How To Use Instagram Hashtags

Like everything in social media, change happens often and quickly. Instagram has changed quite a bit in a short time – and changed hands as well. But some change is good and when it comes to social media, I’m all about keeping up with the Joneses.

You may have noticed that instead of people just throwing down a hashtag omelette of ugliness right in their post captions, now they’re putting them in a comment. I am all for this!

First off, let’s look at what hashtags are actually useful for.

Hashtags are only useful for searching. But the great thing is we don’t need to see it for it to work, only bots do. Hashtags in a photo caption are going the way of keyword stuffing at the footer of obsolete webpages (back in my day, kids! You won’t remember this, luckily!) – it’s a dead practice. Don’t do it.¬†Instagram is really about beautiful images, so don’t spoil it with a mess of hashtag diarrhea.

Instead, use the caption space for short form story-telling. Describe your image. Talk about what it means for you today and your motivation for capturing/sharing it.
And for goodness sake’s, USE THE SPACE. Don’t leave it blank! Don’t waste a perfectly good opportunity to show people your brand and personality.

You can still use hashtags, but Instagram is limiting people to 30 hashtags per post, so choose wisely. Please don’t put random tags about things that are not in your image. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

So how do we make hashtags pretty again? We hide them from humans, but keep them visible to bots. Best way to do that is in the comments – yes, you have to comment on your own post. Since Instagram does have a certain amount of navel-gazing, this shouldn’t be a problem for most. Only thing is you’re going to comment in such a way that most people don’t realize you’re commenting. You have to make space using periods.

It’s going to come out like this:

PHOTO
caption caption caption caption yay more captions

Comment: .
.
.
.
.
.
#hashtag #hashtag #hashtag #hashtag

Which looks like this on Instagram:

instagram_screenshot

This my friends, is how we make Instagram beautiful again.

It’s that easy! Get noticed!

And feel free to follow me on Instagram.

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