un hashtag cerchiato su una lavagna

How to find the right hashtags to grow on Instagram and sell more?

We asked Zavazan Web Agency to explain how to find hashtags to grow on instagram. Strategies, tips, tricks and a few examples, a small guide designed for artists and craftsmen.
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You've heard of growth with hashtags, you've read up on how they work and you've asked yourself the fateful question: how to find the right hashtags to grow on Instagram?

It's a sensible question, especially if you've already done some experimenting and found that you weren't getting the response you expected. And that can be really frustrating, especially for an artisan hoping to sell their work through social media.

But don't worry: hashtags work, they're great for making yourself known and with a little practice they can be your best allies. All you need to do is read on and we'll walk you through all the essential points on how to boost your posts with the right hashtag strategy!

Let's start from the basics: what are hashtags and what do they do?

Hashtags are keywords, preceded by the famous pound sign (#). Their function is to group under a single page all the contents that have that keyword inserted.

Practical example: if you publish a photo of a vase and add #ceramics in the text below, then that photo will be displayed on a page where all the posts with that hashtag are gathered. Great, so just use the hashtag and everyone will see the photo? Not exactly, unfortunately.

The hashtag page works like any other: only the most popular content is shown at the top, where people look most often. If your content doesn't get many visits and interactions (likes, comments and the rest…), it will end up very, very low. Where no one will go to see it, to understand each other.

This brings us to the second key point.

General hashtags or niche hashtags?

If you've been tinkering with hashtags before, you've probably noticed that the number of posts that use a specific hashtag are marked. Let's imagine that the hashtag #ceramic has two million posts (and could even have more).

This means that ceramic is a generalist word, i.e. not very specific and widely used. Not to mention that the topic of ceramics unites many trades: artisans, but also sellers of bathrooms, plumbers, antique dealers… all competing with each other in the same boundless space.

The alternative are niche hashtags: they are specific, sometimes difficult to find because they are used by communities of users who are closely related to each other or who over time begin to use new ones. For example, you could search for #artisanceramics, or #handmadeceramics. In these cases, the number of posts will be significantly lower and the competition, in principle, will be less oppressive.

Plus, with such a niche hashtag, you're more likely to be found by people looking for ceramics made by an artisan and not, say, someone who needs to change their bathtub!

So, when choosing hashtags for your posts, make sure you keep in mind which ones are generalist and which ones are niche. They both have their uses, if you have the right strategy.

screenshot instagram hashtag searchscreenshot search hashtah pottery craft

How to find the right hashtags for your strategy

First, when choosing hashtags, it's best not to go overboard. Instagram allows you to enter up to 30 hashtags, but it's usually best to stop earlier. But why, you may ask.
Instagram constantly monitors all user posts through its algorithm: if it sees that you are a user who creates hashtag avalanches, it could brand you as a "spammer", that is, a user who seeks visibility despite the quality of its contents.

The ideal number of hashtags varies between 10 and 15 per post. A right strategy must take into account some factors:

Hashtags must be relevant. If you post a photo of a piece of furniture, don't use the hashtags #MuranoGlass.
The hashtags must be inserted either at the bottom of the post text, or in a comment on the post itself (if you choose the comment, write the hashtags in the phone notes and copy/paste: you have very few minutes to put them if you want them to be effective).
You don't have to use only generalist or niche hashtags: the ideal is to use a little of each. Start from the broader topic (#ceramic), narrow the field based on the number of posts on the hashtag (#CeramicaArtigianale), and conclude with the more niche ones (#VasiFattiAMano).

Just to give you an indication: with generalists we mean hashtags with more than 500,000 posts, the average ones are between 250,000 and 100,000, the niche ones are under 100,000. There are also hashtags that only have a few thousand posts, but can often turn out to be secret mines!

And now the sad notes: the hashtags to avoid

The world is full of smart people and Instagram is certainly no exception. That's why there are so many scam, or spam, or dubious usefulness hashtags around the social network. Using them is useless to say the least, but it can also be harmful.

The Instagram algorithm has a series of hashtags that it keeps in its sights and that often condemn a post to be relegated to the darkest depths of the app. It would be a real shame if it happened to the photo of that vase you devoted so much time to…

But don't worry: understanding which hashtags are prohibited is quite intuitive. Let's start with the obvious ones: all those who are sexual or lewd, as you can imagine, are big NOs. Instagram is an app for all ages and goes out of its way to stay that way.

There are also other hashtags that are often touted as tricks by true professionals. They are the famous #like4like, #follow4follow, #givemelikes, etc etc…
None of them work, all of them will make you look desperate, but for some reason some people keep using them.

Finally, there are other more political, social and discriminatory hashtags. A hashtag like #tradition runs no particular risk, but if it becomes #RacialTradition then it starts to be a problem for several reasons.

In general, make sure your hashtags are honest, kind, non-discriminatory, and relevant. By following these few rules, the algorithm will leave you and your posts alone.

The latest tricks and tricks

Now you have a broad understanding of how to find the right hashtags for Instagram. Clearly, this is a trial and error process. Sometimes you will be right, other times you will be wrong. The important thing is to be constant and have a strategy.

If you're wondering where you can hunt for hashtags and get ideas on which ones to use, there are 3 methods: look at competitor's posts, type some hashtags into the Instagram search engine and see what comes up, or use an automatic generator.

I use a very nice one, which also allows you to search for specific ones for your geographical area. Just remember not to blindly rely on these generators: choose the ones that convince you the most, analyze them well and make sure there is the right mix of generalist and niche hashtags.

screenshot hashtag zamalabzinstagram hashtag screenshots

You can see what I use by clicking here!

Another piece of advice I can give you: choose the hashtags to target. Each post will have more or less different hashtags, but make sure you always have 2 or 3 of them the same. Over time and if you have chosen well, your content will always be displayed above it and you will get to "take over" or almost take over that particular hashtag. But don't start immediately with a gigantic one, please.

Finally, remember to take your time. I know, it's a real pain, but I assure you that if you dedicate a few more minutes, your content will perform better and better. If you still find yourself on the high seas, you can always contact me directly: I'll offer you advice to help you find the right strategy for your page!

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