By Gina Ladelfa

The Power of Hashtags

Pictures are the bread and butter of many social media platforms. The old phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” rings more true today than it ever has before.

Say you have a great picture that you received after a photoshoot, and you’re ready to share it with the world on social media. How do you make sure that your content is reaching the right audience? 

250 million photos are uploaded daily to Facebook1, and 95 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram every day2. There is so much content for users to sift through that your content will need a little help to be discovered.

This is where hashtags come into play.

What is a Hashtag?

A hashtag acts as a label on your post, making it more discoverable. The name comes from the hash character (#), used to signal the link, and the word in question, creating the tag. Hashtags are used to label or define the content in the post. This way, users can search for relevant content by exploring hashtags that match their interests.

There are over 500 million posts with the #photography hashtag. The chances that your photography post will be discovered in that vast sea of other photos are small, so it’s important to also include hashtags that are more focused on your specific content. A mix of broad and narrow hashtags is the perfect recipe!

Google search for the hashtag “photography”

For example, Natalie Fox Photography is a photography company run entirely by members of the LGBTQ community. Hashtags can be used to describe the picture in the post, but they can also provide context about the company. Take this photo below, for example. In order to stand out, hashtags such as #millennial #LGBTQ #businessprofessional #vans #raybans #applewatch can be used.

Photo taken by Natalie Fox Photography

You might even want to use a hashtag or two when you are writing out the text for your posts, such as “Happy #Friday! What are your #weekend plans?”

How Many Hashtags Should I Use Per Post?

There will be a point where there are too many hashtags added to a single post. Sometimes, less is more! You want the hashtags to supplement the post, and not to take away from what you are trying to say. Flooding your post with hashtags can even lead to what’s called shadow banning. More on that later. In general, it’s recommended to use about 5 to 7 hashtags per post. 

When Should You Use Hashtags?

Hashtags are used on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, and TikTok. Whenever you post on there, use them!

If you are looking for some hashtag inspiration, search the trending hashtags on your preferred platform. There you’ll see which hashtags are trending in real-time.

How Do I Know What Hashtags are Getting Users to my Content?

It will be hard to tell which of your hashtags are working, because you can really only see overall post performance. Once you start using hashtags on a regular basis, you can look for a correlation between a post’s success and the hashtags used for that particular post.

If you have your Instagram account set up as a Creator or Business Account, you can see how many users were brought to each of your posts based off of your hashtags alone. 

See an example of hashtag insights below, where hashtags accounted for 70% of the total impressions on a post.

Instagram Creator Account hashtag insights

I have more hashtag questions

We can help! Send us an email and we can help you determine the best hashtags possible to help you achieve your goals.