Do you struggle to find the right hashtags for your Instagram account? Are you using random hashtags like #love #fund #weekend and don’t see more engagement from it?
You are not alone. When it comes to the right hashtag strategy a lot of people are struggling.
After working with clients from different industries I saw that most of them are doing the same mistakes and by avoiding them, they already got much more engagement and figured out a good hashtag strategy for themselves.
Here are the four most common mistakes:
Hashtag is too “big” for your account
If you are using hashtags your goal should be to make it to the top 9 pictures because you want as many people as possible to see your post right? If you are using a hashtag like “love” with over a billion (no kidding go and check it) pictures in there, your chances are basically zero. On top of that your picture will probably be seen 10 seconds and then there are already so many new posts that no one sees or likes your picture. That’s a waste of a hashtag.
By looking for niche hashtags for your industry with not too many pictures you increase your chance to make it to the top 9 pictures or at least your picture is in there for more than just a few seconds.
So think about it. If you want to post something about traveling don’t use #travel. Think about your niche. It could be about women who travel like #wearetravelgirls #sheisnotlost or about the place you are traveling to. You could use the country, but it is probably still pretty big so you could use a location in that country. Like #zurich if you are traveling to Switzerland.
Pretty much for every industry, there are niche hashtags and you just have to find the best ones for your account.
Hashtag has bad content
Once you found a few hashtags with not too many pictures in there go and check out what pictures are in there. Who is using that hashtag? Is it your target audience? When I first traveled to Bali I used #Indonesia which not only has too many but also some really bad pictures. There are a lot of commercial pictures in there and also some adult pictures. Definitely not my target audience. So make sure you really check all your hashtags. Click on a few profiles and see if it’s your target audience. For me, #wearetravelgirls is perfect because it is all women who like to travel so my account gives them the pictures they want to see.
Hashtag has no content
You can create your own hashtag like #nadinehasthebestaccount but then who is going to click on that? So I branded hashtag is only useful if:
You are a big brand
Running a contest
Just want to collect certain pics in one place like #nadinechillingonthebeach
One self-made hashtag can be fun and you can even put in the caption, but don’t wait for too many hashtags.
Using a broken/banned hashtag
Nowadays it’s pretty hard to keep up with Instagram’s banned and broken hashtags and if you use a banned hashtag your whole post might get banned which means it won’t show up in any of the other hashtags you are using. You are the only one who sees the post and you won’t get any more likes.
Everything that is related to something naked is definitely banned, which makes sense, but did you know that these hashtags are broken too?
- Saltwater ( I loved that one)
A broken hashtag is different than a banned hashtag and will most likely just removed the most recent hashtags but the result is pretty much the same, you won’t gain more engagement.
Here is a list of a few hashtags that are broken or banned for now but Instagram is constantly changing the list.
To make your life easier I created a little hashtag library for you. In this pdf, you will find a list with different hashtags for different industries. Just pick the ones that are good for you and copy/paste them to your post.