Do you have any clever tricks for saving popular hashtags so they can easily be re-used on Instagram? I want to make it easy to copy and paste a list of Instagram hashtags that I reuse and I need to have access to it on my mobile device since Instagram is such a mobile-focused app. Bonus if the tip works on both iPhone and Android, since my spouse uses and iPhone and I use a Samsung Galaxy. One other question, how many hashtags should I be using on Instagram?
Thanks in advance!
Now THIS is a great question!
In fact, it was a very timely question for a couple of reasons:
- My wife and I are in the process of starting a new travel blog (check it out at FlatlandersIn.com if you like travel tips and photos).
- When I received the question, we were just getting ready to take our family on a trip to Iceland and we had planned on posting a bunch of the photos on the @FlatlandersIn Instagram account.
Since the goal of the trip was to share our adventure and grow the following of the account, Instagram hashtags were definitely part of the process.
Since there isn’t any Instagram hashtag copy and paste functionality, typing all those hashtags into every single post is a recipe for a sore thumb!
Why Are Hashtags So Important To Instagram Success?
Like it or not, if you want to grow an audience on Instagram the right way (meaning NO buying of followers or skeevey follow/unfollow schemes), then you need to understand the important role that hashtags play.
While many people like to simply view the photos/stories in their feed of the accounts they follow, others really like to follow topics. As an example, I like to follow photos of topics like:
- #Nature – https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/nature/
- #Outdoors – https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/outdoors/
- #Hiking – https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/hiking/
- #Photography – https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/photography/
- #Travel – https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/travel/
TIP: If you’re wondering how to create an Instagram hashtag that doesn’t already exist, the answer is to simply post a photo and add the new Instagram hashtag into your photo description. Once your photo is posted, you can click the hashtag and see that it has been created and your photo is included in the hashtag search results. If you’re wondering how to add hashtags on Instagram, you might take a look at this post.
When I search for any of those terms in the Instagram app, I can also view the most popular photos that use the hashtag, as well as the most recent photos. Additionally, I can follow the entire hashtag, which means that those photos that include the hashtag in their caption will also get included in my feed.
That means, if you post your amazing photo of a hike and also include the #hiking hashtag, then your photo has the chance of showing up in the feed of anyone who is following the #hiking hashtag.
That means more exposure for your photo beyond just your followers.
NOTE: If your Instagram account is private, then hashtags won’t really expand your reach at all. Since your account is private, the photos will only be shown to the people who you have allowed to follow you. If you want to expand your following and the reach of your photos, make your Instagram account public.
Going Beyond The Hashtag To Harness The Power Of The Hashtag Group
The idea of using groups of hashtags kicks the concept of Instagram hashtag reach into overdrive. Rather than using just one or two hashtags, you can use a group of up to 30 hashtags in a single post to reach a broad range of potential viewers and possibly attract them to like your content or follow your account.
TIP: If you’re wondering how many hashtags you can use on Instagram, the answer is really unlimited. HOWEVER, Instagram is only going to pay attention to the first 30 in your post and if you use more than 30, your account could get flagged for spam. You don’t want to have that happen. So, stick to 25-30 as your target for each post and make sure your hashtags are targeted to your audience.
By incorporating more than one hashtag into each of your posts, you exponentially increase your potential reach and engagement.
As an example, if you were hiking while on vacation in Iceland, you might want to also include hashtags like:
- #Iceland – https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/iceland/
- #WhenInIceland – https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/wheniniceland/
- #DiscoverIceland – https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/discovericeland/
- #IcelandTravel – https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/icelandtravel/
- #ExploreIceland – https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/exploreiceland/
By adding these hashtags to your post, it’s possible that it will be displayed to those who follow the hashtags. By thinking ahead and identifying a collection of highly-followed hashtags, you can potentially expose your Instagram photos to a lot of people.
Basically, an Instagram hashtag list that can be re-used over and over.
Well, it sounds cool until you have to type in 30 different hashtags every time you want to create a post.
