Hashtags are one of the best ways to grow your reach on Instagram. People who are interested in a certain topic might already be following them, and this way you can show up on their feeds as well. Not only this, but hashtags are a great way to make your voices heard in social justice movements and to make your voice heard among the people who care about the same things you care about.
But when you look into it more, things start to get tricky. What hashtags should you use? How many? The answers to all these questions are so many and so varied that it all mostly boils down to “find out what works for you”.
That said, there are some things that will help you figure out your hashtag strategy faster than others, and then help you refine your approach further. Keep reading for some great tips on how to use hashtags to get more likes on your posts.
Finding the Right Hashtags
It might be the easiest approach, but cramming a bunch of vaguely related hashtags under your posts is hardly the most efficient way to take advantage of this feature. If you want to look for the best photography hashtags to use, for instance, look through similar posts by other accounts in the same niche, and see what creators in your industry are doing.
You can even look up hashtags on the Instagram search bar and see which ones are best for your business. For example, if you want to show off the cakes you baked, you can look up “cakes”.
The hashtag #cakes is probably too popular and would get your post spammed more than anything, but if you narrow it down a little to the type of cake or the decorations, you’ll have better luck making yourself visible to users who love cakes. In this case, you could use hashtags like #geodecakes or #chocolatecake.
Challenges by Other Creators
One of the best ways we can explain these challenges is to use the example of the several “draw thai in your own style” challenges initiated by artists on Instagram, and online events like #mermay.
You can create posts that revolve around a certain theme or idea and post it with the hashtag in the caption or the comments. What this does is get you noticed by the followers of the bigger accounts that initiated the challenge, and it also gives the creator of the challenge a chance to get noticed by your own followers – pretty much a win-win situation.
A lot of people think that using hashtags in your caption is a bad idea, and most of their arguments make sense. While easy and convenient, hashtags take up a lot of space in the captions. That’s some prime real estate you’re giving away, and it gets even more important if you’re using long captions.
Besides, using hashtags in the caption just looks messy to some, and a lot of Instagram users recommend using three to five hashtags there. On the other hand, you can use up to 30 hashtags in the captions of your posts. It works the same way and will keep your captions looking clean and mess-free.
Notice What Works
Using hashtags for a lot of users is a matter of trial and error, but it shouldn’t take you too much time to figure out what strategies work for you. Always keep an eye on your post Insights and notice if varying the hashtags on different posts with similar content has an influence on how many likes and visibility they’re getting.