How to Find the Perfect Instagram Hashtags


Let’s talk about the perfect hashtags for Instagram.  But before we get there, should I mention that I had an allergic reaction this past weekend while on vacation?  JD returned from a dip in the pool and I asked if my face looked funny.  Bunny?  No, I said funny but my lips were so swollen it got confusing.

After a manic run to the pharmacist, I ended up being the girl swaddled in pool towels sleeping off the calming effects of Benadryl.

So bunny, right?

Where were we?  Oh, HASHTAGS.

I’m often asked how to find the right hashtags to get discovered on Instagram and while I could spend hours chatting about it, I’m going to break down the three most effective steps to finding the perfect Instagram hashtags.

1.  Use Location Specific Hashtags

Using local hashtags is—by far—the most effective use of hashtagging because a person is searching specifically for what you provide in your neighborhood.  For example, if you’re a florist I suggest using city-based hashtags like #LAflorist or #LAflorals or #LAflowers (also be sure to use hashtags with full city identification, like #LosAngelesFlorist).  You can also broaden the geographic scope by using #CaliforniaFlorist, but the smaller the area, the more likely you’ll get sales directly from Instagram as people are often shopping for immediacy and ease.

2.  Use Word Variations

Be sure to hashtag a variety of the same word.  Say, for example, a photographer.  If you want to attract as many potential clients, be sure to exhaust every variation of the word photograph.  Let’s say you’re a family photographer, I’d heavily suggest hashtagging #familyphotographer #familyphotography #familyphotos #familyphoto.  Remember, people search differently on Instagram so be sure to cover your bases.

If you’re looking for bonus cool points, combine Step One and Step Two to create highly specific searches according to Location and Word Variations.  For example: #LAfamilyphotographer #LAfamilyphotography #LAfamilyphoto #LAfamilyphotos #LosAngelesFamilyPhotographer …etc.  You get my point 😉

3.  Think Like Your Ideal Client

Use hashtags your dream customer searches for inspiration.  Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal client and think of who s/he follows on Instagram.  Do those Instagrammers use specific hashtags?  If so, use them too.  For example, a common hashtag for a 20-something female looking for lifestyle inspiration is #thatsdarling, so you’ll see it filled with people curating content to attract that girl.

(If you’re looking for a sure fire way to know who you’re trying to attract to your business, you can watch this video as I walk you through step-by-step on how to create your Ideal Client Profile.)

Once you start searching for hashtags, you’ll soon discover similar ones used quite frequently in specific niches.  And the good news is that Instagram auto suggests hashtags, so if you can think of just one or two to begin with, you’re well on your way to find the best hashtags attracting your ideal client.
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