I get asked all the time about Instagram and how I’ve built my following to tens of thousands of loyal, engaged followers. When someone asks how to pick popular hashtags I know they’re serious about building their following. I’ve had so much success this year with growing a following and seeing sales come through from Instagram and picking the right popular hashtags are a huge part of the equation.
Hashtags have been around for such a long time, and have gotten so overdone by the friends that #hashtags #like #this #to the point that they’re #hashtagginghashtags that it’s hard to take them seriously.
Newsflash: Start taking them seriously. They are such an ENORMOUS driver of Instagram traffic that you can’t afford to use them. I tested posting the same picture twice in a row, one without hashtags, and one with just to see what the payoff would be. HUGE difference. I saw double the amount of engagement on the exact same photo when I used hashtags, plus picked up some extra followers. Today, I’m going to make sure you’re using the right ones.
So promise me that you’re not going to hashtag #friend one more time and learn how to pick the popular hashtags that will help you expand your reach.
How To Pick Popular Hashtags To Drive Traffic To Your Site Through Instagram and Twitter
Stay on Top of Trending Hashtags on Instagram + Twitter
It seems like every other day is a creative holiday. If #Nationalcupcakeday makes you want to go to your favorite bakery and snap a pic you’re not the only one. These holidays are popping up all over the place, and big brands are taking notice.
On National Cat Day and National Dog Day, Uber arranged to have the cuddly creatures show up at your office. It grew awareness of their brand and made us fall in love with Uber even more. They sold out in minutes.
On days like this, people are searching to see what everyone else is doing, and for the perfect picture to repost to their own feeds.
How would you like your picture reposted to hundreds of Instagram accounts tagging back to you to celebrate a day that’s relevant to your brand and products? I know I do.
Stay on top of dates by checking the dates at the beginning of the month, and add to your editorial calendar. We’ve done it all for you with the social media holiday calendar that’s still available in the yes supply shop. It comes in a digital download so you’ll get it instantly and never miss out on an important trending day again. If you work in social media or marketing, you’ll definitely get some brownie points for having this on your desk.
Look For Your Tribe’s + Competition’s Hashtags
Who’s in your tribe? Anyone you want to attract. That could be those women that you look up to, who have built the type of business you want to build, and the people who you see following, liking or re-posting their photos. The key to how to pick popular hashtags is to look at the type of hashtags that they use, are the ones who the people you want to hang with are going to be searching.
Look at their Instagrams, and see what type of hashtags they are using. This is a quick and easy trick to find some great hashtags to build a basis off of. Don’t know where to start? Try these:
Hashtag cheat sheet:
Bright + Fun: #acolorstory #flashesofdelight #thehappynow
Photographers: #VSCOcam #vsco #iphonography #risingtidesociety #fujifilm* *Replace with the camera type you have
Minimal Aesthetic Lovers: #Whywhiteworks #whiteaddict #postitfortheaesthetic #thatsdarling #seekthesimplicity
Dreamy Aesthetic Lovers: #thatsdarling #risingtidesociety
Entrepreneur/ Inspirational Posts: #inspiremyinstagram #girlboss #bossbabe #womeninbusiness
More: Be silly and experiment with emoji hashtags, cause why not?
**Note: Make sure the pictures you post are relevant and most importantly BEAUTIFUL, or your posts will appear spammy and won’t be liked anyway.**
Let Instagram Help You
Wait? It wants to …help …me? I know as a struggling entrepreneur it’s easy to feel all alone in bringing your Instagram game to the next level, but yes, Instagram wants to help. And I do too, obviously, or else I’d be catching up on Making a Murder with a hot cup of tea instead of writing this post…but I digress.
See those little hashtags above the “Top Posts”. That’s your magical map of finding hashtags that are similar to what you are posting about. This update is a game-changer because you’ll be able to discover a LOT of relevant hashtags to your niche and expose your insta-photography skills to a whole new base of potential customers.
