Learning how to find the best hashtags can be the key to the success of your Instagram account. With the right hashtags on your photos, your content will be seen by a much larger audience. You also increase the likelihood that your photos will be trending in the “top” section of every single hashtag you add.
There are certain tips and tricks you can use to find relevant hashtags for your content, and we’ll cover them in this guide. We’ll offer two solid strategies for finding hashtags and some general guidelines for ensuring the effectiveness of the tags you find.
Instagram Hashtag Tips – Rules to Follow
Before we get started, there are three rules you should 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 pretty easy.
For example, if you create gaming content, any hashtags related to video games will work. However, different categories in this niche will not work. If you play a certain game like tetris, #tetris will work but #pacman won’t.
Finally, you need to try to find fairly popular hashtags. When you tap on a hashtag, you’ll see how many posts have been made about that hashtag. That will tell you a lot about how big it is. For example, #gaming has 29 million posts. #instagamer has #3million. I would suggest finding 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 variety every time you post. More on that later.
That way, you’ll have a better chance of getting noticed on smaller hashtags, but with a smaller audience, creating a safety net. Larger hashtags are less likely to see your photo or video, but if you do get some traction, the result can be much better with a larger audience.
You should also consider creating videos because videos generally get better engagement on Instagram and your content will have a better chance of being featured in the top section if they get more engagement.
Hashtag search by association
With the above explained, it’s time to find our first set of hashtags. We’ll use a method that starts by finding a popular hashtag and then branches out to less popular tags through a related area.
Finding a popular hashtag is quite simple. For a fashion account use #fashion, for a basketball fan account use #basketball. For a Pokemon fan page, use #pokemon. You got it. In this guide we will be using #gaming. Open the spreadsheet to compile your own set of hashtags, as I’ll explain.
As you can see, the games are too popular for us to get popularity right now, but there are many “related” tags. We can touch each one to see the popularity. You can scroll through the relevant section to find the less popular ones.
For example, we scrolled down and found #instagaming, which has 100k posts. So we can add that to our spreadsheet. Now that we’re on a lesser-known hashtag, we can scroll through that section again to find more related tags.
In just a few minutes, you’ll start attracting more and more related hashtags that fit into one of three popularity categories. Soon you will complete the entire list. If you have a hashtag that does not work for you, it is better to skip it, there are many other tags that can be found instead.
Eventually, you’ll have a complete list of 24 hashtags that you can copy and paste into a message to a friend on social media for easier use on your phone.
Copy hashtags from popular accounts
Another way would be to copy hashtags from popular accounts. This can work, but I’ve found it produces less effective results. Sometimes these accounts are already very popular, so the hashtags they use don’t matter that much. It’s best to look at a more popular tag like #gaming and find posts that fall into the top section.
Try to find a page that is getting more attention than you expected based on the number of followers. For example, the page shown above. You can tap on any of their posts and see what hashtags they’ve used. You can copy them directly and delete any that don’t apply to you.
How to prevent your content from appearing in hashtag results
You should now have around 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 highly relevant to the photo you’re posting.
For example, if you have a cooking account, you can use #doublechocolatemuffin. Then you can also save a space or two for very large tags. The chance of getting into the top section of a tag like #gaming or #cooking is very slim, but if it does happen, it will pay off incredibly.
Sometimes it’s worth mixing things up. If you notice you’re not getting much traction, it’s worth going back and finding a new set of hashtags. You should also consider posting at different times or try to post more regularly to see a steady increase in new followers, likes, and comments on your posts.
Finally, make sure to add real text to your post. A small description of what the photo contains or the story behind it will help make sure Instagram doesn’t get confused with spam. It can also help increase engagement.
So, you can use one of the two hashtag methods we listed above to find relevant tags. Make sure you don’t post more than 30 tags, check the relevance of all the tags you use and you’ll be good to go.
If you have any questions about how to find Instagram hashtags, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.