• Rae Bateman

Hashtags for Instagram - do you know how to use them?

Updated: Aug 5, 2020

There is a little more to it than adding #randomword to your posts. Hashtags for Instagram are a great tool to help people discover your account. It’s all about engagement and showing up in the feeds of your dream clients. Think of it like a search engine, like Google where you search for what you want to find. Why use Hashtags?

Hashtags allow you to categorize and label your posts so that they will show up in basic searches. Think of Instagram as a giant filing cabinet and a hashtag as a folder, when you tag it using the # symbol, you’re filing that post into that category so that not only you can show up in that category, others can look for you and find you there.

FACT: You can only use 30 hashtags per post, so it’s important you are using the BEST ones based on the content you are sharing.

How can you use hashtags intentionally?

• Choose hashtags that will resonate with your ideal client (not your industry peers!)

• Use local hashtags to reach people in your community!

• Use industry-specific hashtags so you can collaborate with others in your field!

• Research hashtags your clients are using on a day to day basis so they can find you!

· Search the words your CLIENTS are using!

Develop your Hashtag strategy.

Brainstorm ideas and topics that apply to your business and enter those ideas as a hashtag into Instagram. Think about what your business is about? Where does your business serve clients? What does your brand signify?

When choosing your Hashtags, you need to think about:

• Being a big fish in a small pond: (#perthfashionstylist 14.9k v #fashion 807m)

• OR be a small fish in a big pond: (#bride 582.m vs. #perthbrides 109k)

Being a big fish in a small pond will always be more effective in finding the RIGHT followers. You have to get more specific and not end up in hashtag feeds that you’ll be drowned out in. You would need to consider exactly what you are posting each time.

Before you post, ask yourself these things:

1.) What is my main goal/objective of this post? (ie Do I want to get featured on blogs? Do I want potential clients to find me and see it?)

2.) What categories does this post fall under? (ie Is it in a specific geographic area? Does it feature any brands or companies? What would people type in to find it?)

3.) Do I have time to be intentional with hashtags? (ie Am I willing to seek out and type in specific hashtags for this post or should I fall back on a past list for speed/efficiency!)

To find the best hashtags, you might need to do research.

Look at peers in your industry both located near you geographically and nationally and see what hashtags they are using! Click on ones that make you want to take action and see if that tag holds content that would be on brand with you!

It’s important to dive a little deeper than just copy/pasting a generic list for every single post, but when you research, you can compile lists of different hashtags based on the content that you are looking at.

Research can pay off big time if you’re looking at individuals that are in a similar industry and sharing work that is similar to your brand message and imagery.

Think of your clients and what they are likely to be searching for.

It’s important to focus more on your CLIENTS than your PEERS. A lot of times we get caught up in showing up “where the cool kids” are hanging you need to be strategic with hashtags. Think of what your clients are typing in to search.

Still not sure?

Open up the Instagram app and click on the “search” or magnifying glass, start typing in your field or product or service and click on “tags” at the top of the menu so that Instagram will search out pertinent hashtags. Type in a word such as “bride,” Instagram will populate ideas to use: #bride, #bridesmaids, #bridetobe #brideandgroom, #bridesmaiddresses etc.

Spend a little time looking at the number of posts on each of them and then get more specific using the findings: what happens when I try: #perthbride? That category has a hundred thousand of posts vs. fifty million! So can you see how when you niche down it becomes more relevant? Use the search function to generate ideas and then further pinpoint

Once you have created your list of hashtags you need to break up your hashtags into lists based on the content you’re sharing! If you do more research upfront and create separate lists, it will simplify the process and take out the guesswork each time you go to post new content!


One great tip is to save your Hashtag sets so that you copy and paste the relevant set into each post as required. You can also save them into the notes section on your phone so you only need to copy and paste them into the relevant post.

If you would like some help with your hashtag strategy contact me here.

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