The key to building a following on Instagram is to use the best photography hashtags. While colour composition, subject and lighting are all important, you still need hashtags to make sure those who would be interested in the image will see it. That's because hashtags are searchable keywords people type in to find a particular style of images from different photographers. In fact, users can choose to follow a hashtag like they would an influencer online. That's why it's important to set the right hashtags for your images because the right one can net you a lot of followers (or at least a lot of views).
Tips for choosing the best photography hashtags
Finding the best photography hashtags is not a straightforward process because what might be the most popular hashtag may not be the most suitable one. Finding the right hashtags means due consideration to several factors. Here’s what you can do to find the best hashtags.
Scope your fellow photographers
Whether you are on Instagram, Facebook or any other online platform using hashtags, you need to take a look at what other photographers are doing. Take a look at what hashtags your fellow photographers are using will reveal a treasure trove of the best photography hashtags, especially in terms of relevance and niche. While photographers can source their hashtags, you don’t want to rely too much on unique hashtags because there might not be much traffic from them. Sourcing hashtags from your fellow competitors can save time, while also giving you several relevant hashtags.
Maintain a balance
The best photography hashtags are well-balanced and complement each other. You can’t just draw up a bunch of hashtags and expect to build a following. This is because you need to take into account the number of photographers using that hashtag and the type of users searching for it. For example, if you pick a popular, but common hashtag, you could tap into a large well of users. However, there are plenty of photographers using the top hashtags, which means your images will be lost in the shuffle.
Secondly, the traffic will be too general and people searching these tags may not be interested in what you have to offer. On the other hand, selecting hashtags that are too niche means more invested followers, but a very small crowd. What photographers need to do is maintain a balance between search popularity and niche. The best photography hashtags involve a combination of popular tags, moderately popular tags, niche-specific tags and branded hashtags. As a rule of thumb, you want to avoid hashtags with more than 5 million posts because your own work will be lost in the nether pretty quickly.
Create your own hashtags
Another option is creating your own hashtags. Creating a hashtag is easy (and fun) because there are several sources of inspiration to draw from. For example, you can create a hashtag based on a specific theme. However, it's a little tricky to create the right hashtag because, more often than not, these hashtags don't generate much traffic. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it because there are times when creating unique hashtags is important. For example, when you are building your brand. Fortunately, there are several tools available to help identify suitable hashtags, like hashtag generators and analytics tools. Hashtag generators are tools that can generate tons of hashtags in seconds. Hashtag tools are not perfect, but if you are looking to save time, you will not find a better tool at your disposal. One drawback is that some hashtags will not be relevant to the niche or have much interest. Hence, you will want to do a bit of research before adding these hashtags to your images.
Some platforms, like Instagram, have analytics tools to help you determine the most suitable hashtags. With an analytics tool, photographers can analyse their images to see which hashtags are generating the most traffic and the number of impressions coming from each hashtag. You can use the information to see which hashtags are most suited to your brand. Unfortunately, there are some caveats to using analytics. Staying with Instagram as an example - users must switch to a business profile to use analytics, which may or may not be something you are interested in doing. However, out of all the options we mentioned here, creating your hashtags is the most fun. But, it's more than just creating something that sounds clever. You need the right tools to validate these creations.
Get the best hashtags
Make it a point to select the right combination of hashtags to your profile, but also join hotly debated conversations (to build awareness) and organise your posts (make it more convenient for your followers). However, to use hashtags, photographers need to know about the tools and thought processes that go into selecting the right hashtags. Finding the best photography hashtags is not an easy process, but once you find them, they can be the most efficient way to grow your profile.