Instagram hashtags are one of the best ways to grow your Instagram account. Using the right hashtags helps expose your post (and your brand) to a larger and more targeted audience. Hashtags are incredibly important for search on Instagram so you want to make sure you’re showing up under the hashtags your ideal clients are searching for.
When it comes to choosing your hashtags, there are some steps you’ll definitely want to take to make sure you’re being as strategic as possible.
Do your research
Don’t just use the most popular hashtags like #love. Those are too broad and aren’t going to get you in front of the right person. So many people use them that before you know it, your post will be pushed too far down the feed to be discovered. Instead, you’re going to want to do some research on what hashtags are being used and there are many ways to do it. Go through each of these steps and make a big list of potential hashtags.
1. Look at your competitors and others in the industry
Take a look at your competitors and people who do what you do but in different locations and take note of which hashtags they use. This is a great way to find exact hashtags to use and to spark some inspiration. For instance, if you’re a wedding photographer in San Diego and you see photographers in Boston using #weddingphotographerboston then you should definitely look at #weddingphotographersandiego and variations on that like #weddingphotographercarlsbad.
When you search for each hashtag, make sure the posts that show up look like they would be a fit for your ideal client.
2. Search hashtags that sound right to you
If you’re a wedding photographer, search for hashtags that make sense like #weddingphotographer, #weddingphotography, #naturalweddingphotographer, etc. As you’re searching, scroll through the feed to get a feel for the kinds of posts people are posting with this hashtag. Write down all of these hashtags and star the ones that seem to be the best fit for you.
3. Look at your ideal clients
If you follow any of your current or previous clients, look at the hashtags they use when they post about their wedding. I’d also recommend looking at the hashtags they use on other posts just to get a clearer picture of what they’re posting.
4. Look at related hashtags
As you’re typing in a hashtag to search, Instagram will present suggestions for you along with the number of posts that contain the hashtag. Make note of these when they seem relevant and add them to your list.
5. Use tools
There are lots of tools you can use to do hashtag research. These can help you see which hashtags are related to others and give you even more ideas. Here are some tools to get you started:
Cull your list
Once you have this big ol list of hashtags, it’s time to select which ones you’ll use. Of course, you’ll probably want to test and tweak these over time but it makes life easier if you have a curated list of hashtags to choose from whenever you post to Instagram. Divide all of the hashtags you found into:
- Popular hashtags (typically generic ones like #love or #wedding)
- What you do hashtags (this includes things like #weddingphotographer)
- Local hashtags (this can include venues, local spins on your what you do hashtags, and locations)
- Hashtags that call out your ideal client (this might be something like #tattooedbride in a wedding you shot of a bride with tattoos)
We’re going to get what your exact hashtag mix should be in this Instagram Masterclass but know that you should be using more local and what you do hashtags than the popular ones. Using just the popular generic ones is a mistake that SO many people make and by being more intentional about your hashtags, you can start attracting your ideal client. Use hashtags that call out your ideal client whenever it makes sense for the photo you’re posting.
Don’t use the same hashtags over and over again and don’t jam all of them into each post. This hashtag list is a menu for you to choose from depending on what you’re posting and it works best if you don’t try to use them all at once, especially when they don’t make sense.
Make Instagram Work For You
Want to actually book clients with Instagram?
Good news – I’m hosting the Instagram For Wedding Professionals Workshop with Wedding Officiant and Instagram Marketing Expert Marie Burns Holzer to guide you through all of the messy, confusing pieces of Instagram marketing because it’s hard to figure it all out alone.
Hell, it’s downright daunting!
There are only so many hours in a day and you could spend days, weeks, and months trying to figure out what works, or you could just follow Marie’s process and make it easier for yourself and start attracting and booking more clients now rather than a year from now when you finally figure it out.
When you know how to use Instagram strategically, (the way Marie has to consistently attract ideal clients) it brings in your ideal clients consistently. She’s done it and she’s going to show you how you can too!
Sounds pretty amazing right?!
- Attract more raving fans of your work who will continue to promote you
- Discover how to use your Instagram profile to be a lead magnet
- Know when to post what kind of content and why
- Understand how to read your Instagram business profile analytics to improve engagement
- Use the posting strategies that will increase your influence and bring you paying clients
- Access a recording of the workshop so you can refer back to it again and again
- Get answers to all of your questions in a Q&A with Heidi Thompson & Marie Burns Holzer (Instagram marketing expert)
Sound like something that will help you? You can sign up for the workshop right here!