If you’ve been following along on the blog, you know that I’m obsessed with Instagram. In the past, I’ve shared about the 5 Mistakes that Most People are Making on Instagram Stories and even about one of the biggest concerns I see floating around entrepreneur forums—How to Attract Real Clients (rather than other creative professionals) on Instagram.
Today, I want to share about a hashtag hack that has dramatically improved my Instagram reach and has enabled me to consistently share strategic, individualized hashtags with every piece of content that I share on the platform. I’ve been using this platform ever since the Rising Tide Society Leader’s Retreat in New Orleans when my friend and travel blogger, Tiffany Mast, recommended it to me.
Photo by: Jess of Cheers Babe Photo
Intro to Hashtags:
Why should you use hashtags?
Using hashtags allows you to connect with other users who are searching for or engaging with particular categories of content. It also begins to identify your content as relevant to specific groups of people, depending on which hashtags you use.
Currently, Instagram allows a maximum of 30 hashtags per post and it appears that the algorithms still penalize users for using hashtags that aren’t relevant to a particular piece of content. This makes it crucial to be intentional about the hashtags that you’re using and to ensure that you’re not copy and pasting the same list of thirty hashtags every single day for months on end.
Intentional hashtag usage and content-dependent selection will go a long way in communicating to Instagram that you are a human and not a bot.
Where should you place hashtags?
Whenever there is a hashtag that you want your audience to see, place it in the Image Caption right below the introductory text. This hashtag is called the “Overt Hashtag” because it will always remain visible above the latest likes and comments that follow. Hashtags placed in the Image Caption are often relevant to current conversation or intended to be seen (and learned) by your audience. This is incredibly useful to photographers who want to group together their professional images or bloggers who want to highlight a body of content.
For Strategic Categorical and Searchable Hashtags or “Covert Hashtags” as they have come to be known, be sure to post these hashtags directly into the first comment below the caption. Once subsequent comments are posted on that particular image, the long list of hashtags you shared in the first comment disappears discreetly! You can also add five periods spaced out on separate lines to ‘hack’ the visual display and condense your list of hashtags into a discrete […] icon.
Once you’ve mastered that, you’re ready for my new favorite Instagram Hashtag Hack.
Meet Display Purposes
Display Purposes is an online tool that makes it easy to search for, identify, and copy a strategic list of hashtags to paste directly into the first comment on Instagram. This hashtag search engine has become my daily method for quickly choosing which hashtags to include on a particular piece of content.
I access this website from my phone shortly after posting an image to Instagram and quickly copy a new list of hashtags to paste into the first comment.
Using the Tool is Simple
Step One: Type in a hashtag that you know relates to a particular piece of content. (If you need help with where to start, I created a list of The Best Instagram Hashtags to use that can serve as a foundation!)
Step Two: Select how many tags you’d like to include. It’s automatically set to 30 tags, however I normally decrease it to 15 or 20 tags.
Step Three: Hit “Copy Mode” and make sure the five dots are selected.
Step Four: Paste hashtags into the first comment below your latest Instagram post.
Click to play the video above!
I also love viewing their hashtag mappings and it can show you the connection points between different hashtags—painting a picture of how everything fits together. I’ve included an image of the Display Purposes map for #risingtidesociety that you can view below.
I hope that this tool will be a huge help to anyone who is trying to diversity their Instagram hashtag usage and simplify their process! Check out Display Purposes and let me know what you think.