How to use Hashtags on Instagram in 2018

How to use Hashtags on Instagram in 2018

We all know we're supposed to be hashtagging on IG, but how do you hashtag the right way?

Surprisingly, just hashtagging every IG post with #music and #guitar isn't actually going to do much for you. You can't just go on there and hashtag every noun you see in your picture or video-- you need to get a little more strategic about it. I'll show you how, and stick through to the end because I have a tool just for you that helps you ocmpletely skip over this entire process.

Also, as always, if you have a burning question, tag or DM me @thegrowcode on Instagram. Maybe you'll end up in my next video!


Hashtags are Communities

Like I said, hashtags aren't just nouns. Yes, those exist, but the really useful ones are communities. Sometimes they're curated hashtags, as in an account will be consistently combing through posts using that hashtag so they can feature it on their feed. (Which you can do by tagging @thegrowcode in your pics and using #TGCvideos on your music posts)

The thing is, people follow hashtags. And now with the recent updates, #s can actually show up in your feed. So it's even more important to get super specific with your hashtags. This could be as simple as tossing #music away in favor of something more accurate like #americanamusic.

You only get 30 hashtags, use them wisely!

Bigger isn't Better

There are two ways for people looking at hashtags to find you: 

  1. The most popular posts using a certain hashtag show up in the top 9, which creates a compounding effect--you're popular so you get better real estate, and because you have better real estate more people will see you, and you get more popular.

  2. The second way is that people scroll through a hashtag and look at what was most recently posted.

One of the reasons why a more general hashtag (and I'll pick on #music again) isn't very useful is because SO MANY PEOPLE are using it--that means there are literally billions of posts at every second showing up in the #music feed. Your content will get buried in the feed itself, and you have zero chance of showing up in the top 9 unless you're a megastar

You need a Mix

The best hashtag strategy has a diverse mix of popular-but-not-crazy-huge hashtags and smaller, easy to "beat" hashtags.

When I say "beat", I mean that there aren't too many other posts to contend with, so you have a higher chance of consistently showing up for people in teh feed and getting into the Top 9. Crushing these smaller hashtags is important because your popularity in those will help you rank higher in the more crowded tags.

But again, you don't want to put ALL your points into tiny hashtags, nor all into big ones. It'll take some testing to find out which ones perform the best for you, so don't get discouraged if the strategy isn't perfect at first.

In Summary

So for a quick recap: don't use massive hashtags because you'll get buried, and make sure you're using a mix of smaller hashtags that you know you can crush and somewhat-bigger ones that will get you seen by more people.

Don't want to do all the work to find the right hashtags? Lucky for you I've already put in the hours. 

I've built out a list of 240 music-related hashtags, grouped by topic, and analyzed for how good they are. You can check it out on my website or by going to the link below. Seriously, this will save you hours of work!