How To Choose Your Instagram Hashtags

How To Choose Your Instagram Hashtags

These days, Instagram is so saturated that selecting the right hashtags for your profile can get a little tricky. Gone are the days when you could use basic keywords as hashtags and build a following. Instead, your hashtags must be niche and targeted in order to capture people who are interested in what you have to say. 

This is because when you use “large” hashtags that have millions of posts under their feeds, your content will get lost in the shuffle as the page turns over with new content every few seconds. So what you want to shoot for is smaller hashtags that will give you the chance to be seen (and by the right people). Bonus points if you can get into the Top Posts at the top of a hashtag feed-- that means more people will see your content. 

So how do you go about picking hashtags? Identifying effective hashtags is actually quite simple-- it just takes a little bit of time and periodic reevaluations. 

Step 1. Identify some keywords and phrases that are relevant to your brand, content, and/or industry. 

For example, if you are a graphic designer, your terms might be: graphic design, graphics, web design, logo design, and digital illustration. 

Step 2. One at a time, search each term on Instagram as a hashtag. 

Check out how the hashtag feed looks: how many posts are there? Assuming that the feed is overpopulated since you’re just looking at basic keywords (e.g. in the case of #graphicdesign there are over 13 million posts), start exploring the suggested hashtags that come up in the “Related” bar. Click through some of these until you find a few hashtags that are related to graphic design but have somewhere in the realm of 10,000-1,000,000 posts and have high quality relevant posts populating the feed. In this example, #dribbble, #graphicdesigncentral, and #graphicdesignblg are all good options. 

Step 3. Look at what hashtags your peers and audience members are using. 

A shortcut to finding relevant hashtags is to look at what your peers and competitors are using. You can also look at what hashtags your audience is using, since they and their communities are probably searching hashtags similar to the ones they use. 

Step 4. Start using your newly identified niche hashtags. A few hours after you post something, check to see if you made it into the top 9 for any of your hashtags. 

Getting into the Top Posts is determined by a number of algorithm factors, including (but not limited to) the amount of engagement you receive and how quickly you receive it. If you’re consistently making it into the top 9 posts for some of your hashtags, keep using those hashtags. If you aren’t ever making it into the top 9 for some, you probably aren’t getting a whole lot of engagement from those hashtags. After a few weeks of testing, try swapping out the stale hashtags for some new ones and see if you have any better luck making it into Top Posts. 


To get you started down the right path, here’s a mega list of hashtags that you might want to try depending on your industry. 

General creative industries

#communityovercompetition
#seekmoments
#livecolorfully
#myunicornlife
#abmhappylife
#createcultivate
#bloomyellow
#mycreativebiz
#creativityfound
#creativeminds
#createeveryday
#calledtobecreative
#peoplescreative

Graphic design

#behance
#digitalillustration
#designspiration
#dribbble
#digitaldesign
#creativesnack
#illustree
#thedesigntip
#supplyanddesign
#pirategraphic
#graphicdesigncentral
#graphicgang
#gfxmob
#logoroom
#vectorillustration
#bestvector
#flatdesign

Typography/lettering

#typematters
#typism
#typegang
#thedailytype
#goodtype
#letteringco
#typespire
#calligraphymasters
#brushtype
#typetrader


Illustration

#illustrationage
#illustratorsofinstagram
#illustrateyourworld
#illustree
#vectorillustration
#illustrationart
#illustragram

 

 

Photography

#bestofvsco
#click_vision
#lightandexposure
#gramslayers
#portraitstream
#portraitgames
#pursuitofportraits
#agameoftones
#createcommune
#collectivelycreate
#vibesofvisuals

Travel/adventure

#travelholic
#adventurers
#adventureon
#adventureland
#adventuremore
#lifewelltravelled
#adventureculture
#tourtheplanet
#discoverglobe
#welivetoexplore
#themoderndayexplorer
#packyourthingsandtravel
#wanderlusting
#liveoutdoors
#theoutbound
#passionpassport


Food

#bonappetitmag
#food52
#thefeedfeed
#thekitchn
#huffposttaste
#buzzfeedfood
#tastingtable
#inmykitchen
#justeatrealfood
#feedfeedvegan
#foodography


Maker movement

#makersgonnamake
#handsandhustle
#cylcollective
#abmcrafty
#craftsposure
#creativebug
#handmadeisbetter
#buyhandmade
#makersmovement

Header photo by Verena Yunita Yapi on Unsplash

Creative Community Developer at Snapfluence

I'm the Oxford comma's biggest fan.