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What's up with #hashtags?

Let’s talk about hashtags.

For the longest time, I only used them ironically when speaking to friends. #yolo

After starting the Montreal Makers Market and Kitschsy, I truly value them as a branding tool.

Here’s what I’ve learned about utilizing hashtags as a tool for Instagram.

(This is 100% based on my own trial and error approach.)

Use the maximum

You can use 30 hashtags per post and 10 per story. Go for it!

Make them subtle

Comment your 30 hashtags instead of adding them to a post unless your post is long enough that they don’t show up in the feed. For your 10 story hashtags, make them as small as possible. Use your fingers to make them so small that they disappear or hide them behind the post you’re sharing. They can still make a big impact if they’re invisible.

Diversify your hashtags

What is this? A stock portfolio? But in all seriousness, if you use a very common hashtag, you’ll get lost in searches. If you use a rarer hashtag, you’ll flood the feed. Find your balance. to start, I suggest 5 common, 5 rare, 10-15 average, and 5-10 content-specific hashtags.

What's your goal?

Who do you want to see your content? Are you in a rush for followers or do you want to create a meaningful community? Are you looking to befriend other makers or find customers? Your goals will shape how you craft your hashtags.

Check out other creators

Search your city or a specific hashtag of your interest, scroll through the most popular ones and the most recent to see their hashtags. There are infinite possibilities so see what works for others and see what works for you.

Create your own branded hashtag

Go into the search option of Instagram and type in your brand name. Look through and adjust the wording until you can find one for yourself with 0 other posts. Start using it as 1 of your 30 every time you post. When people purchase from you or participate in one of your events, get them to use your hashtag. They don’t have to be complicated, for example, mine are #Montrealmakersmarket and #Kitschsy. If your brand name is taken in a hashtag, try adding what you create or the city you live in. Ex: If I made candles and Kitschsy was taken, I could make my hashtag #KitschsyCandles

Location, location, location

Are you looking to gain followers in your city, your province, your country, or the world? Hashtags can specifically target areas so make a goal for how far you’d like to reach. I find it's easier to work on growing locally before setting your sights globally. Adjust your goals as you grow.

Build a community

If you’re banking on others discovering you via hashtags, you’re going to have to give what you get. Regularly search the hashtags you use to genuinely like other creators’ content and you can build a wonderful, lasting relationship. Give some love to get some love.

Change it up

I like to change my hashtags every few months to keep things fresh and make sure I’m reaching new communities. Maybe there are 10 hashtags you absolutely love. You don’t have to give them up, you still have 20 to play with! Don’t get stuck in monotony.

Here are some examples of the hashtags I’ve been using and their breakdowns.

This is based on our hashtags as a business in Montreal, QC. You can check back on our later posts to see previous hashtags used.

We’ve got 24 hashtags here that are based on our interests and our targeted locations, along with our branded hashtag. This leaves us 6 content-specific hashtags to use per post.

Play around with your hashtags and keep discovering new ones.

Which hashtags work best for you?

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