Hashtags are a valuable source of commitment to your photos: choosing the trending Hashtags means reaching people who have the same interests as what you post. There is, therefore, a greater likelihood that they interact with your photos, whether via a comment, a like or a subscription.
But of course, not all hashtags have the same efficiency when it comes to fulfilling these roles of visibility and commitment. One can sometimes have the feeling of drowning in the mass or on the contrary not being able to reach a new target to develop its notoriety.
#1. The Relevance Of Hashtag, The First Key Of Choice
You can post a maximum of 30 hashtags per photo. This quota is valuable so it is important to use it for terms that best represent your photo.
Many hashtags have been used so much that no one remembers their original meaning, like # like4like (470 million photos) or #nofilter (240 million photos, a vestige of the time when we valued the Spontaneous photo as opposed to the very popular filters, well before the era of precision editing now possible!).
You will understand, it is a shame to start your quota of hashtags using terms as imprecise. Begin by giving meaning, as if you were explaining your image to a blind person.
#2. Popular Hashtags, A Choice That Has Its Limits
Popular hashtags can seduce because we say that we will be able to discover this account to as many people. Not fake, but there is obviously a counterpart: the risk of being completely drowned in the mass because, on a popular hashtag, photos scroll quickly.
If you have a small account, it is much more difficult to get out among the popular photos while if you choose a little more targeted hashtags, you can expect longer visibility in time.
For example, if I post a photo of my cat tagging # cat … it will soon be drowned in the middle of 2000 cat pictures from around the world posted by all the enthusiasts around the world every minute;) If I tag my photo #greycat (“gray cat”), we are already targeting the subject a little better.
If I want to reach animal lovers, I can do even better-using #bluecat (“blue cat” which is the real name of a “gray cat”).
• #cat – 161 million photos
• #greycat – 874000 photos
• #bluecat – 296000 photos
I Have Often Heard Of The “Three-Thirds Rule”:
A third of highly targeted hashtags, used from a few hundred to a few thousand times: these are terms that describe your photo with great precision and that can reach more engaged communities. Just make sure before posting that the selected hashtags are still active (= there have been recent posts with these hashtags).
One-third of “intermediate” hashtags; they allow you to widen your target intelligently while remaining on good relevance.
A third of popular hashtags; here, we seek the volume; we try to grab a few likes soon after posting a new photo. Indeed, today, the algorithm Instagram is closely interested in what happens shortly after the publication of a photo. If it quickly engenders commitment, the social network often tends to give more organic visibility to the publication.
I find that with time, this rule of three-thirds evolves: it’s often relevant to give more room to the category of hashtags highly targeted and less space to that of popular hashtags because better targeting guarantees more commitment and a better account on arrival!
#3. Vary The Hashtags Used
The mass approach no longer works on Instagram. Today, we do in lace! Reusing more or less the same list of hashtags on all the photos does not really work anymore. On the contrary, the better we individualize, the better we personalize, the more effective we are.
For this reason, it is often interesting to vary both the hashtags used but also their order and number. The free application that I will present at the end of the article makes it very easy to do so.
#4. Spy On Posts That Work
Before releasing a new photo, it is very interesting to go see the top posts on the subject in question to draw there hashtags ideas!
It is from the simple principle that if a photo emerges from the mass, it surely has characteristics that make it interesting: the cliche is probably pretty but it’s likely that it also has other arguments, starting with a beautiful list of hashtags rich in inspirations!
In my opinion, the only rule of prudence to always keep in mind is that of relevance: surfing trends is clever. Surfing the trends with a photo that has nothing to do is the best ingredient of a bad buzz!
#5. Exploit Instagram Suggestions
When you start typing a hashtag in the Instagram search bar or in the description of a photo, the social network immediately offers additional suggestions while learning about the frequency with which a term has already been used. It’s a great way to find new ideas!
#6. Study Your Performance To Identify Good Hashtags
Many factors can probably explain the success of a photo: the beauty of the cliché, the emotion it emits, the relevance of the legend and its ability to arouse reactions, the hashtags employees.
There are many software today that integrate features to analyze hashtags (, Sprout Social, Union Metrics, etc.).
It’s about trying to create correlations between the engagement engendered by a photo and the hashtags used. The exercise can be time-consuming (without software, long live the good old Excel spreadsheet!). But you can also take a look at an indicator very easy to access on business accounts: impressions of a photo that are from hashtags.
Leetags, A Free Application To Find The Best Hashtags On Instagram
The free Leetags app (available on Android and iOS) often saves me valuable time searching for hashtags on a given topic. It has a very simple operation: you provide an inductive word and the application offers terms that are frequently associated with it by people.
To take a very simple example, when I left on the island, I did not know at all the “typical” hashtags of the region. I entered the term “CanaryIslands” on Leetags (rather than “canaries” alone, which creates a lot of confusion as it is the plural of canaries – the birds!) and the application’ promptly proposed many regional hashtags, such as canaryislandsendtoend, canaryislandsphotography, islascanarias, etc.
Then we can do a lot of operations on the list: deselect some hashtags that do not interest us, copy all the list at once in the clipboard of his phone to post it on Instagram, randomly display certain terms.
Lastly, you can also create favorites lists if there are hashtags that are used frequently. That does not prevent to perform a manual sorting or to make several successive searches starting from different inductive words to arrive at a selection of the best hashtags but it is a saving of precious time and this application is part of the tricks which have allowed me to relaunch my Instagram account after a long period of stagnation! I hope all these tips will be helpful.