How To Use Hashtags On Instagram and Where To Find Them

Instagram is still my favourite social media platform out there. Yes, despite algorithms, despite the constant changes, and the slow in growth... I still love it! Nothing beats the sense of community on Instagram, and I am constantly coming across more amazing creatives, and always making new friends.

But enough gushing about how cool Instagram is... let's talk Hashtags!

What is a Hashtag? 

If you're totally new to the social media game, hashtags may seem really confusing. However, if you're serious about using social media for your business, then you need to know how and why to use them! 

On Instagram (and Twitter, and now Pinterest too!) a # hashtag turns any word into a searchable keyword. This means that you can use hashtag keywords within your social media posts to make them discoverable. For example, if you wanted to be included in the searches for "UK Business Owner" you would use the hashtag #UKbusinessowner (or something along those lines). You can also click on any hashtag you use, or see, and see what other content is being shared by other people in that niche! Clever, right? 

How Should You Use Hashtags? 

Because hashtags make what you post searchable, you want to think about who might be looking for your content on Instagram. As with everything, you always want to be taking into consideration your target market, but also what is in the image you're sharing. You can use up to 30 hashtags per post on Instagram, and I encourage you to use them all up to be sure your maximising your exposure. 

Let's use this image as an example: 

How To Use Hashtags On Instagram and Where To Find Them // // #hashtags #howtousehashtags #business #entrepreneur #freelancelife #bloggingtips #businesstips #instagramtips #instagramhashtags #besthashtags #cornwall #photographercornwall

This is an image I shared a couple of days ago on my Instagram account. It was taken a few months ago in Santorini, making it a travel shot. It also features the sea. However, if you read the caption, I talk about getting back to work, the new year, and general life as a creative entrepreneur. So instead of just posting #sea, #santorini like might seem obvious, I also am careful to include hashtag's relevant to work as a freelancer, like #cornishcreatives, or #freelance. (Most of my hashtags are in the comment section, which is why you can't see them here... more on that later!). 

How To Know What Hashtags To Post?

There are many ways of coming up with hashtags you can use. Some are very obvious search terms (ie. #photographer), however if you spend some time on Instagram, you'll probably notice that there are plenty of more niche hashtags, like #thatsdarling or #thewildnesstonic.

Some hashtags have enormous followings, and are used very heavily, whereas others are much more niche, and used only by a small group of people. For example, #thatsdarling is a very popular hashtag, and I type this, it currently has over 14 million images under it... thats a lot! However, #thewildnesstonic only has 10,000, making it much smaller. 

There are advantages to both popular, and niche hashtags. A popular one means that your image will have a higher chance of being seen by lots and lots of people. However, it also means that a lot of people are using it. 

An important thing to note about hashtags is that on Instagram, they are displayed in chronological order. That means that once you post an image, and someone else posts an image with the same hashtag, your image will get pushed further down.

This is where the less attractive side to popular hashtags come in: your image will be visible for a far shorter amount of time, because it will get pushed down quickly by other people also using that tag. 

So, with niche hashtags, the reverse is true. You are exposing your image to fewer people, however it will live at the top of the feed for far longer, because fewer people share to it. That means that even a few days after you've posted your image under a niche hashtag, you will most likely still be getting traction from it. 

So how on earth do you know which hashtags to use?!

Well, there's a rule I like to follow.  I like to use half very big, popular hashtags, and half smaller, more niche ones. This gives quite a nice, balanced exposure to your content! 

Where Can You Find Hashtags To Use? 

There are a few ways you can find hashtags to use for your posts. 

1. Use Instagram's Relevant Tags option: If you type any hashtag into Instagram's search bar, and then click on it, at the top of the screen you'll see a section called "Related." These are hashtags which Instagram believe to be in a similar niche to what you've typed in. Take a look through, and save any relevant ones to use for later! 

How To Use Hashtags On Instagram and Where To Find Them // // #hashtags #howtousehashtags #business #entrepreneur #freelancelife #bloggingtips #businesstips #instagramtips #instagramhashtags #besthashtags #cornwall #photographercornwall

Use Display Purposes: This is a website I only recently discovered, but it's great! Type in any hashtag you like, and it will find you 30 more relevant ones. Super easy to use, and quick.

