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How to create an Instagram Strategy - Part 3

July 2018

Create a solid Hashtag strategy

So now that you have established your visual identity, and your captions are better than ever before, your content is on fire, but how do your desired audience find you and your banging Instagram profile? One word: Hashtags!

However, hashtags will only work to your advantage if you use them right and strategically. Before we dive into the best strategies for hashtag use, let’s have a look at some “don’ts” that I see over and over again on Instagram.

1 - Not using any hashtags at all. I see this mistake so many times. A lot of people and brands avoid using hashtags because they think they are ugly and appear spammy. But how do you expect people to find you if you don’t put yourself out there. Only a very few can get away with not using hashtags, like huge companies and influencers like Apple or Kim Kardashian, because people already know who or what to search for. So do yourself a favor, and take advantage of all the methods you can to be seen or heard.

2 - #dont #hashtag #every #word #in #your #captions - because let’s be honest, this is really annoying and it will not get you anywhere. It’s important to use hashtags that people will actually search for (always think of hashtags as a search tool).

3 - Using super generic hashtags like: #love #summer #fashion #smile #instadaily etc. A lot of Instagram user use the hashtag #love, and it’s easy to understand why, because it’s one of the most shared hashtags with over 1 BILLION shares. So it’s easy to think that by using #love thousands of people will see your photo, however, that’s sadly not how it works. When using a hashtag with that many shares, your photo will drown and vanish in all the clutter, that’s why it is important to use tags with a far smaller amount of shares. Try to make it a rule of thumb not to use hashtags with more than 80-100 000 shares. This way your photo will stay in the top in a far longer time period.

So let’s dig into how you find the best hashtags, and how to use them the right way.


Finding the right hashtags for you

When you are using Instagram for your brand or business (aka your art), the key factor is finding the right audience and potential customers. This is why you need to understand what they search for on Instagram, and their social media habits. So start by doing some research. A great way to start is by “stalking” your competitors or other artists you admire. The reason for this is your competitor most likely will have the same target audience as you. Analyse their social media platforms, see how their followers are engaging with them, what content gets the most engagement and what hashtags are they using. I’m not saying to go and copy their every move, but try to analyze what they are doing right and see where you can implement this into your Instagram strategy. But remember to only use hashtags that are relevant to you and your audience.

Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post, and I highly recommend for you to take advantage of this, and find 30 good and relevant hashtags. So start digging and find the best hashtags within your niche. When you have found a couple of tags, a great feature on Instagram is “related hashtags” that you can find at the top of each hashtag search. Here you can most likely find good tags that also is related to the ones you have already found.

Repeat this process with each related hashtag until you have 30 solid hashtags related to your niche.

Use Descriptive Hashtags

Using descriptive hashtags can as well help you to get noticed by your niche or ideal audience. Maybe you want to reach people in a specific city, then hashtag the city (e.g #copenhagen or find other related tags like #cph you get the picture). Maybe you are collaborating with another brand or artist, do your research, and use their brand/company hashtag, and remember to tag them in your photo, this way you are more visible to their audience as well.

Save Your Hashtags

This process can seem slightly intimidating and time-consuming, however, the good news is: when you have found your hashtags you can use them over and over again. It is a one time process. This is why you should make a list, in your notes on your phone, or a spreadsheet on your computer, whatever works best for you. This way you can always just copy and paste them into Instagram when uploading your picture.

A great tip is to post your hashtags in a comment to your photo, this way your tags won't disturb the visual appearance of your post. But remember to post your tags immediately after posting the photo and caption. The reason for this is because photos normally have the highest spark right when you post them. Also, make sure to see how the different tags are performing by clicking on them, check that they are still being used actively in your niche, and every so often switch up your hashtags if you find some that are more relevant or are performing better.

30 Art related hashtags

#artflowsessions #artgram #creativityfound #communityovercompetition #doitfortheprocess #carveouttimeforart #createcultivate #verilymoment #arte #cylcollective #designsponge #dsart #dscolor #colorpop #studioscenes #artsanity #inspiremyinstagram #australianart #australianartist #handsandhustle #calledtobecreative #interiorart #interiordecorating #interiorstyling #interiorandhome #foundforaged #abstractpainting #abstractartist #abstrakt #artiste #kunst #mycreativebiz #art_gallery #art_we_inspire #art_collective #craftsposure #creativehappylife #passioncolorjoy #postitfortheaesthetic #abmlifeisbeautiful #colorcrushcreative #bigmagic #abmlifeiscolorful #mybeautifulmess #makersgonnamake #instartist

In the next article we will discuss identifying your audience and how to boost their engagement

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