In this article, I’ve outlined a simple but effective starting point for finding hashtags when you’re not too sure where to start!
- Start with competitors
- Broaden your options with Flick
- Finding the perfect hashtags for your account
As an example, I’m going to use a photographer who posts portraiture content and receives between 200 and 300 likes per post.
🕵️♀️ Start with competitors:
Luckily, when it comes to hashtags, tens of thousands of Instagram users have already tried reaching a similar audience and have done a portion of the initial work for us!
Let’s start by finding a few popular accounts that post similar content to you.
For this example, I’ve searched ‘Portrait photography’ on Instagram to locate a few accounts.
Now, have a look through a couple of the accounts until you find one that you like! Ideally, an account that posts content similar to the post you’re about to make.
Interestingly, most accounts that appear in the search will use hashtags. This is because Instagram uses hashtags to classify accounts – something you can learn more about in our Complete Guide to Instagram Hashtags.
- The captions of their posts
- The first comments on their posts
Pick out a few hashtags from each account that are related to your content and note them down.
Using a couple of accounts found from my initial search, I’ve chosen:
🚀 Broaden your options with Flick
Now you’ve gathered the appropriate foundations, let’s build on this.
IMPORTANT: Make sure you don’t have any search filters active (by not using filters, we’re allowing Flick to find the most diverse set of related hashtags).
Search each of the hashtags you noted down earlier, in Flick.
If you’ve searched five hashtags as I have, you’ll now have 50 different hashtag options (10 for every hashtag searched) that we expand upon.
Now is when we want to apply search filters.
You can use Flick’s suggested filters (we’d advise this). Alternatively, set filters manually based on your pre-existing strategy.
For the account I described above, I’ve applied filters that:
- Ensure the average likes of the hashtags returned are less than 350
- Ensure there have been more than 5,000 posts into the hashtags returned (media count)
Now, expand relevant hashtags from each of your initial searches and select appropriate and relevant hashtags as you go.
It’s worth reminding yourself that the hashtags you’re seeing after expanding are the optimal size for your account, so your job (at this stage) is to find the most relevant.
Pro Tip: Building a hashtag strategy is a marathon, not a sprint. Start with finding a few nice sets of hashtags and focus on optimizing once you’ve got the hang of this part first!
You can either export these straight to your clipboard or add them to a collection. We always advise building up your collections so when it comes to posting, you can pick and choose hashtags from different groups!
Here’s my final hashtags, that are:
- Related to my content
- Related to my account
- Rankable for my account
#kings_portraits_ #femalephotography #portraitholics #top_portaits #londonheadshotphotographer #portraitvibes #portrait_photographer #discovercreatives #dopeportraitssa #portraitsphotographer #feedmeports #visualtones #vancouverportraits #featuretheframe #modelslouisiana #lenslife #ishootpeople #killerportraits #portastic #brake_frames #vscocollective #myvsco #vscodays #moodylookz #portraitshotz #potrait_universe #portraitnation #womenpotraits #atlantaheadshots #londonheadshots
All hashtags receive between 250 and 300 averages likes on the content that is ranking in the top 9.