Are you Getting the Best of your Instagram Hashtags?

Instagram, a fantastic platform for photo sharing that continues to grow with the addition of video and other features that keep it at the forefront of social sharing.

hashtag1-twitter-instagramIt's a fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures.

“A world more connected through photos.”

Hashtags have become an influential tool associated with all waves of social media, most namely Twitter. But lets not forget, the hashtag has since become universal and is a way to categorise, discover and share content across the web. The famous hashtag has been embraced by the likes of Google+, Facebook and of course Instagram…

So what is best practice for using hashtags when you are ‘Instagramming’?

There is a difference between tagging photos and hash-tagging. Traditionally you could tag your photos and content to categorise, but when using this tool to enhance and benefit your social media, by hashtagging, a whole new dimension becomes apparent…

Firstly it is important to be specific and use hashtags on relevant ‘keywords’ – this will help you to connect with like-minded individuals. For example, if you are tagging a guitar, try to expand on the hashtag #guitar and perhaps use #fenderguitar (presuming that is the brand), and this will ensure those with a specific interest will find you, without the need for sifting through thousands upon thousands of other brands that an enthusiast would know of, take Gibson and Ibanez for arguments sake. People looking for #fenderguitar will find them quicker and easier, and of course, social media is about being instant and engaging. If you were looking for a #fenderguitar you wouldn’t spend hours trawling through a collection of irrelevant images. Being specific will make your image highly targeted.

The next is to be relevant. Make it easy for other users to find you! Make sure tags use words that best describe and categorise your photo…what may seem obvious is often forgotten as there are hundreds of millions of photos on Instagram, therefore being generic is not the best way to make your image stand out from the crowd. This may help you to achieve a few additional likes but will certainly not be as positive in connecting you with individuals that share similar interests to you, and lets be direct – that is the reason why we use social media, to connect with individuals who share a similar interest to us and to find inspiration. Relevant tags will help to connect you with followers who share a genuine interest in your work and those who will continue to engage and interact with new photos you post. A tip to consider is using more than one tag to capture a wider audience, whilst trying to keep them on topic. This will also provide some sentiment to those who share a passion or connection with you. 

Lastly, observe your digital surroundings. Paying attention to other hashtags and ones used on photos similar to yours may open a gateway to new creativity for yourself. You may discover a hashtag you hadn’t previously thought of that better captivates your image. Don’t be afraid to take inspiration from others. It is useful to test the water and perhaps do some searches of your own, brainstorm some ideas and never be afraid to push the boundaries. You may find that commonly used phrases offline are out performed by abbreviations or ‘nicknames’ in the online world. Take #playstation3 vs #ps3. Instinct tells me that #ps3 will return a higher volume of search results as the language is common among those who use such technology. After tagging your photo, you may also find people sharing use variants of your original hashtag, take note and build them as you go on. You can tag each photo up to 30 times.

Remember to help people find your photos by being creative… 

Content Assistant - Jack Cooper - @Coop_ATTACK


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