Instagram (IG) is a constant, scrolling feed of engaging imagery. This makes it one of the most powerful marketing platforms for Photographers, Filmmakers, and Retouchers. Paired with some light copy, sharing your work frequently could not be easier. The tools that Instagram has created to share your professional images are incredibly easy to use and accessible to just about everyone.
To effectively share your work to gain new followers and new business, implementing a strategic hashtag plan is a great way to increase engagement on your account.
Just in case you’ve been under a rock for the last 15 years, let’s back up a bit and define exactly what a hashtag is.
In a nutshell, when you provide a hashtag for your posts you are categorizing your images into a “collection” or “library” of posts that is searchable on their platform. This will allow users to easily find your work under the hashtags you create. Whether your photography business focuses on fashion photography or commercial retouching, hashtags allow Instagram followers to be able to find your images more easily.
Jared Bauman explains in one of our tutorials, Marketing Your Photography Business, “Hashtags are a really great way anchor your work and potentially drive additional traffic to your posts.”
On Instagram, you can search for specific hashtags and see how many times it’s been used, giving you great insight into what is out there. If you pick the right hashtags, you can potentially get to the top posts of a trending list. Take some time to think of niche hashtags that fit your image(s) such as #maleportraitphotography instead of #photography. Adding more descriptive information will get your photography hashtag more targeted views on instagram.
Once you’ve spent some time searching for hashtags, you’ll most likely want to come up with a list that will meet your needs. We suggest you come up with a list of photography hashtags that have a lot of heavy use AND some that may be more unique to your work. We also recommend that you try and then measure the results of these specific hashtags as you post. I like to keep a short list I can easily access for each post I create, editing and adding as I go along.
We also recommend that you find tags that would be appropriate to help “network” your work.
For example, are there individuals or companies you’d like to get the attention of? Start by tagging anyone who may have been part of the shoot, ideally by using the IG account tag or if not, simply by using a related instagram photography hashtag. Those network connections then receive a notification that they have been mentioned, and may comment on your post or share it. This will expand the visibility of your post.
You can then also hashtag the style of the shoot, props used, and gear you’d like to call out.
These are a few things to keep in mind when using hashtags. According to the Instagram Help Center:
Consider creating your own hashtag for your brand. Here at PRO EDU we love to use the hashtags #PROEDU and #PROEDUBTS. In fact, we love featuring our community members on our story and on our Instagram page. Follow us, then tag your images with our account or one of our hashtags and see if your work gets featured!
While creating a good hashtag strategy is just one way to help drive more engagement to your IG page, it’s just one of many. Our tutorial “Marketing Your Photography Business” will walk you through more strategies and proven techniques to help more people become aware of your work and eventually lead to more money!
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