4 Types of Instagram Hashtags

October 25th, 2016

Meet the Author

Maddie Short
Maddie is a Annapolitan photographer obsessed with monograms, Lilly Pulitzer, and happy hour.

Hashtags are the best way to get your Instagram posts seen by potential customers or clients. Using the right Instagram hashtags on the right posts can gain you valuable followers who care about you and love what you do.

First, we’ll start with showcasing two locations where we recommend using hashtags: in the caption and in the first comment. 

Caption (Overt Hashtags): These hashtags are specifically connected to your business or are intentionally placed in the caption in order for the audience to see them.

Comment (Covert Hashtags): These hashtags are designed to be hidden and are purely a part of your overall strategy.  

There are a few different types of hashtags, and they are all used for different types of content posted on Instagram: 

Geographical hashtags — Geographical hashtags are great for reaching a local audience. For a lot of business owners their target market is in their local community, so these tags are a great way to reach potential customers. Geographical hashtags can be thought of as a formula:

City OR state + profession
#AnnapolisWeddingPlanner
#VirginiaCalligrapher
#CaliforniaMUA
#CharlestonArtist

Geographical hashtags are great for connecting with people who are local to you, and for a lot of small business owners, local clients are their biggest market. When using geographical hashtags, remember to keep it simple! Another good tip is to look up hashtags beforehand to see which ones are more popular. For example, #AnnapolisMD has 15,986 tags while #AnnapolisMaryland only has 2,975 tags.

Industry Hashtags — Industry hashtags are tags that other creatives/business owners use to connect with each other. These tags are perfect for people who market themselves to other creatives (for example: brand designers). Some examples of these tags are #creativeentrepreneur or #communityovercompetition. The idea behind industry hashtags is that you can use them to find your niche market. For example, #MarylandWeddingPlanner and #MarylandPlanner are very similar, but one has 2,155 posts and one has 177. Do some research before deciding on which hashtags to use!

Categorical Hashtags — These hashtags are tags that potential clients are most likely searching that set your work into a specific category with the hope of expanding your reach and growing your business.

Imagine you are someone that is not in the creative industry and you are looking for creative services… You most likely wouldn’t know about hashtags like #pursuepretty or be browsing #risingtidesociety everyday (like we know you are!). You would search for more simple hashtags, like #BrandDesigner or #GraphicDesigner. If you’re in the wedding industry, think about what couples look up when planning their wedding! This extends beyond your occupation and into related terms and concepts. Here are some examples (remember: think simple!!)

#AbstractPainting #PreppyWedding #PeonyBouquet #Handmade #Etsy #BridesmaidsDress #WeddingCenterpieces #BridalMakeup #CalligraphyQuote 

Personal Hashtags  Personal hashtags are tags that allow you to show off your work! If a potential client finds you on Instagram and sees one of your personal hashtags, they might click on it and see all the other images of your work that have this tag. Instagram is already considered a “mini-portfolio”, but having personal hashtags allows you to separate your content into different categories. For example, if you travel a lot you could create a hashtag specifically for your travels, or you could create a hashtag for a hobby you have. Some examples of personal hashtags are:

Travel | #CJKtravels
Portfolio | #HandspunHoneys
Lifestyle | #DollsPartyPretty
Hobby | #MRSmakes

One thing to remember when creating personal hashtags is to look them up beforehand to make sure no one else has used them! You want this tag to be all your own, so create one that is only yours and that people will remember!

Hashtag Glossary for Creative Entrepreneurs - What hashtags will boost your Instagram strategy.

We also created this nifty Hashtag Glossary for you to reference as you build out your business strategy! Enjoy!

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