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Episode 8: How to use hashtags on Instagram (Q&A)

Are you wondering how to use hashtags on Instagram?

 *This episode contains either affiliate links or links to my products. Should you choose to purchase, the show will go on! Woo hoo!


Listen to Ep. 89: Building Authentic Connections with Kim Stewart

Listen to Ep. 87: Mastering Platform Consistency: The Key to Growing a Super Engaged Following

Listen to Ep. 85: 7 Online Marketing Tools for Entrepreneurs

Listen to Ep. 79: Strategies for Maximizing Your Instagram Live Views

How would you like to up your hashtag game?  If you’ve ever wondered what is going on in the nebulous world of hashtags, you’ve come to the right place today.  And, we’ll talk about what kind of topics to share on Instagram. All this and more, coming up on our monthly member Q&A episode where I answer podcast supporter’s questions.  And if that sounds intriguing, stay tuned because I’ve got a hashtag resource you won’t want to miss!

How to use hashtags on Instagram (Member Q&A)

1. How do you get that “see post” sticker on a shared post?

From Pat Fenner @breakthroughhomeschooling

Here’s what she’s talking about – have you ever watched someone’s story that had a graphic on it? And when you tapped on that square graphic, a rectangle with the transparent words “see post” popped up?  That’s because the person shared someone else’s feed post! So, If I share Pat’s feed post to my story and you view that story and you tap on it, a transparent “see post” sticker pops up.  Then, when you tap on that sticker, it takes you to Pat’s feed post so you can read it!  Make sense? 

Instagram gives us fun little ways to interact and support one another like this!  I usually like to go the extra mile and click the @mention sticker to tag the person so others can know that this photo belongs to Pat or whomever.  It’s just nice to go the extra mile.

2. How narrow should your niche be on IG? Is there an ideal number of topics to stick to?

From Dawn @dawnklinge

Your niche doesn’t have to be super narrow, but you should have one over-arching topic.  The more you do that the better off you are because it helps you to stand out.  But before you go into a brain cramp, just know that another thing that makes you stand out is the variety of posts you share, and that’s where the topics Dawn mentioned comes into play.  There is no set number of topics – you can have anywhere from 5-9, some experts even say up to 12!  

I don’t advocate having that many because you could be super all over the map.  However, you could have 5 topics and then subtopics.  I personally have 7 and it’s a challenge to keep up with them.  However, just know that in some seasons – like a podcast launch for example AHEM – you may only use a handful of your topics and not hit on all of them.  Some people have monthly topics, which I’ve seen that work quite nicely.  It kind of helps your audience to associate what you’re teaching that way.  

For instance, my topics are:

Instagram education
My coaching services or other Instagram products like my Authentic Instagram Engagement Course or my new Go live Jumpstart Kit
My faith
Personal – family, marriage
Travel – although that’s pretty sparse lately
Funny Quotes on mid-life

The main thing is – remember to be real and share the person behind the account frequently – in stories, in the feed, in IGTV, and by going live.  Change it up!  Don’t’ share your product in every single post – that’s the surest way to deaden your audience.  Use variety and jot down a few topics you can share.

3. I’d like to know how to use hashtags on Instagram

From Meg Gleesner @Lettersfromhomepodcast

First, go for the hashtags under 100,000 posts so you’ll have a chance to show up at the top of the hashtag hub. Under 10,000 is even better. More on this later.

Secondly, make sure some of your hashtags relate to your photo, even if that’s not what you’re caption is about. Instagram is cracking down even more on this.

This is how they determine your photo or graphic is valid.

Do your research!  Don’t just throw hashtags up there.  If you’re talking about hair care, find some good hashtags – don’t just throw up #hair – there are over 200 MILLION posts with that hashtag!  If you’re a homeschooler put words together like #lovetohomeschool and not #homeschool with 4 million posts!  How will you rise to the top that way?  My best posts come from well researched, time-tested hashtags.  

If you use a group of hashtags and your post doesn’t take off, don’t discount them, try them again another day or time.  It takes a few tries to use hashtags on Instagram and get traction.

Don’t bother adding hashtags later – like days or weeks later.  Your post is time sensitive so it’s not going to boost it.  It will remain in the same time stamp for that date.

To use hashtags on Instagram and be good at it, you have to do the work.  It doesn’t just automatically happen.  To use hashtags on Instagram and use them well, be willing to put in the time.  

For more information how to use hashtags on Instagram, grab my Instagram Hashtag hack handbook, with 10 ways to reach your audience today! You can have this digital download by going to and donating to the podcast for just $5.00.  And, you’ll get your question answered with a shoutout on the podcast!

Instagram Hashtag Hack Handbook


4. Is it good to use larger hashtags to show up first in the hashtag hub? 

Here’s a method to use hashtags on Instagram: match your hashtags to your audience size. The smaller your following, the smaller the number. I do think there is merit to adding 2-3 hashtags above the 100,000 mark every so often, because you never know when you’ll get seen.  Just don’t focus them all there.  It has worked for me, and it’s also worked for some of my clients! Cathy @Cathy_Lawdanski

Again, the main thing to remember is to be consistent in trying out your hashtags and do your research, don’t just plaster a bunch that you find or that someone’s given you from their free download.  The more you can personalize your hashtags, the better off you’ll be!

Resources Cited
Hashtag Hack Handbook 

Hashtag Formula Toolkit

Authentic Instagram Engagement Course

GO LIVE! Jumpstart Kit

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