Nothing Like a Little Healthy Hashtag Competition
A little healthy competition is good, right? On Instagram, the emphasis is on little. On the same page as the relevant hashtags, you’ll also find the number of the number of recent posts for a specific hashtag. Having people posting on a hashtag is definitely good, this means people are searching for it.
However, when that number is teetering a lot over 3,000,000 (like the #love hashtag) there’s no point in even using it. Pictures with that hashtag are being used so often that your picture is likely to be pushed down the feed, and barely get any #love. These overused hashtags have likely already been found by Instagram spammers, so they aren’t fun to search through anymore.
Keep Your Feed Pretty
I really don’t like when I see an Instagram image comment that looks like this:
There are just too many hashtags that are visible and it looks like you are chasing after likes too much.
It’s really simple to hide your hashtags.
Step 1: Post your photo with the caption
Step 2: Create a new comment
Step 3: Create a comment like this
#hashtags #that #will #get #me #more #fun #followers #and #so #on #etc
You can still post up to 30 hashtags by doing this. You’ll just look a LOT better doing so.
Does Hashtag Location Matter?
No matter what you are doing in your business, always keep in mind your big-picture goal. If you’re simply looking to build a high # of followers, you can pretty much pick any of the strategies we discussed above and go for it.
However, if you’re driving traffic to a local business, like your salon, beauty bar, in-person services, or retail shop, then you’ll want to focus on growing your following in your vicinity. There’s no point in having 100,000 loyal followers in Australia if they’re not going to make their way over to your home base of Toronto (the 6ix) to help you get that return on investment.
Search hashtags of the businesses nearby that your ideal customer would frequent, and would post on having been there, or purchased something and engage with them. That could be liking a picture, or leaving a genuine comment. Apps like Gramfeed let you search for nearby locations and find your next potential customer!
Another thing you can do is strategizing your geo-tags because this is an important part of the equation too. But, I’ll talk about this in another post.
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Found you on RTS! I love the suggestion to find your “tribe.” Social media creates a lot of pressure to appeal to anyone and everyone, when the truth is, it’s best to “do you” and stick with those who are like-minded.
yes supply co.
Hey Maggie! It’s so true, you can’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but you can be a few people’s shot of bourbon. 🙂
Best of luck using the tips!
You have some great tips. Although I have heard that adding a second comment just for hashtags actually hurts you more than it helps you. It looks pretty, but hinders you. They say its better to always just include the hashtags in the original post. You can always use spacing to have the hashtags appear a little lower down under the caption
yes supply co.
Hey Yaya. I haven’t heard that before. Who is “they” and what sort of negative effects did they say it could have? I’m curious to hear!
Love these suggestions – especially the similarly searched hashtag tip! Thank so much for sharing!
yes supply co.
Right!? I was so happy when I saw that update come into the app.
Awesome post! Thank you so much for sharing these tips! xo, Sasha
yes supply co.
Another great post. Thanks so much!
–– Danielle @ sphereofdin.com
This post is AWESOME! I never even noticed the related hashtags at the top of a hashtag library. That is excellent. So many great tips! I will be referring back to this post in the future. I shared on Pinterest!
yes supply co.
Hey Emily! Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment! I’ll definitely be posting a lot more on how I grew my social media presence, especially based on the amazing feedback on this post. You made my day <3
Amanda @ A.Co est. 1984
GREAT post and awesome tips. I found your blog via a FB group we are both in and was instantly drawn to your clean lay out and well thought out post. Going to snoop around some more now!!! 😀
yes supply co.
Hey Amanda! Thanks for your lovely comment. I’m always trying to think about how I can make my blog prettier so I really appreciate it <3
Jodi M. Clock
Great post, I’m still learning the # strategy, it’s a new world, thanks!
This is a great post. Thanks for sharing. There are some good tips in there that every Instagram user should take note of! As a fellow blogger, I appreciate them. X