With the recent changes to Instagram's algorithm, it's gotten harder for bloggers and nail art/polish enthusiasts alike to get their posts noticed. I know I have noticed a significant drop not only in likes but in who is seeing my posts to begin with. When the change was announced there was a panic in the blogging community in general with everyone rushing to tell people to turn on their notifications. Now, I don't know about you but I hate notifications. Between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter...it can all be just a bit too much. Overwhelming your followers is a sure fire way to lose them. What I decided to do instead is to focus on hashtags. We all know hashtags are important but I think they more important than they've ever been for getting your pics noticed on Instagram. Today I'm sharing my tips for finding the 5 best hashtags for nail bloggers on Instagram and when - and when not - to use them.
How to Use the Instagram Search Function
This is pretty simple and the best way to find out what hashtags are trending. Simply click on search in Instagram and toggle over to "Tags". Then type in your subject which today is "Nails", but this can be applied to any subject matter you are posting about. Instagram will always list the most frequently used hashtags first. As you can see in the graphic below "Nails" is in fact the most popular hashtag. So of course you would think "well I'll use that one", right? Sure you can, but look at the number of people using it. By the time you've posted your photo a hundred other people will have posted theirs too and yours will get lost in the crowd. I won't say steer clear of this one completely but I will suggest using it sparingly. This is not just about quantity - it's about quality and attracting the people who will turn into loyal followers - not just random likes.
I tend to opt for the hashtags directly below the most popular one. They are popular enough to not be random and therefore pointless but not so popular that you're just another random pic. As you can see I also typed in "Indie" as a search word. This is good for when you post pics of indie brands you've swatched or if you've done nail art using indie polish brands. Make sure you are only using it for indie brands or your photo will rightfully be ignored!
Don't Clutter Your Post with Hashtags
This was a bit of advice I got from a fellow blogger awhile ago and it has stayed with me and I use it to this day: Don't flood your post with hashtags! Create the caption for your pic, and once you've posted add your hashtags in the comments section. This keeps your post clean and easy to read and doesn't look like you're being a shill. No one wants to be a shill! The only exception I allow myself for this is when I am posting a "Nails of the Day" pic and I will simply hashtag that phrase. Other than that leave the tags for the comments! Just as important, don't use too many hashtags at once. I have to admit this is something I still do sometimes. It's my "more must be better, right" way of thinking and I am trying to break it his bad habit. Sooo...pick 3-4 hashtags for your picture and that's it.
Know Your Audience
We've all seen it. Someone will post a picture of a cat. And then proceed to add 30 random hashtags having nothing to do with said cat. Don't be that person! If your post is about nail art stick specifically with nail art-related hashtags.
Tagging vs. Hashtags
If you are posting about a specific brand I highly encourage tagging over hashtags. The reason is two-fold. First - it gets your work noticed by the brand of course! When I started tagging companies and brands whose nail products I used for my nail art it opened a lot of doors for establishing relationships with those brands. Second - brands LOVE to repost pics featuring their products which equals more exposure for your page. So this one is a no-brainer and a win-win.
My 5 Favorite Hashtags
I've listed below my 5 favorite (and in my opinion, the best) hashtags for nail bloggers. The others shown above are great as well and I do use them interchangeably depending on whether I am posting nail art or swatches. But I've noticed that I get the most interaction on my pictures using the hashtags below.
I could also talk about my favorite hashtags for posting pictures of your cat. But that's a whole other post...