We’re all familiar with Instagram fashion photographers who stick a long list of hashtags on every image they publish and the #cringe-inducing effect this has on the viewer.
This type of misuse of Instagram hashtags is so widespread, and ineffective, that photographers may end up concluding that hashtags don’t offer much value.
The truth is that, when used properly, Instagram hashtags remain a free, powerful way for fashion photographers to market their images and services.
With that in mind we’re going to explain what Instagram hashtags are, how to use them and which Instagram hashtags you should be incorporating into your fashion photography portfolio.
What are Instagram hashtags and what do they do?
If you’ve spent any amount of time on Instagram, you’ll be familiar with Instagram hashtags.
The way they function is simple: a keyword is paired with the # symbol to make Instagram images discoverable to other users using hashtags to search the app or browse content.
This means that hashtags are not all that different to the keywords you use when browsing search engines like Google.
As with search engine keywords, hashtags allow creators to make content visible to other people searching for those keywords while also helping other users find what they are looking for.
How to use Instagram hashtags
Many photographers use as many popular hashtags as possible to increase the size of the potential audience of Instagram users searching for these hashtags.
While this may seem like a good idea, it achieves the opposite of the intended effect. Images usually disappear almost instantly beneath a torrent of new images published under popular hashtags.
Instagram hashtags should instead be used to improve the chances of an image appearing in the ‘Top posts’ section of a hashtag search or appearing for an extended period under ‘Recent posts’.
Two things are going to determine whether you achieve these objectives with your hashtags:
- The number of likes your post has.
- The competition levels for the hashtag.
The best way to maximise your chances of getting likes and appearing for less competitive hashtags is to be specific when using them.
Zero in on the unique features of your service and images. For example, if your images are focused on men’s fashion use #mensfashion and if it’s winter, use #wintermensfashion.
It is also a good idea to include location keywords in your hashtag selection. That will serve the dual purpose of making you visible to a local audience while reducing competition levels.
By being more specific with your hashtags you will also tend to attract more engagement and followers because your images will be more relevant to the audience searching for them.
How many Instagram hashtags should I use?
Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags per post. Don’t try to use all 30 available tags on every post.
Instead stick to using keywords that are highly specific and where you can stand up to the competition. Go for quality instead of quantity and you’ll never come close to 30 hashtags.
How many post likes do I need to appear in the top posts?
The amount of likes you need to appear in the top posts for a hashtag will depend on how popular the hashtag is.
You can find out how popular an Instagram hashtag is by searching for the hashtag and looking up the number of posts that appear for it.
As a rough rule of thumb, take the number of posts appearing for the hashtag and divide it by 1,000 to figure out how many likes you will need to rank in the top posts.
That means 20 likes will probably get you into the top posts for a hashtag with 20,000 posts, while you will need 5,000 likes to get seen in the top posts for hashtags with 5,000,000 posts.
If you’ve been on Instagram for any length of time you should have an idea of how many likes you get on average, which should give you a realistic idea of which hashtags you should target.
Fashion photography hashtags for Instagram
As you’re now aware, fashion photography hashtags for Instagram are most helpful when they are accurate and specific to the image being shared.
They are also most effective when the number of likes you typically receive for your posts will give you a shot at appearing in the top posts for that hashtag.
As such, a fashion hashtag copy and paste approach is probably not going to get you the results you are looking for – unless you already have a large following and high engagement levels.
However, fashion shoot hashtag lists can provide an insight into what is currently popular on Instagram and can give ideas for more specific Instagram hashtags.
Here’s a list of some of the most popular, and useful, fashion photography hashtags.
Get discovered on Cherrydeck
While Instagram hashtags can be a useful marketing tool, they were primarily designed to categorize images and make them searchable — not to connect photographers with potential clients.
That’s where Cherrydeck comes into the picture. Cherrydeck is a specialist online platform designed to connect photographers and potential clients.
Sign up with Cherrydeck and you can quickly and easily set up a profile that will make your portfolio visible to a large audience of users searching for photography services.
Besides getting the attention of the right people, you’ll also benefit from:
- Being able to discover new commissions and collaborations made available on our platform.
- Tools to boost your Instagram reach and following.
- Discounts on software for creative professionals via our Partner Deals program.
- The ability to present your events to our large creative community.
Visit Cherrydeck now to sign up.