One of the best parts of Instagram is how quickly you can publish your photos. Snap a pic, frame it properly, add a filter, add a caption…Boom! Published.
Having to type in 30 different hashtags can take quite a while, and add a bunch of extra work. It would be a whole lot easier if there were an Instagram hashtag copy and paste.
…and That’s Why We Save Instagram Hashtag Groups.
So, let’s make this easier. Imagine that this is our hashtag group about hiking in Iceland:
#nature #outdoors #hiking #photography #travel #iceland #wheniniceland #discovericeland #icelandtravel #exploreiceland #visiticeland #everydayiceland #unlimitediceland #icelandphoto #icelandphotography #icelandair #ig_iceland #guidetoiceland #igersiceland #traveliceland #instatravel #wanderlust #guidetoiceland #icelandtoday #icelandadvice #whyiceland #exploreiceland #wonderlusticeland #wheniniceland #goiceland
It would suck to have to type all 30 of those hashtags every time you posted a photo. Yuck!
It would be so much easier if you could just flip over to an app where you had saved the hashtags in a list and that’s why we need a solution that allows us to type the hashtags once and then copy/paste them into an app for saving and re-use.
The Instagram posting process would go something like this:
1) Choose photo to add to Instagram
2) Choose Instagram filter (if any)
3) Type your photo caption
4) Switch to your app and copy the Instagram hashtag list
5) Switch to Instagram and paste the list
6) Add any mentions or tags and post
Basically that just added steps 4 and 5 to the entire posting process and there is no thumb-ache involved in typing all those hashtags. And wouldn’t it be extra-cool if you could create multiple lists of your most common Instagram hashtags to copy and paste?
Here’s the cool thing…you probably already have the app on your phone!
The Simple (And Free) Steps To Saving And Re-Using Instagram Hashtag Groups
As my wife and I were planning our recent trip to Iceland, I knew that we would be posting a lot of photos to the @FlatlandersIn Instagram account and since we’re in the growth phase of the blog and the corresponding social media accounts, hash-tagging would definitely help us attract visitors and potential followers.
Step 1 – Identify the hashtags for your group
In preparation for the trip, I researched quite a few popular hashtags and created a group that I could re-use and customize for each photo.
NOTE: It’s important that you don’t just copy and paste the same Instagram hashtags over and over, as the Instagram algorithm can view that as spamming. Instead, what you want to do is leverage your hashtag group and customize it slightly for each photo. More on that in a few, but wanted to give you a quick heads-up that it’s important!
Step 2 – Type the Instagram hashtags into a Gmail email
Once I had the hashtag group identified, I simply typed them into an email called “Good Iceland Hashtags” and emailed it to myself.
Step 3 – Copy and paste the Instagram hashtag group from Gmail to your Instagram post
Now that I had my hashtag group in my Gmail inbox, I did the old Instagram copy and paste for my hashtags throughout the trip. When I was ready to post, I simply switched over to Gmail, searched for the email, and copied/pasted the hashtags into my Instagram post.
Step 4 – Customize each post based on the location and activity
Copying and pasting the hashtag groups from my Gmail gave me a great place to start from for each post. To ensure that Instagram didn’t think I was spamming hashtags (which can result in an Instagram shadow ban), I customized each post based on the location in Iceland where the photo was taken and whether it was a waterfall, beautiful beach, or a meal we were enjoying.
The steps took me 30 seconds and kept me from having to type hashtags over and over.
Sometimes we don’t need another app installed on our phone. We don’t need a complex solution. We just need something simple and the Gmail solution worked for me throughout my Iceland trip.
What makes it even better is I forwarded the email to my wife in case she wanted to use the hashtag group for her personal Instagram photos. So the solution is simple, functional, and shareable.
Not sure I could ask for anything better.
Additional Tips For Customizing The Hashtag Group For Better Targeting
As I mentioned in the steps above, you want to make sure you customize each hashtag group before you post a photo to Instagram. This ensures that the caption/tags are customized and Instagram doesn’t view you as hash-spamming (I don’t think that’s a real word…but you get what I mean).
