Commercial photography is a broad term covering several different niches of photography that is used for commercial applications, ranging from product to fashion photography.
Some commercial photography niches are more prominent on Instagram than others, but irrespective of your focus area Instagram offers an opportunity to build an audience for your work.
That said, simply being present on Instagram isn’t enough to achieve this objective.
To build your audience and brand you will need to have a solid handle on what Instagram hashtags are and how to use them to promote your commercial photography business.
What are commercial photography Instagram hashtags and what do they do?
Instagram hashtags are user-generated keywords that are used on the app to categorize images and make them searchable.
Many users also use these keywords to provide context for their images, although they were not specifically designed for this purpose.
Others simply sprinkle them at random over their posts without having any clear vision of what they want these hashtags to accomplish.
To get the most out of hashtags, you must focus on their primary function – which is to help users find images relevant to the hashtag.
How Instagram hashtag searches work
When you enter an Instagram hashtag into the app’s search bar it will pull up a list of related hashtags, displaying the number of posts for each of these.
Once you have clicked on a hashtag, Instagram will pull up the hashtag and display relevant images. This is done in two different views.
1. The default view is ‘top posts’. This is typically restricted to the nine most popular posts for the hashtag on desktop, while a greater number of posts will display for popular hashtags on mobile. Post popularity is defined primarily by the number of times the post has been liked.
2. Besides top posts there is also an option to view ‘recent posts’. This displays posts for the hashtag from most recent to least recent. This gallery has no image limit, and you can scroll through it until your reach the very earliest images for the hashtag.
The two search views for Instagram hashtags also appear if you tap on a hashtag from another image.
How to use commercial photography Instagram hashtags
Many commercial photography Instagram hashtags are niche, which gives you an advantage from the start as you face less competition.
However, you still need to use them correctly to exploit the publicity opportunities available to commercial photographers on Instagram.
Your primary objective is to get your Instagram post to appear in the top posts section of Instagram searches for the hashtag you are targeting, and where possible to have it appear at the top of recent posts for as long as possible.
You can achieve this objective by following this simple rule: ensure your hashtags are relevant to your photography niche and the image being taken.
You can do this by:
1. Using your specific niche of commercial photography as a keyword, for example #advertisingphotography.
2. If your location is important, use the location as a keyword, for example #advertisingphotographylondon.
3. Include the topic of the image in the hashtag, for example #kitchenproductphotography.
4. Include the style of the image in the hashtag, for example #architecturalportraits.
You can use one of these approaches or combine them. Your goal is to find a sweet spot where you are not up against hundreds of thousands of posts, but are also not using a hashtag nobody else has used or has interest in.
A major advantage of using this approach is that your hashtag will also be more relevant to the audience searching for it, which means your image is more likely to be exactly what they are looking for.
This in turn will drive genuine engagement with your content and help you build up a more engaged and enthusiastic audience than you would by targeting generic keywords.
How many post likes do I need to appear in the top posts?
The more engagement you have with a post, the more likely it is to appear in the top posts section for a hashtag.
The exact number of likes required will depend on how popular the hashtag is. If there are a high number of daily posts you are likely to require thousands of likes to secure a top posts slot.
For less popular hashtags with thousands or tens of thousands of posts, getting your likes into double figures can get you a position in the top posts.
Once you get a place in the top posts it tends to create a snowball effect, attracting more likes and extending the period your image will be visible in this gallery.
How many Instagram commercial photography hashtags should I use?
While it may be tempting to load your commercial photography images with hashtags, this can confuse viewers and will not help your images to become more visible.
Rather stick to using hashtags that are directly relevant to your image. If you take this approach you’ll never hit Instagram’s 30 hashtag limit.
The most popular commercial photography hashtags for Instagram
The most popular hashtags for commercial photography will depend on the niche you are targeting. The following table lists more generic commercial photography terms.
Connect with clients on Cherrydeck
Instagram is an important platform for building your commercial photography brand. However, it was not designed to help commercial photographers connect with potential clients.
That’s where Cherrydeck has filled the gap.
We recognize the challenges that professional photographers face in the competitive digital environment and offer a platform designed to help photographers connect with potential clients.
Signing up to our busy platform is 100% free and it is quick and easy to create a profile for your beauty photography business.
Once you have signed up with Cherrydeck you’ll also have access to:
- 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 find out more.
For more insights have a look at the Cherrydeck blog.