Hashtags are a great way to get your posts in front of more eyes
Getting found in the right hashtags – the ones your ideal audience are using and browsing through – should definitely be a goal!
If you go to the search page, and search for hashtags, you can see how many posts are already in each tag.
Your goal is to find the sweet spot, where you are likely to get in the top posts (the lower the count, the better) and where the tag is popular enough to attract as many people as possible (the higher the better). So it’s a careful balance!
When I was new, I only used hashtags with under 100,000 posts. As I gained followers, I was able to gradually increase, and as of writing this I am currently at 500,000 count tags. As you grow, this strategy will grow with you. You might see minimal results at first, but it gains momentum with time.
Here is exactly how I found my first tags for a travel niche account:
I thought of the most basic word to describe my niche (travel) and typed it into the search. Many travel suggestions popped up. Then I wrote down every tag under 100,000 that I felt could be applied to all my posts. I organized this list from smallest to biggest post counts. Then I searched for other travel related words: adventure, explore, nomad etc. I kept going until I had 30 ready to go.
As I started using the hashtags, I always paid very close attention to the last two or three on the list – the ones with the highest post counts and the most competition.
The ideal hashtag collection will get you into the top posts of the first 27 or 28 tags, and then when you start to rank for all 30, you know it’s time to aim higher. Once I am ranking for every tag, I find a couple slightly bigger ones to add to the bottom of the list, and shave a couple off the top.
I usually end up updating my list every 3 -4 weeks.
A note: some people warn that using the same hashtags for every post will affect you negatively in Instagram’s algorithms. I haven’t noticed any dip in engagement since I started this hashtag strategy (but definitely a lot of growth). Just remember what I said earlier – your mileage may vary! Watch your own results and make decisions from there.
From Kristin. Best of luck!