The other day, I showed my teenage son a post on my Instagram feed. He took my phone and started looking at my Instagram account. Then he said, “Mom you have more followers on Instagram than I do.”
I am not a serious Instagram user. I have been messing around a little with Instagram since last fall. I am not seriously spending time on the platform. Mostly, I play with it to learn more about how to use it effectively.
My son is social media savvy. He runs a YouTube channel. He has a Twitter and Instagram account. He is active on Reddit and Discord. He is no slouch when it comes to social media.
So, I asked him, “Are you using hashtags with your Instagram posts?”
His response was what I suspected. He told me that he was not using hashtags since he is mostly using Instagram to follow and communicate with his friends.
I explained to my son that this is why I have more followers on Instagram than he does. While I do not post much, when I do, I use hashtags. On Instagram (like Twitter) hashtags are how people discover you and your content.
Instagram makes using hashtags easy. When you type the # followed by a word in an Instagram post, Instagram brings up a list of popular hashtags containing that word. You can choose as many hashtags to use from this list as you like.
For example, if I post a picture of my new puppy, and I type #puppy, the following options come up:
I then choose the most popular ones that fit best with my image.
Hashtags can also help you find useful information and resources. You can also use hashtags to find authors and other influencers to collaborate with. When I recently posted a picture of my puppy, I received the following comment on the post.
This company does not follow me on Instagram. Instead, they found me through the puppy hashtags I use on my posts. Clearly, they are using these hashtags to find people who might be willing to showcase their doggy products on Instagram so they can increase their exposure for these items.
You, too, can search on Instagram using hashtags. For example, if you are looking to find more reviewers for your book, you can find book reviewers by using some of the following hashtags:
Hashtags help you gain exposure and acquire more followers as well as finding other authors to collaborate with. So, use them. Use lots of them.
On Instagram, you can use hashtags generously. It’s acceptable to use multiple hashtags in your posts. In fact, you can use up to 30 hashtags per post, but experts say nine hashtags a post is ideal. The more hashtags you use, the more people will see your posts. The more people see your posts, the more your audience will increase and you can gain more exposure for you and your books.
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Photo courtesy of Energepic.com.