The Ultimate Instagram Hashtag Strategy

Updated August 2021

Gone are the days of #like4like and getting hundreds of likes on your posts. If you're still using that hashtag, we strongly advise you to stop. Now you've got to do a lot more digging to find some gems but once you do the work, these will serve tenfold. We're going to take you through step by step...

1. List all of the broad topics that apply to your business niche. ⁣

E.g A yoga teacher: Yoga, Health, Wellness, Mindfulness ⁣

2. Dive into each of those and find the 'sub-niche' and 'community' hashtags.

These are the ones that are more specific and tend to be longer. ⁣
E.g #yogainspiration #healthymindhealthybody⁣

3. Now check that each of these has under 500k posts in them.

Ideally, you're looking for something under 200k if your Instagram has under 20k followers.⁣

4. Now check the top posts in those hashtags and look at the number of likes the top posts are getting.

If they're getting around the same number that you do (give or take 50 likes) keep them on your list. Scrap the rest. ⁣

The hashtags you have left will be small enough that they don't have new posts every half a second, and feature posts with the same amount of engagement that you typically get to allow you to compete and have your post seen at the top. ⁣

5. Look at the top 9

Once you've found those hashtags that meet the criteria, you want to take a look at all of the posts in the top 9 for each of those hashtags.

6. Go through THEIR hashtags

In each of those top 9, check for any hashtags you don't already have on your list and go through the process again for each one, either adding it to the list if it meets the criteria or scrapping it.

This will take an hour or two and you'll be going down lots of rabbit holes. But trust us - this is how you find those hidden gems! ⁣

7. Categorise your hashtags and list by size ⁣

Every time you find a good hashtag, add it to a list under each sub-niche category.⁣ You should have a range of much bigger and much smaller hashtags under each sub-niche.

Every time you post, find the sub-niche lists that are most relevant to the post and take a mix of some of the smaller and bigger ones.

8. Take note of the posts that get the best reach from your hashtags and start to rank the best hashtags.

Eventually, you'll find the most effective combinations and will be able to refine your list.⁣ We'd recommend repeating this strategy every quarter to ensure your hashtags are up-to-date.

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