Stephen Travers Art

Things I’ve Learnt About Hashtags #1

InstagramStephen Travers

Use all 30 Hashtags, Every Time


Why wouldn’t we?  If we post on Instagram we must be interested in people seeing our work – or we wouldn’t bother. Hashtags are a way of people who don’t know we exist, finding our posts.  A sort of index, or cross referencing system.  Every tag has the potential to reach someone who may like our work - although some have more potential than others. (They also enable us to connect with other Instagram users. Some of the feeds I follow I found while perusing various hashtag options for my posts). How does an artist in Australia end up with more followers in Moscow or Mexico City than his home town of Sydney?  Hashtags.


Two days ago Instagram offered me the chance to participate in a trial which gave me new analytics.  (That’s how I learnt about Moscow and Mexico City).   For my only post since then, it tells me that 117 people saw that post from hashtags, and 34 from Explore, which is partly tag-based.


It can seem like a lot of input work at first.  I used to have lists of tags which I chose from, but I have so many in my head now that I tend to just use them randomly.  Takes me 6-7 minutes to attach 30 – but compared to the work I’ve done to create the post, that’s nothing at all.


At one stage early on, my new follower growth had hugely dropped, so I decided to use 30 new tags.  It’s not the only factor, but I saw an instant spike in followers with that post.


If you think a large block of 30 tags clutters up your post, then do as I do and make the tags a comment. Totally out of sight unless someone looks at your comments, but they work exactly the same way as when attached to the post.


The maximum really is 30.  Don’t bother trying to post more.


That said, some tags are really a waste of time – and a waste of your 30.  They may be popular, but they give you virtually no chance of anyone seeing your post. Next blog I’ll tell you how I worked out which tags were most likely to make my posts more visible.