Ah, Instagram. I hold a love-hate relationship with this social media platform. (As most bloggers do.) I love how visual it is and how it allows me to develop my photography skills and express my creativity, but I HATE the new algorithm. I have been struggling with growing my account for months now (probably because I don’t put that much effort into it), but one of the things that I’ve learned is the importance of hashtags. Why? Because it allows you to expose your pictures to a brand new audience! My Instagram account may have a small following (about 600 followers), but I have an engagement rate of about 20-30%, depending on the photo. How do I achieve that? By using the right hashtags!
Did you know that you’re allowed to use up to 30 hashtags on Instagram? And some people are using only a portion of what they are allowed! To me, it’s like saying a blogger doesn’t use only Twitter or Pinterest when they could be using both. You have to use everything you are given to ensure you get the best reach possible! I know it can look spammy to use 30 hashtags in your caption. So what I suggest is putting only a few in your actual caption, and put the rest of them in a comment. The hashtags in your caption are the ones you want people to click on and interact with the most; the rest can be put in the comments.
I also suggest switching them up every once in a while. Switching them us every once in a while allows you to expose your photos to a brand new audience. Since Instagram changed its algorithm, it has become harder and harder for influencers to get their photos seen. While this new algorithm penalizes accounts who use bots (which is a very good thing), it has also made it nearly impossible for users with a smaller following to grow their account. So my tip? Use the right hashtags for your pictures. It’s okay to use some generic, lifestyle hashtags with all of your pictures, but I also suggest using some that are more specific about what you’re posting. Travel photo? There’s a hashtag for that. Coffee shot? There’s a hashtag for that too. Honestly, I think the best way to do it is to mix it up!
But the best way to generate engagement is… to engage with other users. Interact with other people using the same hashtag. Like their pictures, leave thoughtful comments. Follow your faves if you want to! The thing is, the more you engage with others, the more likely people are to reciprocate the gesture.
So, ready for some hashtags that will boost your engagement? Here are 30 of my favorites: