When’s the last time you sat down and spent an hour on your hashtag strategy? If your answer is “uhhhh…” hang on a sec. ? It is absolutely worth an hour of your time. Think of hashtags like search engine optimization (but less scary). Hashtags catalog your content so that users who are searching for Your Thing can easily find it. Add them into your posts and you’ll see increased traction for sure!

  • One of the most common mistakes that we see with hashtags is that they’re not relevant or stuffed with industry jargon. What’s your audience actually searching for? What type of inspiration do they go heart eyes for? That’s what should be in your hashtags.
  • Hashtags are mini communities! Use them to connect with perfect fit clients or folks you’d like to collaborate with in the future.
  • Use a mixture of small & large hashtags… but mostly small. DON’T OVERTHINK THIS PART. But here’s the recommended breakdown:
    1. A small hashtag is 0-100k posts (use about 20 of these)
    2. A medium hashtag is 100-500k posts (use about 8 medium)
    3. A large hashtag is 1m+ posts (use about 2 big)

Okay, you’ve got the gist – but how do you go about finding hashtags for your posts? You used to be able to pull up a hashtag in the app and find related ones that way, but Instagram removed that feature back in 2020. Here’s what you can do instead:

  1. Go to iqhashtags.com and create a free account. 
  2. Search for a hashtag that you’re curious about. You can filter this down by size so you’re only pulling up the hashtags that work for you!
  3. Organize them all into a spreadsheet like this one and you’ll always be able to pull up a fresh set of hashtags for your posts. (Don’t forget about the local ones!)

The next step is to find out which hashtags are actually working for your account! There are two ways to do this – the first way is easier, but it doesn’t work for everyone. (I used to be able to do it and I can’t anymore, which is a bummer. Luckily there are other ways!)

  • Go to your IG profile
  • Tap Insights
  • Tap on Content You’ve Shared > Posts
  • Ensure that your posts are being sorted by Reach. (Shorten the timeline to get to-the-minute hashtags)
  • Open a top performing post
  • Hit the blue Promote button on the bottom right and run through the prompts
    • Don’t stress too much about your selections here, you’ll be cancelling the promotion before you get charged
  • Tap the blue Create Promotion button
  • Hit okay on the prompt and you’ll be taken back to the original post. Tap the Pending Approval button.
  • Click on the View Insights link and scroll down. You’ll see the list of hashtags that got you the most impressions! Jot ’em down.
  • When you return to manage your promotion, you will now see the option to delete under View Insights. Hit Delete Promotion and you’re good to go! Woohoo!

Confused AF by this explanation? Watch the video here.

If that doesn’t work for you, try this:

  1. Go to keyhole.io and sign up for a free trial.
  2. Geek out about all the fun data they have for you. 😍

Don’t know what to talk about? We gotchu. The Toolbox includes DAILY story prompts that are more than just fluff like what you had in your coffee or what your toddler is up to today (newsflash: nobody cares). Sign up here!