Trust me, the last thing you want to do is get your account banned by Instagram. Trust me, getting in contact with Instagram is not easy and you don’t want to deal with unblocking your account in the middle of your vacation.
So, let’s go back to that amazing image of your hike. Let’s assume that your hike is in Iceland and you are using the hashtag group above. What if the hike was also to a secluded beach? What if that secluded beach also had a hidden cave and an overhead waterfall with an amazing pirate-like cove? Wouldn’t it be great to include hashtags that also featured those elements?
What you want to do is paste your hashtag group into your post and then customize it to include those elements. Maybe something that looks like this:
#hiking #outdoors #nature #photography #travel #ilovetravel #goexplore #wonderfulplaces #beach #cave #cove #waterfall #hiddenplaces
NOTE: Remember, you are limited to 30 hashtags in your post, so if your hashtag group already has 30 items, you’re going to have to delete a few in order to fit your new, tailored hashtags into the post.
So, with the custom hashtags, maybe your new hashtag group looks something like this:
#waterfall #cave #beach #privatecove #nature #outdoors #hiking #photography #travel #iceland #wheniniceland #discovericeland #icelandtravel #exploreiceland #visiticeland #everydayiceland #unlimitediceland #icelandphoto #icelandphotography #icelandair #ig_iceland #guidetoiceland #guidetoiceland #icelandtoday #icelandadvice #whyiceland #exploreiceland #wonderlusticeland #wheniniceland #goiceland
Still at 30 hashtags, and now I have some custom items that will keep Instagram happy.
One Important Note Before Pressing The “Post” Button In Instagram
One very important step to take before you press that “Post” button is to long-press your photo caption and click the “Select All” and then “Copy” link. This copies your entire photo caption and the hashtags to the memory of your phone.
Once you have copied the caption, then click the “Post” button.
The reason for this is because if Instagram doesn’t like your caption, or you maybe miscounted and have 31 hashtags then Instagram will go ahead and post the photo without any description.
Yep…all that hard work to come up with a catchy caption and add your hashtags will go out the window.
Since you were smart and copied the caption to the clipboard on your phone, though, you can easily edit your photo and paste it back in and make any edits to get it back in-line with Instagram requirements.
Creating A Library Of Reusable Hashtag Groups For Future Use
The Gmail solution is a great one for most folks, but as I think about our upcoming trips, I wanted to create a library of hashtags that I could refer back to easily. When we return to Iceland in a couple of years, I want to be able to re-use that hashtag group without having to dig through Gmail.
Sure Gmail search is pretty amazing, but I want to create a place where I create a mini-library of these hashtag groups. The solutions that I’m going to try on our next trip are:
- A folder on Dropbox that includes text files for each destination. So, I might create a folder called “Hashtag Groups” and then a sub-folder called “Iceland”. Inside the Iceland fold would be text files for any hashtag groups I’d like to use. This solution is appealing to me because I can share that Dropbox folder with my wife and she can access it on her mobile device, as well.
- Using the Notes app on my Samsung Galaxy. It’s a nice app that allows me to create simple notes and would work well, but it wouldn’t be shareable like the Dropbox approach.
So, there you have it. I hope this article helped you understand a few things:
- Why hashtags are so important to reach of your Instagram posts
- How hashtag groups can amplify the reach of your Instagram photos
- Why saving hashtag groups for re-use can make your life a lot easier when posting photos to Instagram
- A surefire way to easily save, copy, and paste your hashtag groups to your Instagram photo captions
- A couple of other options to consider trying if Gmail isn’t your thing.
- Some tips for ensuring that your Instagram hashtags are posted properly (e.g. hashtag limits and copying the caption before posting).
If you have other ways of managing your hashtag groups for Instagram, feel free to share them in a comment. As always, feel free to ask questions via a comment or reach out via my contact form.