hashtags

How To Research Instagram Hashtags For Your Niche

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Hashtags. A dirty word for you or are they just plain boring? I get ya, I’ve been there, sitting on my sofa on my phone, wracking my brain figuring out what kinda hashtag I should put next on my post.

 

The secret to having a great relationship with your hashtags is definitely not trying to magically think them up as you are posting. That’s something that I will help you get out of. Not only will you be able to sit back and relax once you’ve written your fab caption, but you won’t have to worry about hashtags for 2 months, or thereabouts.

 

How is that possible? By spending 60 to 90 mins today researching hashtags in your niche. Once you do the research, you can separate your hashtags into sets and use an amazing app to put them together for your post.

 

So are you ready to forget hashtags for a bit?!

Let’s do this!

Step 1 – Instagram Search Bar

I do advise doing this on a desktop, but only because it’s more comfortable to type. Open up two programmes: Instagram on your browser and a notepad (or Word doc). On Instagram, type the hashtag symbol followed by the main thing that you do – so #yoga #businesscoach #homemadejewellery #fitnessinstructor etc. Before you press return, take a scroll down the list of hashtags and start typing some of them out onto your notebook. Try and choose ones that are relevant still to what you do – so for example if you are a Yoga instructor and teach in classrooms, don’t use the #YogaOutside hashtag (unless you then do a post of you doing Yoga outside).

My best advice when doing this is to only choose hashtags that have more than 1000 uses of it, but less than 1m.  Too few uses means there won’t be many people searching for that hashtag, but too many and you won’t be found in all that competition.

Try this with a few more keywords from your niche until you get a healthy bank of hashtags written down.

Step 2 – Find Instagram Influencers

Now find an influencer or two in your niche who has great engagement. Look at their profile and their posts so that you can see what hashtags they are using to gain traction on their account.  You may find that they aren’t using any, so just move onto the next account when that happens.  By looking at hashtags that others are using, you can see whether they work for you too.

Step 3 – Get Planoly

Planoly is an app for Android and iOs; there’s so many scheduling apps out there for Instagram posts, BUT I am recommending this one solely for the use of the hashtag sets. As you can see from the video below, you can create hashtag sets using your research above. Then when you come to post your pictures to Instagram, you can simply click what hashtag sets to add.

Et Voila, you no longer have to think about your hashtags!

Disclaimer

At the beginning of this blog, I mentioned that you wouldn’t have to think about hashtags for 2 months. This is because it’s good to revisit your hashtag research every 8 weeks or so to make sure that you are not missing out on any up and coming hashtags that are now trendy, or that some of your hashtags haven’t been used too many times. Once they go over 1 million uses, you want to take them off your list unless you are growing your followers and engagement at a high rate.

Why You Should Avoid Using Popular Hashtags

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If you are a yogi and you post on Instagram using the hashtag #Yoga, do you know how many millions of posts you are competing against to get yours seen?

59,676,703 at the time of writing this post.

Not only are you competing with that many other posts, you are also being very broad with your marketing and not honing in on your target audience and niche, which is the secret to success in the online world.

Let’s face it, if you conduct yoga classes in central London, you are probably not looking for people in Australia to follow you unless they are moving to London and want to find a yoga class to attend.

In this short video exercise, I explain how you can do the research to use less popular hashtags on Instagram to be able to reach a much more targeted audience.

For those of you who don’t want to listen or watch my video and would prefer to read, her'e’s a brief summary of my video:

There’s no harm at all when using popular hashtags that have been used millions and millions of times. However, we want to try and get you to use hashtags that are less well known so that it helps your engagement.

How to find hashtags that are less well known

The best way to find new hashtags for you to use is via the Instagram search function. So let’s say you are a pilates instructor, then type in #Pilates into the search bar, but do not press search. Lots of hashtags will then drop down that have the word pilates in it, and Instagram will tell you how many times they have been used.

You want to find hashtags that are:

  • relevant to you - so #PilatesAustralia isn’t a relevant hashtag for you if you are in the US

  • have smaller usage than a million preferably, but it’s ok to pick some that are less than 10,000 and some that are less than 100,000 too. The smaller the hashtag, that more likely that you will rank in the top posts for that hashtag, which means you will get more engagement.

Using these new hashtags

Once you have found a selection of good hashtags to use for your nice, copy and paste them into a notebook on your phone, or somewhere convenient so that you can access them at a later date for your posts. It’s not good to always copy and paste the same hashtags every time you post, but using a selection of them is always helpful for the algorithm to know you are not a spammy user.


If you want to learn more about how to do the research for your hashtags on Instagram, take the Hashtag Quiz. It will help you understand what kind of hashtags you need to use on your account to be able to grow organically and increase your engagement.