Hashtags Explained

Hashtags wield fascinating powers. They are the keywords and phrases that make an image searchable, so your post gets discovered by the viewers most interested in seeing it - otherwise known as your target audience.

But to harness these targeting powers, you have to use the right hashtags.

If your mind is racing with keywords, that’s a great start. But, the first rule when it comes to hashtagging is to narrow it down.

While #art is extremely popular (it’s tagged in over 350 million posts), it could also apply to anything: someone strolling through the Met, a box of pastels, a styled plate of food, or even a sunset - all extremely different results.

That’s why you need to get specific.

“As a user, I’m more likely to find what I need if I search for something specific, and when your business comes up for my specific search request, I’m more likely to be happy with what I found.”

Think about the exact keywords your audience will search for. For instance, #abstractart may be more specific than #art, but #blueabstract might be specific enough to bring you a new buyer.

You want your hashtags to be popular enough that people are searching for them, but not so popular that you get lost in the competition.

Type a hashtag into Instagram’s search bar, and it shows you related hashtags to add to your list. Or, take a look at what other artists with the same audience are using, and try them for yourself.

Instagram allows you to use up to thirty hashtags at a time, but different numbers work for different people. The magic number could be seven or it could be twenty. The best way to figure out what works for your art business is to simply test it out.

Social media success is all about testing the waters and adjusting your sails accordingly.

And for faster posting, keep an updated doc full of different hashtags for different kinds of posts. That way you can just pick and choose the ones that fit and copy and paste.

Post your hashtags in the first comment of your post to keep them tidy, or drop them a few lines under your description by using dot points.

I hope this sheds the light on the mysterious world of hashtags! If in doubt, keep it simple.

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