Finding the best hashtags can be the key to the success of your Instagram account. With the right hashtags in your photos, you can get your content seen by a much larger audience. You also increase the likelihood that your photos will gain popularity in the “top” section of every single hashtag you add.
There are certain tips and tricks you can use to find the right hashtags for your content, and we’ll cover them in this guide. We will offer two robust hashtag search strategies and some general guidelines for ensuring the effectiveness of the tags found.
Hashtags Instagram Tips – Abiding Rules
Before we get started, there are three rules you must follow when using Instagram hashtags. First, you cannot use more than 30 hashtags. Second, you need to find hashtags that are relevant to your content. It’s very simple.
For example, if you are creating game content, any video game hashtags will do. However, different categories in this niche will not work. If you are playing a specific game, such as Tetris, #tetris will work but #pacman will not.
Finally, you need to try to find some fairly popular hashtags. When you click on a hashtag, you will see how many posts have been written about that hashtag. This will tell a lot about how big it is. For example, #gaming has 29 million messages. #instagamer has # 3 million. My advice would be to find hashtags in three different categories –
- 100,000 or less
- 500,000 or less
- 5 million or less
You should find 8 hashtags in each category. This leaves room for a little variation with every post. More on this later.
This way, you’ll have a better chance of getting noticed on small hashtags but with a smaller audience, creating a safety net. The more hashtags, the less chance of seeing your photo or video, but if you really gain traction, the result can be much better with a larger audience available.
You should also consider creating a video because videos tend to get more attention on Instagram and your content will have a better chance of making it to the “top” section if they get more engagement.
Searching for Hashtags by pairing
With the information above explained, it’s time to find our first set of hashtags. We’ll use a method that will first find a popular hashtag and then move on to less popular tags in the relevant field.
Finding a popular hashtag is pretty easy. For a Fashion account use #fashion, for a basketball fan account use #basketball. For a Pokemon fan page, use #pokemon. You get the idea. In this tutorial, we will be using #gaming. As I’ll explain, open the spreadsheet to build your own set of hashtags.
As you can see, games are way too popular for us, but there are still a lot of “related” tags out there. We can click on each one to see its popularity. You can scroll through the corresponding section to find less popular ones.
For example, we scrolled down the page and found #instagaming with 100K messages. So we can add this to our spreadsheet. Now that we’re on a lesser known hashtag, we can scroll through the relevant section again to find more related tags.
In just a few minutes, you’ll start adding more and more related hashtags that fall into one of three popularity categories. It won’t be long before you fill out your entire list. If you have a hashtag that doesn’t work for you, it’s best to skip it, you can find many other tags instead.
At the end of the day, you will have a complete list of 24 hashtags that you can copy and paste into a message to a friend on social media to make it easier to use on your phone.
Copy hashtags from popular accounts
Another way is to copy hashtags from popular accounts. It might work, but I’ve found it gives less efficient results. Sometimes these accounts are already very popular, so the hashtags they use don’t really matter. Your best bet is to look at a more popular tag like #gaming and find the posts that made it to the top section.
Try to find a page that gets more attention than you expect given the size of their followers. For example, the page shown above. You can click on any of their posts and find out what hashtags they used. You can copy them directly and delete whatever doesn’t suit you.
How to avoid your content not appearing in hashtag results
You should now have about 30 hashtags, but it’s time to mix them up a bit. Sometimes, if you use the same hashtags too often, your photos won’t show up at all. So, use the remaining spaces for any hashtags that might be relevant to the photo you are posting.
For example, if you have a culinary account, you can use #doublechocolatemuffin. Then you can also save a space or two for very large tags. The chances of getting to the top of a tag like #gaming or #cooking are very small, but if it somehow happens it will pay off incredibly.
Sometimes it might be worth confusing everything. If you find yourself not getting much success, it might be worth going back and finding a new set of hashtags. You should also consider posting at different times or trying to post more regularly to see a steady increase in new followers, likes, and comments to your posts.
Finally, make sure your post is filled with actual text. A little description of what is shown in the photo, or the story behind it, will help Instagram not to mistake it for spam. It can also help boost engagement.
So, you can use one of the two hashtag methods we listed above to find the tags that match. Make sure you haven’t posted more than 30 tags, and double check that whatever tags you use are up to date and you will be fine.
If you have any questions about finding hashtags on Instagram, be sure to leave a comment and I will reply as soon as I can.