Let's Talk Instagram Hashtag Strategy (and Why You Need a Good One)

Let's Talk Instagram Hashtag Strategy (and Why You Need a Good One)

Guys, it's time to talk about Instagram hashtag strategy!

How many of you out there have a strategy for hashtags? 🙋‍♀️🙋‍♀️🙋‍♀️

And how many out there are frustrated with your rate of growth? 🙋‍♀️🙋‍♀️🙋‍♀️ If so, (and I'm guessing that's a lot of you) it's time to take a look at what you're doing and change it. That's why I recommend using a good Instagram hashtags strategy. This is the best way to increase your reach dramatically and find new audiences!

best Instagram hashtag strategy

Instagram is such an interesting place, isn't it? On the one hand, it can be so inspiring! You can find recommendations for everything from recipes to business advice. On the other, if you're a creator, you feel like you're running on a hamster wheel sometimes. Always trying to catch those followers and likes.

We've all been there. I have too.

You feel like it's going fairly well building up your following on Instagram. You're commenting, engaging, targeting people in your niche. You're using relevant hashtags.

And you feel like maybe it's working for a little while... But then it all seems to fall flat.

I've personally been growing my Instagram for three years while working from home, and all that effort has landed me with nearly 80k followers. But when the fall 2020 algorithm update hit, all of a sudden it was hard to get my photos in front of the audience that I'd been investing in for so long. Like really hard.

Even though I had good photos, it felt like I couldn't get anyone already following me to see my posts. Nevermind reaching new audiences! And speaking of new audiences- my hashtag reach was nonexistent. Literally, it was 0 on most of my posts.

At the time I thought I had a pretty good system- at least according to what experts were saying. To make things easy on myself, I would choose 9 "big" hashtags, 6 "medium" hashtags, and 3 "small hashtags to use on in posts.

(One of my old posts has some of my pre-researched travel hashtags, but also has a good explanation of part of my method!)

But it was getting me nowhere. The results were exactly the same as if I would've done nothing at all.

I finally reached a conclusion... this is NOT what Instagram wants me to be doing.

But why?


After tweaking and experimenting, I realized two things...

1) The system of using a certain number of "big", "medium", and "small" hashtags is a little dated... because there's a lot more that goes into ranking in hashtags than how many posts it has.

2) What's working for yesterday might not work today.

You should always be doing the things that are working right NOW. And right now, everything about Instagram is based heavily on algorithms that are always changing.

What does this mean in terms of hashtags? That there's a lot more to be considered than just the size of a hashtag.

"So what does work?" You ask? ...

Knowing performance-boosting insights such as the number of posts per hour, average likes, and minimum likes on each hashtag

I know that's kind of a bummer. We all want to do what we've always done and avoid change. But I have to tell you, I use a new, tested and proven hashtag method for each and every post now. And the results have majorly paid off!

The other thing- it's not as much of a pain as you think! My research usually takes me 5-10 minutes and gets me results like this-

I've seriously been diving into this stuff for so long on my own, I figured it was finally time to spill some of my secrets! I'm going to give you my game plan for exactly what I do to achieve this result.

But first, let's take a look at why you should care at all about hashtags-


1) It Boosts Your Reach

Think likes and comments are where it's at? Think again! The fact is that Instagram engagement has been on a decline across the board for a while now. This is especially important to note if you're working with brands.

In fact, the trend for brands in influencer marketing is more emphasis on reach and impressions. 

Using a good hashtag strategy is one of the easiest ways to get this accomplished. You can get the attention of thousands of people that would never normally see your posts!

I promise... doing this is what regularly gets me an extra 2000-20,000 impressions on my posts!

2) Laser-Focused Audience

Are you looking to get in touch with moms who need new vacuum cleaners? Parrot trainers? Budget backpackers in Nepal? There's a hashtag for that! ###

The great thing about hashtags is that they enable to connect with the exact audience you're looking for. That's why you want the most targeted hashtag strategy possible.

Luckily I have perfected this!

3) It's Free Publicity

Have you ever paid for an Instagram or Facebook ad? If you're doing it solely for exposure, it's usually pretty disappointing.

This is going to sound a bit ranty... but you'd think that with Instagram pushing ads, they'd want to give you the most value possible! Not in my experience. What happens is you plunk down $10, $20, $50.... you get a few new impressions, a handful of likes. And that's it.

When you properly research and implement your hashtags, you get more impressions and likes than ads could ever dream of giving you.

All for the cost of a few minutes of your time!

4) It Builds Community

Sure tons of reach, likes, and comments are always amazing to have. But here's the real kicker- hashtags give you a chance to ACTUALLY connect with new people!

Everyone knows that engagement is 1000% more effective when it comes from a community. Aka, a group of people that are invested in your brand.

When you post consistently using hashtags in your niche, targeting those like-minded people, communities naturally form! You tend to see the same people a lot and make friendships. This is not so when you buy ads, in which case a person will see your post once, then never again.

5) It's your "SEO"

On Instagram, there was actually an SEO feature released recently. However, I'd say that hashtags are even more effective at being your SEO. When you choose hashtags, it's telling Instagram AND new audiences exactly what your content is about.

Which in effect... gets you in touch with the audience you want to reach, and gets you more impressions and engagement.


In conclusion, if you want to watch your engagement and impressions explode right in front of your eyes AND save you time, I'd love to give you a gift! A gift that will save you hours. 

This gift contains pre-researched hashtags, and comes with all that extra-good data. That is- number of posts per hour, average likes, and minimum likes on each hashtag. 

Why are these metrics a GAME CHANGER? Because they unlock insights into whether your post will perform well!

More information = more power. When you look at JUST the amount of posts under a certain hashtag, you’re only seeing part of the picture.

For example, you might notice that a hashtag typically gets an average of 300 likes per photo. You know that yours typically get 500 likes per photo. Right there, you can be sure that yours can rank and get seen. 

The vault makes it a snap to mix and match sets, and pull from the different lists depending on your content so that you'll never have to worry about shadow bans.

Oh yeah, and this vault is 100% FREE.

So, again, if you're looking to get results like this-

You definitely want to download the Hashtag Mini Vault!

Either way, I hope this was really informative :)


♥♥♥ Follow me on Instagram!  @chantillysongs

1 comment

  1. Great tips! Love how you broke it all down to understandable bits! :) Thanks for sharing!



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