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Did you know that the hashtag #beautyblogger is banned? And might hurt you if used? Today we’re chatting about how to avoid that and a few other surprising Instagram hashtag tips that you didn’t know.
And that will help grow your account faster.
I’m going to admit, in the beginnings of my Instagram journey I was barely using hashtags. Which is why I wasn’t really growing.
So I decided to start implementing hashtags because I had heard of how useful they are. I had no idea HOW to use them though.
I would basically just type random ones I could think about whenever I posted a new photo. However, hashtags like #style #fashion #baby #blog …those are going to get you nowhere.
It took me quite a while of trial-and-error, along with a lot of research to figure out these proven hashtag strategies that I’m sharing with you today.
6 Surprising Instagram Hashtag Tips
Now I may not be a “huge” Instagrammer in comparison to a lot of massive accounts out there. BUT I have massively boosted the growth of my audience in the past few months.
And it’s something I am quite proud of because I think having a highly engaged audience and quality content is much more important than just numbers.
I’ve even had brands work with me on paid projects because of this, despite being what they call a “micro-influencer“.
I’m not saying this to brag in any way. I just want to point out that you don’t need hundreds of thousands of followers to start making an income from social media.
If you see an account that has say 40k followers, but barely gets 100 likes per post and maybe 1 comment…it kinda looks suspicious.
Anyone can tell that those followers were bought and that will actually hurt their account in the long run.
Brands see right through that too and they want high engagement rates in order to collaborate with you.
Alright, let’s get into the Instagram hashtag tips you need to know.
1. Misconception about hashtags: Use only 10-20
If you don’t already know, Instagram allows you to use a maximum of 30 hashtags per post. And a maximum of 10 hashtags per story.
So the question that often arises from this is:
Should you use the full 30 hashtags? Or will that be considered spammy?
Apparently there’s this “conspiracy theory” going on that if you use more than 10-20 hashtags, Instagram will penalize you in some way and hinder your growth.
From my research, that is completely untrue.
And it makes total sense. If Instagram specifically says you are allowed to use 30 hashtags, then why would they go and penalize your account for following THEIR rule?
I have tested the theory myself. I tried posting for a little while just 10-20 hashtags to see how they perform in comparison to the posts where I use 30 (niche targeted) hashtags.
And I have consistently seen that using 30 hashtags is your best bet at growing faster on Instagram.
The screenshot on the right is from one of my most popular posts that got quite a lot of likes quickly after being posted, which then led it to be featured high in rank in a lot of hashtags that I used for it.
That is how hashtags help you grow and bring more eyes to your content.
2. Why super popular hashtags are your enemy
Go into your Instagram search bar and look up a very generic hashtag. Let’s say #fashion. At the moment it has 763 million posts.
Now go to the Recent tab of the hashtag #fashion, wait for a few seconds and then refresh the page. The posts that you see on that page have completely changed, haven’t they?
That’s because there are sooo many posts being published every second for that hashtag and they all get buried by new ones super fast. Which is why if you post using this hashtag, your photo will get lost in that sea of millions and will not be found.
I have talked more about how to find good hashtags in these two posts:
What you basically want to aim for is low-key hashtags that get a decent amount of eyeballs, but that have a lower competition.
When you are first starting out, go for 10k to 100k popularity for your hashtags.
You can see the number of posts that a hashtag has here:
In those 30 hashtags that you will use, you can include a few bigger ones to experiment with as well. For example, you could go for 25 hashtags 10k-100k and 5 hashtags 100k-500k.
3. Hashtag research is key
Now that you know how many hashtags to use and how popular they should be – where do you find them?
My main strategy for finding good hashtags is straight from Instagram. I go into the search bar and look up hashtags using words in my niche (like style, outfit, fashion, mom etc.)
Then out of the suggestions that pop up, I mostly choose the ones that fall under 100k.
I make a list of 30 hashtags on my phone and I have that to just copy-paste whenever I post.
4. Diversify your hashtags
Using a wide variety of hashtags will give you a better chance of ranking high for one or a few of them.
The way you do this is you repeat the process I described above and create a few sets of hashtags you will use. Each set being 30 hashtags.
You save these sets on your phone in any notes app and then just whip them out when you need them.
It’s good to diversify your hashtags in order to reach more people, so give this strategy a try and you will see results for yourself.
5. Don’t use banned hashtags
I have recently discovered that there is such a thing as banned hashtags. Including some random ones like #beautyblogger or #fitnessgirls.
You can find updated lists of banned hashtags with a simple Google search.
These have been banned due to spamming, inappropriate content and other problems within that hashtag. The thing is, if you constantly use a banned hashtag, Instagram might penalize your account and prevent your posts from having a good reach.
Try to check them once in a while to see if you’re good to go.
6. Use hashtags that are relevant to your picture
If you’re posting a photo of your outfit, don’t use #homedeco in your hashtags. That’s just a random example.
You need to use hashtags that are actually relevant to your content.
Because people who are scrolling through Instagram will not tap on a photo of a dog if they’re looking in the hashtag #coffeemugs. Know what I mean?
The more relevant you can make them, the better your post will do and the more people you will reach.
If you found these Instagram hashtag tips useful, you might also like:
- How to get your first 1000 Instagram followers
- 7 Instagram hacks you didn’t know
- FREE Lightroom Presets (I have three of them)
- FREE Instagram Highlight Covers
- How to make Instagram highlight covers easily
- How to create a perfect flatlay
What are some tips you have learned while being on Instagram?
Did you know about these Instagram hashtag tips already?