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Girl Boss: How to use Hashtags on Instagram in 2018

What a hashtag is all about

Recently Instagram changed their algorithm, not a surprise. The new algorithm is based on what type of content each user interacts with. Such as, if the user follows vegan bloggers and searches for vegan recipies on Instagram, that content will be shown more to that user than one who interacts primarily with fashion content. This is where hashtags come in for searching for specific content.

If you don’t know what a hashtag(#) is or its purpose, you’ve come to the right place. A hashtag according to the internet is, “a type of metadata tag used on social media networks such as Twitter and other microblogging services, allowing users to apply dynamic, user-generated tagging which makes it possible for others to easily find messages with a specfic theme or content.” – Wikipedia

In other words it makes searching and finding specfic pieces of content easy on social media sites. To create a hashtag place the number sign (#) in front of your search criteria with no spaces. Adding these hashtags to your posts makes your content easier to find, and you can create your own hashtags.

Examples: #vegan  #vegancooking #veganforlife #vegan101 #thisisoneaswell #PakerKate

You can search hashtags on Instagram in the same place you search for other users, brands and products. The results will show the number of ‘public content’ related to that hashtag. If you search #vegan, it will say under that there is X amount of public posts. TIP: The more specific you are with the search the better the results.


How to use hashtags on Instagram

Here are some of my tips on how to use hashtags to grow your Instagram account and create engagement with your community.

  • Research your topic before posting by searching related hashtags to your content. For example, I’ll search #vegan under ‘tags’ on Instagram to see the volume of public posts and other related tags to #vegan.
  • Next get more specfic with your search, instead of #vegan, I’ll search #veganrecipies and narrow it down even more to #veganpancakes.
  • Click on #veganpancakes  to get even more related and different, but still specific hashtags.
  • Sometimes by just using generalized hashtags with massive search results it will be harder for users to find your content. If you use specfic and detailed hashtags you’ll have a greater chance to standout in a smaller niche-like market. This is why I would recommend using both generalized and detailed hashtags, along with related hashtags to reach your target audience.
  • I would put no more than 30 hashtags in the first comment of your post, or at the bottom of the post description. Use less of the generalized hashtags and more of the related and specific hashtags.

Remember that quality and consistency will further push your content up on Instagram, since the algorithm will favour more recent posts on the search criteria than a post which is a month old. Don’t forget to interact with posts in the same community with authentic engagement and not a generic “cool” or a million heart emojis. Instagram is about connecting with your community and serving your target audience.

I hope you enjoyed this article for my girl boss series and let me know and tips and tricks you have for using hashtags in the comments below!



Larissa Elle


1 Comment

  1. Meg
    July 24, 2018 / 8:49 pm

    Great tips, never thought of the niche hashtags!

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