Instagram is hard. A a real pain in the ass for any and all professionals looking to gain ground in building a following and hoping to eventually gain just a little bit of fame. How do we measure that fame? We measure it in followers, likes, comments, and overall engagement on the platform. Over six years I've been on this platform and found myself taking more than a few routes to do what I can with what I've got. If you want to get a little push ahead of the, it starts with hashtags.
Well, it's not all about hashtags but I'll admit hashtags have helped people find my work and after digging up the analytics on posts I am seeing a far bigger jump in impressions than before without using them. That and we all want a way to beat that damn Instagram algorithm.
1. Smaller is better
This idea has been circulating for a little while and I have to admit I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner. Years ago when I first started taking Instagram more seriously I used various creative hashtags to build a portfolio of images for fun. Never did I think those hashtags would gain steam and create a community of others that love to follow
It goes like this; you want to find hashtags that are smaller in size. Something that has 100,000 or less is best. These are usually community tags specific to a style of shooting you are looking for that have more eyes on them than say #beautiful. I remember early on almost every tag was small and would gain steam as you simply posted and tagged more. Just remember building a community around you slowly is always better than some quick fix like buying likes or followers.
2. Notes + Apps
As you may already know, Instagram caps out how many hashtags you can use on a single post to 30. That is within the main caption as well as the comments. I personally, like many others, post my tags in a group within the first few comments of my recent post. This keeps it away from the main conversation. I also like to add a handful of dots or periods with a hard return after each before adding the mass of hashtags so when the comment is compressed they will hide within the post.
This is also a fun easy tip, within my notes app on my iPhone I have slowly collected groups of 30 or less tags in various categories. This allows me to easily access them to copy and paste quickly. So, I essentially have a set for any and all photo types with tags that I have gathered including one for portraits, landscapes, architecture, etc. Here are a few just for you guys to get started below!
#ic_architecture #icu_architecture #jj_architecture #creative_architecture #arkiromantix #tv_architectural #lookingup_architecture #unlimitedcities #arquitecturamx #excellent_structure #sky_high_architecture #architecture_greatshots #minimal_lookup #diagonal_symmetry #art_chitecture_ #tv_leadinglines #rustlord_archdesign #srs_buildings #ptk_architecture #archi_features #landscapelovers #unitedstatesofamerica #igersusa #loves_united_states #americandream #unlimitedusa #iphoneography #iphoneonly #iphonesia #iphoneography
#landscape_lovers #sky_captures #landscapephotography #fantastic_earth #landscape_captures #ic_landscapes #ig_exquisite #nature_wizards #nature_shooters #landscapestyles_gf #ourplanetdaily #landscapehunter #special_shots #naturediversity #landscapelovers #earth_deluxe #instanaturelover #nature_prefection #nature_brilliance #gottalove_a_ #landscapelovers #unitedstatesofamerica #igersusa #loves_united_states #americandream #unlimitedusa #iphoneography #iphoneonly #iphonesia #iphoneography
#HypeBeast #vscoportrait #ig_mood #discoverportrait #portraitphotography #profile_vision #bleachmyfilm #postmoreportraits #portraitpage #igpodium_portraits #portraiture #makeportraits #ftwotw #makeportraitsnotwar #quietthechaos #makeportraitsmag #expofilm #humaneffect #portrait_perfection #agameofportraits #landscapelovers #unitedstatesofamerica #igersusa #loves_united_states #americandream #unlimitedusa #iphoneography #iphoneonly #iphonesia #iphoneography
There are a handful of solid apps out there that allow for you to create tags around various categories but one that stands out and I have been using for a few months is Focalmark. It's super easy to use and allows you to pick the camera you shot with, the locations you shot the photos, and the category. Be sure to check it out!
3. Simply Engage with Others
This has been a fun one for me a long time now. This takes a bit more work but has a huge payoff if you keep at it. If you are posting a series of photos that are similar or within a specific category then why not seek out tags with that same theme. If I know I will be posting a ton of landscape photos or travel photos from Florida I will find a tag I think will fit in that theme and go through and like and comment on as many photos as I can in 15 minutes. Genuine comments if I can, questions are always good to boost the momentum that someone is engaging back with you. As they see you on their page liking and commenting they will also see the photos they enjoy on your feed. The slow play here is they will eventually follow along.
Now, with any of these tricks they are simply a small boost to the big picture and not a guarentee you will gain more engagement. Though i will admit I have been back on the grind of making sure I am posting often and making sure to use tags specific to what I am shooting. Experimenting with smaller known tags along with using Focalmark it seems to be boosting overall views by far more than I expected.
As always, if you have questions or want to know more about tips and tricks about Instagram, photography, or anything about me and what I do please feel free to reach out and of course be sure to check out my YouTube page where I will be sharing more on the same subject as well as tech reviews.