Search in Google: There are loads of articles written now with literally just hundreds of hashtag suggestions. Do some Googling until you find the perfect ones for you!

Look at other people in your niche: Take a look at the hashtag's that your competitors, or people in a similar niche to you, are using. Make note of any good ones for future reference. 

Extra Hashtag tips:

1. Put your hashtags in your comment section: I do this (most of the time) just to keep my captions looking neat and tidy! I think that hashtags can sometimes look a bit messy and distracting if they're in the comment section. Don't worry, this doesn't affect your visibility or have any effect on the algorithm at all. 

2. Keep your favourite hashtags in your Notes app: All smartphones have some kind of "Notes" app. I recommend making little groups of hashtags that you know are great for your niches, so that when you come to post, you're all ready to go. No need to spend ages typing out hashtags one at at time. 

I hope that this has been helpful, and if you have any more hashtag questions, please don't hesitate to pop them in the comment section below and I'll get back to you! :) 

How To Use Hashtags On Instagram and Where To Find Them // // #hashtags #howtousehashtags #business #entrepreneur #freelancelife #bloggingtips #businesstips #instagramtips #instagramhashtags #besthashtags #cornwall #photographercornwall

Should You Invest in Professional Photography For Your Business?

Should you invest in professional photography for your business? // // professional photographer, cornwall photography, UK photographer, business, entrepreneur, small business

Starting up a business is hard work (I know, I've started two!). You put hours of time into it, but more than that, a heck of a lot of love. Starting a business can also be expensive, and come with many hidden costs. Costs of setting up a limited company (if you've gone down that route), paying for a web designer (if you want to), paying an accountant, taxes. It all adds up. 

Professional photography is another one of those costs, and when you've got so much else to have to deal with, it's easy to understand why so many businesses choose to spend little, or nothing at all on photography. After all, the options are endless: you can do it yourself, or purchase some stock.

I know what you're thinking; "You're biased, Olivia, you're a photographer!" And while it may be true that I am a lover of all things photographic, I'm also a consumer, and I like to think that I know a thing or two about marketing! 

The truth is that every single business, no matter how big or small, or who the customer is, should consider investing in professional photography. Here's why: 

Should you invest in professional photography for your business? // // professional photographer, cornwall photography, UK photographer, business, entrepreneur, small business

1) A Picture Is Worth 1000 Words: 

You know that feeling when you click a page and there's no pictures, just lots and lots of text, and you get bored and click away? You want to avoid that. Images convey messages, emotions, and feelings to your customers far quicker than words ever could. 

2) We Live In A Visual World: 

Curation is everything now a days. People are so used to seeing beautiful, perfect, polished images on Instagram, Facebook, etc that if they see anything less, they tend to click off. 

3) Word Of Mouth Starts Online:

Word of mouth is still the number one form of marketing, but a lot of word of mouth marketing now starts with the online world! Friends go places, take pretty pictures, share that on Instagram, and that leads to others heading that way. 

4) Your Website Is Your Second Shop Window: 

And if you're an online business, it's your only shop window! We all know that if we walk down a street and see a beautiful window display, it grabs our attention. Beautiful photographs on a beautiful website/Instagram/Facebook page have the very same effect.

5) You Need To Look Professional:

By investing in good quality, beautiful, professional photographs, you immediately look more professional to your customers. They'll take you 100x more seriously! 

6) Consistency is Key: 

You want your branding and imagery to remain consistent. Professional photographers know how to achieve that, and will work with you to ensure a flow with your business. 

7) You'll Save Time:

This is a classic business saying, but if you don't know how to do something, hire someone who can. In my case, I'm useless with numbers, so I've hired an accountant. This saves me time, allows me to put my focus where it's needed, and ultimately, makes me more money in the long run. 

8) You'll Make More Money:

All of the above reasons for investing in professional photography aren't for nothing; they're for you to make more money, and run a successful business. Investing in professional photography may initially be a big investment, but it will be an investment with big reward. 

Should you invest in professional photography for your business? // // professional photographer, cornwall photography, UK photographer, business, entrepreneur, small business

Would you like to work with me on capturing photos for your business? If so, I'd love to hear from you! Please get in touch via the contact form below. 

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Should you invest in professional photography for your business? // // professional photographer, cornwall photography, UK photographer, business, entrepreneur, small business