If you’ve been around a while, you might be old enough to remember that the # sign used to be referred to as the “pound” sign. Well, those days are gone, and the # symbol is now most commonly referred to as a hashtag. So, what is a hashtag and why should you care? In this article, I’m going to share a little background information on hashtags and how you can use them to increase your Instagram following, as well as provide you with 75 Popular Hashtags for Portrait Photography that you can use to increase your following.
WHAT IS A HASHTAG?
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines a hashtag as “a word or phrase preceded by the symbol # that classifies or categorizes the accompanying text”. Simply put, posts with hashtags are able to be indexed by social media networks, which allows the post to be searched and discovered by other users.
WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
Since hashtags can be used to search for information you are looking for on social media, this also means they can be used by others to find YOUR content. If you’re a photographer looking to get more eyeballs on your photography, using relevant hashtags can be an excellent way to do it.
WHAT HASHTAGS SHOULD YOU USE?
If you’re in business, you should start by creating and using a branded hashtag in all posts for your business. The hashtag you use must be unique to your business, and can be something as simple as your name, tagline, or something you are known for. Having your own hashtag will help your followers find your content, and allow them to share the content they love with their followers by using your hashtag in their posts. Before you commit to a specific hashtag for your business, do the research to make sure it’s not already being used by someone else. This is very easy to do (just type it in on all social media platforms and see what comes up) and will save you a lot of headaches in the long run, especially if the hashtag is already being used for content that is offensive or not in line with the mission of your business. Hashtags are marketing for your business, so you definitely want to make sure you’re sending the right message.
Beyond your brand hashtag, do a little research on similar brands to see what hashtags they’re using, and then look at the content posted with those hashtags to see if it’s a fit for you. Pay attention to the number of posts with each hashtag, and gauge the relevance of the content to your audience. It’s often better to be a big fish in a smaller pond of hashtag content than to get lost in the sea of content that isn’t as relevant to your audience. If you’re struggling to find hashtags, check out the HashMe or Tagomatic apps in your app store to help you generate hashtags based on your content.
75 POPULAR PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY HASHTAGS
Below are 75 Popular Portrait Photography hashtags for you to copy and post for use in yoyu and use for your social media content. Most can be used for general portrait photography, but the last few are geared toward more specific genres of photography.
#portraitphotographer #portraitphotography #portrait #photooftheday #photographer #posing #instagood #style #oursignaturepose #portrait_perfection #photoshoot #photography #portraitmood #portraits #picoftheday #portraitpage #instadaily #lifestyle #model #life #smile #friends #beautiful #headshots #pursuitofportraits #portraitperfection #posepatch #portrait #photoshoot #makeportraits #portraiture #justgoshoot #liveauthentic #modeling #photo #lifeofadventure #life_portraits #letsgosomewhere #portraits_ig #pursuitofportraits #portraitoftheday #postthepeople #lifestyle #photographyislifee #beauty #instafashion #postmoreportraits #portraitsmag #quietthechaos #people #discoverportrait #bestoftheday #stylish #memories #instalike #people #photoinspiration #portrait_ig #instafamous #pose #closeup #seniorpictures #senioryear #modernteenstyle #engaged #shesaidyes #bride #weddingday #weddinginspiration #momlife #familytime #babylove #mommytobe #instababy #babystyle
10 TIPS TO GAIN AN INSTAGRAM FOLLOWING
#1 FOCUS ON QUALITY OVER QUANTITY WITH YOUR HASHTAGS. Some of the most popular hashtags will have so much content tagged with them that your content will fall out of sight when people look at what’s been tagged with that hashtag. If you instead choose a hashtag that is less popular, but appeals directly to your audience, you will likely have more eyeballs on your content for a longer period of time, and ultimately you may experience better engagement.
#2 SCHEDULE YOUR POSTS AND BE INTENTIONAL ABOUT YOUR MESSAGING. Using a social media scheduler like Later or Hootsuite will allow you to schedule your posts ahead of time. Later also allows you to save groups of hashtags and attach them to individual posts so you don’t have to copy and paste or manually remember and type the hashtags every time you post.
#3 SHARE PERSONAL INFORMATION. Instagram posts that share personal experiences receive higher engagement. Things like travel photos and weight loss journeys have the highest amount of engagement, with pets coming in second, and landscape photos coming in third.
#4 CAPTIONS HAVE AN IMPACT ON ENGAGEMENT WITH YOUR POSTS. Short and sweet seems to do the job, as do posts with a maximum of three emojis, but captions are one of the most underrated spaces on Instagram. Use this space to really let out everything you want to say! This will grow your relationship with your audience.
#5 LIKE THE PHOTOS OF OTHERS IN YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY NICHE. Find accounts that you like, and leave several likes and genuine comments on their photos. This helps to get your name out there and allows their like-minded followers to discover you. The key is genuine, meaningful comments. DO NOT USE A COMMENT BOT! There's no way the bot can add relevant comments to every post. The last thing you want to do is comment “Great photo!” on someone's post about their grandmother passing away.
#6 CREATE A THEME OR STYLE FOR YOUR INSTAGRAM FEED. What are the words or feelings you want people to associate with your account or brand? Do your best to make sure your theme or style feeds into that.
#7 INTERACT WITH YOUR FOLLOWERS, AS WELL AS THOSE YOU FOLLOW. If you develop genuine relationships with people, your following will grow.
#8 ENCOURAGE FOLLOWERS TO USE YOUR BRAND HASHTAG.
#9 ASK YOUR FOLLOWERS TO TAKE ACTION. Encourage them to “like” your photo or quote if they agree with it, ask them to tag a friend, and other actions to increase engagement. They are much more likely to take action if you ask.
#10 TAG YOUR PHOTO WITH THE LOCATION. This will help people who visited and tagged that same place to see your content. They might find that they have things in common with you and start following.
BONUS TIP: FIGURE OUT WHAT YOUR AUDIENCE LIKES. What are your followers engaging with the most? Do more of that!
Building up a following on Instagram will take work, but if you post beautiful photos and create genuine connections with people, you’ve already got a fantastic start. I’d love to hear your recommendations for other popular portrait hashtags or tips for building an Instagram following, so please share them below.