hashtags For Your Brand
Recently, I did a workshop for a group of bloggers and I was asked about one topic more than anything else.
Specifically, how I manage my Instagram strategy and how I use hashtags.
Today, I’m going to give you that information.
This is going to be a very practical piece of content. I want you not only to understand why Instagram hashtags are important, but what to do in order to execute this.
It doesn’t matter if you have an Instagram account with a million followers or if you just started your profile last week. This is absolutely the advice I would give to anyone looking how to choose, pick and use the best Instagram hashtags for your brand.
Most of the posts I’ve written on this blog about Instagram have been really popular. Especially one guest post in particular about beating the Instagram follow/unfollow.
In it, Kayte says that you should concentrate on those who do love your stuff, and on attracting more of them. But I get how hard it is when you put so much effort into your account and you don’t see the results that you deserve.
The reality is that even though it’s improved over the past couple of weeks, I’m still stuck around the 1,000 follower mark. If you want to check out my account here, you’re more than welcome to. Let’s face it - how many followers do you think I’ll have gained and lost in the time you’re reading this blog post?
So what’s the answer?
The truth is, one of the best ways to win with Instagram is to stick to a well-planned out strategy.
With so many other things to do when it comes to running an online presence, I get that Instagram can become less of a priority. Especially if you’re someone who doesn’t have a “visual” brand, you can choose to put your focus into other social media platforms instead.
So while I try to post twice a day, it usually looks like once a day.
But I digress - this post isn’t about my overall Instagram strategy, how to come up with image ideas or the latest news about the Instagram algorithm. (Although my new plan is to create a much more solid strategy with my images and captions relating more to my core values and how I can help people).
This post is about the most effective and easiest way that you can grow your Instagram account: using Instagram hashtags.
If you create new content for Instagram and use hashtags effectively, something happens. You’ll start to be discovered by like-minded, high quality accounts in your niche.
When we think about how to grow an Instagram account, these things usually come to mind:
A beautiful feed
Hashtags should be right up there on that list. You can use hashtags above everything else and still get results with your Instagram account.
There are so many people who consume my content but don’t take action on what I say. I want to do more than just teach you. I want to inspire you to take action so you can get one step closer to a breakthrough.
This is how to find and pick the best Instagram hashtags for your brand.
I get it. Sounds like a lot of work, right? Well, I’m going to break it down into sections for you and give you the full lowdown on Instagram hashtags.
P.S Don't forget to download your free Instagram hashtag checklist to ensure you're making the most of this strategy!
HOW TO FIND THE BEST INSTAGRAM HASHTAGS
Finding the best hashtags is the first step - and it shouldn’t actually be that difficult. You want to find hashtags that are relevant to your account, your brand and your audience. What a beauty blogger uses will be different from what a chef uses and so on. Get it?
Instagram hashtags are all about figuring out how to use the language your audience is using, how to describe your images, and how to discover their interests. While it might seem simple, there is actually a lot to consider.
Before we dig into the actual “how”, I just want to say that one word hashtags aren’t going to work. It’s like SEO - if you use phrases and long-tail keywords, you’re going to have a much better chance of getting discovered using those hashtags.
The best part about tis is you can quickly and easily identify related tags in your industry or niche. Once you search for a certain phrase, Instagram starts recommending other hashtags that you might want to use too.
Here are some pointers for how you can take action and find the best Instagram hashtags for your brand:
Make a note of the main types of images you post to Instagram. Are they landscapes? Outfit shots? Flatlays? Start writing down some descriptive words that you could use for hashtags.
Next, think about words that you would use to describe your brand and what you stand for. Are you a fashion blogger? A travel blogger? Come up with a list of words that describe your brand.
Start typing words or hashtags directly into Instagram and see what comes up. You’ll see that other variations start to appear, as well as how many times the hashtags have been used.
Pick a certain hashtag, spend some time scrolling through the top 9 posts of that hashtags. Look at the types of accounts using that hashtag, as well as some of the other hashtags they’re using.
This step is super important and it will also save you so much time in the future. You’ll have a full bank of hashtags ready to use so you won’t have to worry about coming up with hashtag ideas.
Put all of your hashtags into one long list (you can categorise them if you want to). Make sure you write down all of your ideas and note down how many times each hashtag has been used too.
It'd be great if there was an easier way to do this, right? Well luckily for you, my good friend Zoe Linda has the perfect solution.
Her Instagram Hashtag database is the ultimate way to help you up your Instagram game. It includes hashtags for 35+ categories, handpicked hashtags you won't find anywhere else and video walkthrough to show you how to use the database. I LOVE this tool and it's so affordable for all bloggers!
HOW TO PICK THE BEST INSTAGRAM HASHTAGS
The research phase we just went through is probably the smallest part throughout this process (just to be clear). Picking the best hashtags is the next important step.
Now you want to dig deeper into the hashtags you’ve collected and analyse the quality of them.
Take the list you’ve just made and ask yourself these questions:
Do any of your hashtags have less than 20-30k uses? They’re not very popular so cross them off.
Do any of your hashtags have more than 300k uses? They’re too popular, so your content will get lost.
Have you got any one-word hashtags? Cross them off.
Is each hashtag relevant to your brand and the content you post?
Are your hashtags too spammy? Take a look at them on Instagram and if it’s used in an inappropriate way by users, it’s probably best not to use it.
Are any of your hashtags banned on Instagram? Yes, Instagram has blacklisted some hashtags. Search it on Instagram if it’s been used a certain number of times but no pictures show up, it’s a no-go.
I know what you’re thinking - this is so much work, right? But this makes sure you not only have a list of hashtags, but you have a list of quality hashtags that you know are going to work for you.
And remember, you don’t need to do this all in one go. Just take each step bit by bit.
HOW TO USE INSTAGRAM HASHTAGS EFFECTIVELY
Now you can actually start using all the amazing hashtags you’ve collected and take a look at the results.
There are a few tips I recommend as you use hashtags on Instagram and I’m going to go through those with you now.
Instagram only allows you to use 30 hashtags per picture. Don’t try to use more because it won’t work.
Split up your list of hashtags into groups and rotate them. I have two different sets of hashtags for each day of the week (and each day has different hashtags).
Put your sets of hashtags in a note on your phone or in a Google Doc and download the app, so you can just copy and paste as soon as you post your photo.
Some people prefer to add their hashtags in their caption - I recommend putting them in a comment as soon as your photo is posted.
Interact within the hashtags you use when you post your photos.
You know what’s great about this strategy? You’re not just going to gain more exposure or new follows. You’re going to learn.
Because you’re going to watch and consume so many different pieces of content on Instagram, which is going to inspire you and help you strategise the content that you are actually going to put out on Instagram. That’s a really good use of your time.
And then you keep putting in the work.
Because that’s what matters most, right?
I don’t want to give you all the results. I want to give you the foundation for you to take action and get the results yourself.
If you want to make sure you’re following through with each step, download my Instagram Hashtag Checklist below!
How do you feel about Instagram right now? Have you been struggling to grow your account? Do you switch up your hashtags? Leave a comment and let’s continue the conversation.
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Discalimer: I am an affiliate of Zoe Linda’s ‘Ultimate Instagram Hashtag Database’ but I wholeheartedly recommend this product and wouldn’t promote it if I didn’t think it would be beneficial to my readers.’