When I first started using Instagram I was very afraid of the hashtag. I thought using them made me sound cheesy, like I was trying to be cool. But, having been an avid Instagram user for a while now I feel confident in saying that using hashtags will get you more likes and more followers and increase your engagement.
Well hashtags are a way of categorising your photographs so they are grouped together. This means you can look for things really easily. If you're a beauty blogger and you want to connect with and find other beauty bloggers you might use the following hashtags: #bblogger #beautyblogger #fotd (Face Of The Day)
By tagging your photographs with these hashtags you are ensuring your photo appears in anyones search for that particular subject. If you don't use hashtags, then the only people that can see your photos will be your followers. If you want to keep your photos private then you might deliberately choose not to use hashtags, but if you want to grow your blog/brand using hashtags will help your photographs be seen by more people.
TIP: create a note on your phone with the hashtags you use most often (for me these are the hashtags under the 'lifestyle' heading below) and save it. That way you don't have to wrack your brains trying to remember all the hashtags and you can simply copy and paste them into the description box or comment below your photo.
There are hundreds of thousands of hashtags out there, and you can also make up your own like I did with #ShadowTheJindo & #WhatILoveMostAboutMarriage (although a few random people have popped on that one and started tagging their photographs with it so be open to the the idea that you can't 'own' a hashtag and anyone can tag their photographs with that particular tag and their photo will appear under it).
If you have a blog and want to create more of awareness for your brand as a blogger, why don't you consider starting a hashtag? It's not pretentious at all, see it rather as a way to connect with more people and to keep your ideas/photos categorised and easy to find.
Here are some lists of the Hashtags I use when I post different things to Instagram. Some of them may seem obvious, but these are usually the tags that are widely used. Others I have found via searches and my own network of followers.
Beauty Products/Make up
- #beautyinkorea (if posting about a Korean product)
- #motd (makeup of the day)
- #fotd (face of the day)
- #notd (nails of the day)
- #manimonday (when posting on a monday)
I had no idea that so many people had Jindos as pets until I started using hashtags! I found so many wonderful new friends to follow who share the same passion as I do for this unusual breed of dog. If you'd like to read more about our rescue pup, #ShadowTheJindo click here.
- #instajindo (or insta- insert your dogs breed here)
General Blog/Lifestyle Content
I have been using the following hashtags on all my photographs for the last 2 weeks and have noticed a general increase in engagement. These tags are really popular and are suited for lifestyle bloggers (those of use who post all sorts of content that doesn't always fit into one category).
- #abmlifeissweet (From the awesome blog A Beautiful Mess...there are a number of different hashtags you could use from A Beautiful Mess to connect with likeminded people)
The great thing about Instagram is that you can add new hashtags to your photographs after they have been posted and that way you can make sure to categorise even your older photographs. There are no hard and fast rules to Instagram so play around and have fun with your hashtags!
If you don't want to look like you are spamming Instagram with your hashtags you can post a few in the image description of your photo, and then post the rest of them in a comment under your photo. That way once people start commenting on your photo, your own comment with the hashtags will be pushed up to the top and hidden by the other comments. Its a little sneaky way to seem a little less brash while still getting your photos seen.
To help you remember all of the hashtags mentioned in this post, I created a free cheat sheet just for you! This cheat sheet was created exclusively for members of my #CGScreative community. By joining this community of over 900 creatives you'll gain exclusive access to the CGScreative resource library. The resource library is filled with loads of worksheets, printables and what has made this community famous, beautiful stock photoraphs. Best of all, it's free to join! Simply click the image below to find out more:
What hashtags do you use when posting on Instagram? If you're on Instagram come by and say hello (@roxyhutton) I love making new friends there!