If you’re looking for a cut-and-dry ruling on the topic of using hashtags on Instagram, then here it is: You should be using hashtags! So, I’ve created a post focusing on tips to master Instagram Hashtags for travel bloggers.
But why, you might ask. Here are three great reasons!
- Because using Hashtags on Instagram can boost your performance when they’re used correctly.
- It is considered best practice when adding a new photo.
- Using hashtags is becoming common and natural when participating in social media.
Steve Cooper, writing for Forbes.com said:
“As ridiculous as hashtags might seem to marketing veterans who remember a time before Twitter and Facebook, the younger generation and potential customers/clients don’t. To them, using hashtags is as natural and common as typing their query into the search box”.
6 tips to master Instagram Hashtags
The minute you hit post on your Instagram photo and caption, it goes to the top of the queue for most recent posts with the particular hashtags you used. If you are lucky your photo will make it to ‘most popular’ for hashtag (this could be within minutes or hours and sometimes days). This will happen more often with less popular hashtags, unless you have a huge following and receive a lot of likes and comments! The next step is posting your block of hashtags as the first comment. You want to do this as quickly as possible. If you to post them in a comment, and wait for even 10-15 minutes, the most popular tags become pretty much worthless, as your post will be buried in that hashtag feed the instant you add it.
This is something I recently learned and will have to do more research on, but best practice is to post hashtag comments in the order of how fast the hashtag feeds move (meaning most popular tags first).
2. Popular vs Niche Hashtags: What this means for your Instagram strategy.
When you think of popular hashtags, are you thinking “hottest hashtags on Instagram right now” or “hottest hashtags in my niche on Instagram right now?” You’ll definitely want to focus on the latter description for more qualified engagement with your posts.
If you’re a family travel blogger, you could focus on the big and broadly used hashtags like #travel (75+ million posts) or #wanderlust (12+ million posts). These hashtags attract Instagram followers who are interested in the broad topic of travel. But, people searching for these tags may have no interest in family travel! Taking the “most popular” hashtag approach would put you in the “too broad” Instagram Hashtag pool (if you only focused on the most popular hashtags). So, STOP focusing on using only the most popular hashatgs like travel, beautiful, world, etc. as these tags will will be buried in that hashtag feed within seconds. Use a mix and use better hashtags!
3. Find A Balance!
While it’s fine to use a few of the most popular hashtags, you also want to find and use more specific hashtags and niche hastags. Head to Instagram and do a search for more specific hashtags for your travel blogging, travel writing or travel photography niche. Sticking with the #FamilyTravel niche, if I do a quick search I see there are only 135 thousand posts to compete with instead of 75 million posts for the hashtag #travel. Then, take some time to find a handful of niche hashtags that have only several hundred to a few thousand posts in them.
4. Check what hashtags Instagram influencers use.
Head to Keyhole. This is a pay-for service, but they offer a 3 day free trial. Sign up for the trial and be ready to do your research in the next day or two! Make sure to click on the Instagram icon and enter a hashtag for your niche.
Once you hit the search button you will see loads of data. The most interesting is the graph of influencers. Here you can click through to check out how the top influencers within your travel blogging, travel writing or travel photography niche are using hashtags.
Below this information, you will also have a cluster of similar words for your hashtag results, that might help you brainstorm! You can also click on any of the words to see related Instagram posts.
5. Create Your Basic Hashtag list.
You can add 30 hashtags to a post. As we discussed on the post, Best Instagram Hashtags for Travel Writers and Photographers, you want to keep your hashtag block in the first comment after your main post. If you do keep hashtags grouped to copy and paste to your posts, group them by popularity. Add the most popular tags quickly after you post your photo or video. Niche hashtags would be the last on the list to add as they have the least competition.
6. Creating a Great Post with Hashtags
Within your original post add 3-5 hashtags and the one’s that have the highest post volume. In the first comment, add your additional tags (up to 30) in order of most popular. Here is a great example of doing hashtags right from @LaJollaMom. The tags circled in red are within her original post. The yellow square of tags are her block of tags for the first comment. If you go through her feed, you’ll see she is very consistent with this method of using hashtags.
Hope these tips to master Instagram hashtags was helpful!
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Have you used other methods in using popular hashtags to bring you positive results on Instagram? If so, please share what’s worked for you!
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