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You've posted gorgeous images on Instagram posting witty captions and using Plann to make sure your feed is up to date. Yet, you feel that your posts have been attracting crickets, but that no one has actually seen your fantastic content.

The good news is, if you're already creating great shared content, then congrats -- you're already well on your way to success! There's another element to the Instagram puzzle: hashtags!

Powerful hashtags

Hashtags function as road signs that guide people to your Instagram profile! Consider them as your own little Google keywords that allow people to find your profile. They help you be more visible to those who aren't following you, and allows you to be part of bigger conversations online.

However, knowing how to identify Instagram hashtags that you can use is among the biggest pain points and where many users get tripped up. What hashtags should you be employing? Should you include them in your captions or in your posts? How do you determine which are the right ones to use, to ensure that you are discovered by your ideal audience.

Never fear, we're here to help you navigate the maze of hashtags, so you can choose the most appropriate hashtags to get your content seen by just the appropriate people.

What hashtags should you include when using Instagram?

Instagram allows for 30 hashtags that you can use on each post and we strongly recommend taking advantage of the entire 30 hashtags -- since this lets you reach a larger audience. This may sound like much but the more hashtags you employ, the greater users will see your posts!

There is no strict rule for when to put these captions in your captions, or even in the first comment. It will look more professional in your first comment, but it's also easier to schedule before you caption.

You can change it up by using hashtag collections

However, you shouldn't wish to make thirty hashtags time and again! Not only is the Instagram algorithm is said to be unfavorably impacted by doing this, but it also means that you'll likely be constantly attracting those same users.

It's essential to keep your content fresh and regularly mix the hashtags you use. What is the best method for doing this is to use Hashtag sets!

In Plann you can build smaller hashtag collections which you can choose and pick from each time you make a post, until you reach your 30 hashtags total. We recommend using around 5-10 hashtags per set, in accordance with your theme for your strategy (which you can choose to set in Plann's "strategy" section.)

So, you might have a hashtag you've set up for your thought leadership posts and another one for inspiration, another for education , and the list goes on! Perhaps, for instance that you're a makeup blogger and you've got your own, personalized strategy prompts created in Plann -- such as beauty inspiration natural skincare positive for acne, and so on. You'd have targeted hashtag sets stored in Plann within those categories which you can duplicate and add to captions by pressing of one button.

How do I find the most relevant Instagram hashtags to use

So, how should you approach using hashtags in the content you post on Instagram posts? The best place to start is to think about what kind of content your potential viewers are likely to be searching for.

So, say you sell products for cats and your customers are cat owners and cat lovers. A great place to start is with #cats however, as we'll cover in the next section, this might be a little too high-competition. So, you'd want to search for related hashtags to that hashtag.

The method to do this is by going to your Instagram feed, and typing "cats" into your search bar. This will show the dropdown menu for similar hashtags to the search phrase, as well as how many posts they've been featured in.

It is also possible to take the search one step further by choosing one of the hashtags in the list. You'll then see another set of hashtags listed on above the display as shown in the photo below. This is an excellent base for building your hashtag collections on Plann together!

Another hashtag research strategy is to check out your Instagram accounts of people who work in your field to discover what hashtags they're using . Then, repurpose some of them for your own.

Size matters

Hashtags could be described as a Goldilocks situation. It is best not to choose hashtags that are either too big or smallinstead, you want to use a mix of small-to-medium rivals that work. If you're using hashtags that are too popular (think hundreds of thousands of posts), you risk your content being buried by a flood of posts and nobody seeing it. However, if you're using hashtags that are so particular and niche that they only have the tiniest of people mentioning it, it's unlikely that anyone will ever search for it.

To figure out the amount of pictures posted with a particular hashtag simply type the word you'd want to use for hashtag into Instagram's search button on Instagram. Then check the number under the hashtag, as shown in the image below. This number indicates the number of photos that use this hashtag are being posted on Instagram in the present.

What is a suitable dimension for a hashtag?

To attract people who are really interested in your posts In order to attract people who are truly interested in your content, look for Instagram hashtags that have under 500k posts (unless there is a greater following or a REALLY engaged one, then look into using larger hashtags). And don't be shy of adding hashtags with a count of less than 20,000 and these could be the ideal spot for those who are extremely engaged.

Another reason to look for Instagram hashtags that are in the middle of the spectrum and smaller hashtags is the visibility. When someone conducts the search on Instagram, the most popular photos sit in the Top Posts section. The rest of the photos are listed chronologically in Most Recent, as shown in the picture below.


"If the hashtag contains millions of photos in it like #beach then any photo not

making it to the top of the page, it will then drop down to being buried in seconds."

Imagine that you snapped a photo of the beach in Santorini. The photo will have much more of a chance of getting to the top spot of Top 9, if you choose to use the hashtag #santorinigreece which has under 100,000 photos within it, and not #beach.

Make sure you know!

Let's be a little more inventive with the hashtags. If you're a style stylist, you'll be attracted to post a photo with the hashtag 'fashion'. With over 350,000,000 views on Instagram, you now know your post will be seen for all of a split-second on the first page of results for the hashtag #fashion. Instead, we can get targeted and narrow down a bit according to your company and the image you're posting.

Under #fashion, you will find fashionstylist with over 2 million posts. Much better. You post your photo and you'll get lots of likes and others will recognize you as a fashion stylist.

But we can still do better. You can think of other keywords you would use for your business. For example, you want to inspire your followers with some fashionable new trends, a good hashtag would be #springstyle or #winterstyle based your location. With over 500,000 views on Instagram with these two hashtags you're more likely to show up there than on #fashion. However you're able focus on what your customers are looking for. Hurray! Now you can build your hashtags list, choosing ones that really represent your company and offering.