Your goal on Instagram is to engage your current audience while also growing your following. Posting new, interesting and engaging photos will satisfy the first requirement but to begin growing you'll find hashtagging your photos to be extremely important. Hashtagging your photos makes it easy for people to find your photos that are searching for those specific terms.
So which hashtags should you use?
Just like with Twitter and other social sites, users on Instagram use certain hashtags over others. If you use the right hashtags within your photos, you're much more likely to reach new users and be discovered.
Here are the current top 20 hashtags on Instagram according to Websta:
- #love (1,027,917,810 posts)
- #instagood (552,537,705 posts)
- #photooftheday (394,332,818 posts)
- #beautiful (367,636,422 posts)
- #tbt (360,522,758 posts)
- #happy (2353,202,629 posts)
- #cute (351,930,751 posts)
- #fashion (351,195,493 posts)
- #followme (326,083,312 posts)
- #me (314,611,081 posts)
- #follow (311,454,486 posts)
- #like4like (306,277,038 posts)
- #picoftheday (306,277,038 posts)
- #selfie (293,039,427 posts)
- #summer (261,573,181 posts)
- #friends (258,756,470 posts)
- #instadaily (258,189,528 posts)
- #girl (244,327,385 posts)
- #fun (238,836,598 posts)
- #art (233,524,357 posts)
If you looked at the list above and said “But none of those apply to my products or brand”, you're likely correct.
Using hashtags is one thing, using the right tags is a completely other thing. Popular tags like the ones listed above will likely net you additional engagement and likes, however, they will not lead to increased long-term engagement, new interested followers and most importantly, sales.
If you want to tag your photos properly, you'll need to find and use the most relevant hashtags. This means doing the appropriate research to make sure you're using the most relevant hashtags that not only describes your brand, but is also being searched for on Instagram.
Below, I used Websta to find relevant, related and popular hashtags for my men’s accessory brand by searching for key hashtags that are closely related to my brand.
As an example, searching the hashtag #MensFashion, I was able to pull the following list of additional keyword hashtags along with the number of times they have been used (popularity).
You’ll want to go through this exercise trying different keywords that describe your brand and products, building out your hashtag keyword list as you go.
Keep in mind that Instagram allows for a maximum of 30 hashtags per post. Additionally, the popular words will change over time, so make sure you revisit your hashtag keywords every few months to make sure you're using the best possible terms.
If you’ve been posting to Instagram for a while and feel like you’ve missed out on all these opportunities to build your audience by using keyword hashtags, fret not. You can still go back and post a comment with your new hashtag keyword lists and watch the likes and followers roll in.