How to succeed on Instagram using effective hashtags

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Hashtags are one of the most fundamental aspects of Instagram. They enable you to reach a new audience much more effectively and simultaneously increase your engagement rate. Many users neglect hashtags, which is an extremely counter-productive decision to make as it limits your reach. The fact is that over 95 million photos are added to Instagram every single day, making it easy for your content to get lost amongst the rest. In order to reach a larger number of people, using hashtags is absolutely vital, particularly when trying to reach new people.

As an artist, something to remember is that using non-relevant hashtags will make you look rather unprofessional. For this reason, not all of the top hashtags will be ones that you will want to use. Many of the hashtags will look out of place if used on your content and should be avoided. For example, #selfie #love #cute will all send completely the wrong message and leave users confused about exactly what your brand is. Ultimately, if you make it too clear that you’re just trying to get extra likes by using irrelevant hashtags, you will appear desperate on the platform.

But what have been the most-used hashtags of 2018? These are the ten hashtags that have been the most-used so far this year.

1. #love
2. #instagood
3. #me
4. #cute
5. #tbt
6. #photooftheday
7. #instamood
8. #iphonesia
9. #food
10. #motivation

Instead of trying to use all of these hashtags for your content, focus on the ones that could fit well with your content, and figure out a strategy to place them effectively. For example, you could post a #tbt (throwback Thursday) post every Thursday looking back on an old photo from your childhood or an earlier stage in your career. You could also use #food if you’re visiting a restaurant and want to share your meal. Lastly, #motivation could be a good choice if you’re working on something productive, it could also be a great method for giving your audience a hint about upcoming content.

As well as the overall most-used hashtags, there are also the top trending hashtags that can give you an insight into what is popular right now. These are the top twelve trending hashtags.

1. #life
2. #travel
3. #fitness
4. #repost
5. #igers
6. #instadaily
7. #followforfollow
8. #likeforlike
9. #nofilter
10. #ootd
11. #fashion
12. #fun

Like the previous hashtags, not all of these will be relevant to your content so should be avoided. Great options for artists could be hashtags like #travel and #life as they could be closely linked with content while on tour. #life could be a regular feature on your Instagram posts as it is non-specific and will not look as forced as using a hashtag like #fun which has a less professional feel.

When using hashtags, a great tactic is to add them as the first comment rather than the caption. This way, the vast majority of your audience is unlikely to see them unless they actually open the post. Also, you can remove the top comment later if you don’t want your audience to know that hashtags have been used. Published images look a lot more professional without visible hashtags added, making hiding your hashtags a great way to add a more legitimate feel to your profile. When choosing which hashtags to use, it is important to think about what kind of content your ideal fan might be searching for on Instagram. Think about what your potential fans might already be into and try to find hashtags that will direct them to your content effectively.

It is also important not to over-use hashtags. If you add a hundred hashtags to every post it can come across that you are desperate for interaction and will stop at nothing to gain likes. Even though all of your content will require thorough planning, the key to success on social media is making your content look effortless. If it looks like you’ve been sat for an hour typing out hashtags, people will have the impression that you have nothing better to do with your time. Despite social media becoming much more integral to brands over the years, the key to successfully using it is being as casual as possible, while maintaining a professional exterior. Often, the only way to find out if a hashtag is suitable is to search for it yourself. Do some research and figure out which hashtags have content that is similar to yours. This way you can tap into that audience and draw them over to your profile effectively.

One final benefit of researching your hashtags is actually taking a look at your own hashtag. For example, Hardwell might search #hardwell on Instagram to see what is being posted. By liking or commenting on posts that hashtag your name you will encourage people to post your hashtag even more often, building up conversation around your brand. Engaging with content that focuses on your brand through Instagram can only be beneficial for you long term.

Hashtags are vital to finding real success on Instagram. Without using hashtags it can be difficult for potential fans to find you on the platform. Think carefully about which hashtags you’re going to use in order to avoid looking desperate or confused. By adding your hashtags as a top comment, you can discreetly encourage more engagement and tap into new audiences. Looking at the top hashtags can provide real insight and help you to decide which hashtags will be best at helping your content succeed.