Oh hashtags! There are so many of you!
Every time I stumble on a new hashtag, the giddy little girl in me gets as excited as a kid with a bottle of sprinkles.
But the advice on hashtags out there is so confusing. There are too many people out there telling you to use the most popular hashtags and I'm here to say NOOOOOOO!!! Please don't do that. You'll be doing a disservice to your business and to your audience. They simply won't find you in those fast-moving tags.
Today I want to share with you the EIGHT ways I use to find the best hashtags for my business that you can use too! None of them are difficult, but I know that sometimes we forget to venture outside our home feed.
This research is SO KEY to increasing and maximizing your reach on Instagram! I don't want you to be missing out on any followers.
Eight Ways to Find Hashtags On Instagram
1. Look to your competition.
I'm not a huge fan of caring about your competition or getting hyper-focused on the competition to a point where you feel like your work isn't good, but I do think it's important to be aware of people or businesses that are doing something similar to you. This can be a great first place to start when looking to up your hashtag game. Research a few of your competitors and find out what kind of hashtags they are using. Look at several of their photos and copy and paste their lists of hashtags. Make sure that you check that these hashtags work for your business before using them.
2. Check in with influencers or local businesses or media.
If you're wondering which hashtags are cool these days, just look to the influencers. Look to the people who are already finding success on Instagram and see what hashtags they might use. If you are looking for local hashtags (great for fashion bloggers and travel bloggers), you can look for local boutiques, local media outlets and local tourist profiles to see if they are using any hashtags you can use or search.
3. Use tag search to search keywords on Instagram.
This is a super easy one! Just head right into the search function on Instagram. Click tags at the top and type in a keyword. For example, if you work in social media, type in social media and a good 30-50 hashtags will show up! Check these out to see if you could use them for your business! Try a few different keywords to maximize your results.
(Hint: you can also use this keyword trick to find people who might have those words in their handles or bios)
4. Use related hashtags feature on Instagram.
Once you've found a hashtag that you like, simply click into it and see related hashtags at the top of the screen. These will be hashtags that have similar content or are often used together. You'll usually get 5-6 hashtags here.
5. Check your own followers.
Chances are you are following some people in your own niche, so don't forget to look through your own followers. Chances also are that you aren't seeing everyone you follow in your main feed so make sure to click through your follower list so you don't miss someone that could be crucial to your growth.
It's totally fair game to copy another person's hashtag list, but remember that switching it up is the key to learning which hashtags work best for you!
6. Check the competition's followers.
In addition to checking your competition, make sure you click into their follower list too! They might have even more people in your niche that you can find using hashtags that will help your business. It might be overwhelming to scroll through lists of followers, but it can end up being totally worth it!
Hint: While you're there, make sure to engage with people that look like they might love to follow you too! Leave some generous and kind comments - be human!
7. Check with other brands that might have the same target market.
You don't always have to be looking to people who are doing the same things as you. You can also look at people who serve the same kind of people that you do. For example, if you sell modern home decor or are an artist, it might be worth your time to check out West Elm or Anthropologie to see what kind of people are following them and what kind of hashtags they might be using.
Additionally, larger brands like this sometimes have feature hashtags you could use to get your work featured on their page.
8. Use tools like Display Purposes or Hashtagger app.
Once you have done the work to find a good long list of hashtags that might work for your brand, make sure you check each one. Type each one in on Instagram and do a quick scroll to make sure they are ones you want to spend your time searching or ones that you want your work to be categorized with.
Then, you can use Display Purposes or the Hashtagger app to come up with even more. When you type a hashtag into their programs, they come up with a list of more hashtags that could be related to that hashtag.
Remember, we're looking for quality hashtags, not just popular ones. You want your work to fit in with each hashtag and ideally, you want to find as many as you can that have 500,000 uses or less, though I do recommend mixing more popular hashtags with some that are more niche-specific.
Want to learn more about how hashtags work, where to post them and how many you need? Hope right on over here!