We’ve noted many times that hashtags are the key to discovery on Instagram. We also know it’s easy to get stuck in a rut of using the same hashtags on your Instagram posts once you figure out which ones your community uses and you establish a good posting cadence.
It’s important to take a little time to experiment with some new hashtags before you notice engagement dropping. Here’s exactly how you can do a regular hashtag refresh to encourage discovery of your content, and even a bonus time saver for adding the hashtags you do regularly use to your posts.
How to hashtag refresh
Instagram’s mobile search is the key to this tactic, but you do need to do a little bit of groundwork first. Using something like our free Instagram account checkup or more comprehensive Instagram analytics, make a list of the hashtags that are currently getting you the most engagement on Instagram.
Once you’ve got those, it’s time to plug them into Instagram’s mobile search, like this:
While this already gives you a nice list to start working from, clicking on any of these hashtags will also take you to this screen, giving you another rolling list of clickable related hashtags:
We recommend clicking through a hashtag before you use it to see how it’s being used in general; some hashtags will mean something different from what you might first assume, or they might just be flooded with spam. Either way it’s a better use of your time to find another hashtag to experiment with to boost your reach.
If you have a list of influencers and/or prominent people in your target audience, spend some time clicking through their posts to see which hashtags they’re using that you’re not already. Use the same method above to find even more related hashtags and work from that completely list to experiment, adding previously unused tags to your new posts when appropriate.
We’re not suggesting you add all of the new hashtags you’ve found to every post you upload from now on, just that you definitely use the most relevant hashtags for each post and stick to around 7-10 hashtags per post.
Bonus: Hashtag shortcuts
Did you know you can create shortcuts in your phone with lists of hashtags? This tutorial shows you how, so you can have keywords you type that pop up a handy list of commonly used hashtags, saving you from typing out each one every time.
Just be sure to also update these shortcuts when you find new hashtags to experiment with!