Have you noticed, that even if you post a stunning picture on Instagram from the trip or even an amazing travel, it gets just some engagement? It took you so much time and effort to take that beautiful shot, and almost nobody sees it. After you post a photo, only your followers see it on the feed. No matter how good your picture is, it’s not enough for being discovered by others. There are a lot more people who can see it besides of your friends.
There are many options to grow your Instagram account. One of the great ways to be found is to use the Instagram travel hashtags. If you are not familiar with the social media, on Instagram hashtags are the keywords, relative to the picture, which use the pound sign (#) in front. Every word with the # sign in your photo description becomes a link. If you click on it, you see other posts with the same hashtag on all Instagram accounts. For example, check the hashtag #travelphotography.
This way you may notice people with the similar interests, and that’s how they find you too. There are always discussions how the hashtags affect the engagement with the photos. On Instagram, you may use maximum 30 hashtags per post. Compare to other social media networks, where it’s better to use 1-3 hashtags, on Instagram, your pictures will get more interactions (likes, comments) with many hashtags.
Below are the tips on how to strategically use the Instagram travel hashtags.
1. Use Instagram travel hashtags relative to your post
The hashtags usually come after a photo description. Simply answer the question: What is in the photo?
Be more specific, but choose from the popular. For example, for this picture, the unique hashtags are #greatwall #greatwallofchina
When you type your hashtag, Instagram automatically does a search for other tags, which have the same beginning of the word you type and will show you how many posts use the same hashtag. Scroll the list to see what else people write and add some to your post.
The point is, if you choose something too popular, like #instagram, it won’t give you a big effect. More than 131 million posts use this hashtag. Your photo will get lost.
If you choose the too specific word like #travelinjapan, which has only 14k+ similar posts, people won’t find you. It’s not what they type and the search.
Find your sweet spot – the famous words with a number of posts about 500 000.
2. Create the sets of well-researched hashtags
For your travel pictures, a lot of Instagram travel hashtags will be similar. In this case, it is worth to create the sets of well-researched hashtags which you can just copy/paste to your description.
Use Notes or Evernote app to keep your hashtag sets together. Having it on the computer, phone or iPad, let you synchronize your notes as well as manage them on all devices. Or you may use any other note apps for the cell phone.
Look for the popular words related to the photos you usually publish.
Here are some hashtags for describing the travel pictures:
#vacation #travel #holiday #trip #traveling #tourism #travelpics #culture #travelphotography
The problem with those words is that they are way too popular. There are a few million pictures with them online already. The search result with the popular hashtags runs very fast, and your photo goes down, so nobody sees it anymore. On Instagram most engagements you get within first 2-3 hours after you post the image, but for very popular hashtags it’s just a few minutes or even seconds in the search result.
For finding more related words, search one of your hashtags on Instagram and at the search result, it will show you similar hashtags.
Some travel words, which you can use:
#travelphotographer #travelpic #travellers #travelmore #travelandlife #travellover #travelworld #traveltips #travelphotos
Other set of hashtags you may use for the nature photos:
#beautyofnature #sunsetlover #naturephotographer #natureshot #naturepics
And for your city/street pictures hashtags:
#citylifestyle #citystreets #citycenter #cityviews #citystyle #cityscapes #cityliving #cityguide #streetlook #streetscape #nightlifephotography #urbanlife
Feel free to use them. However, these are only some travel hashtags. Do your own research, choose qualified to your pictures hashtags and add them to the current lists or make your new sets.
Now when you add a new image to the Instagram, use the set of hashtags, which you need and paste them to the capture or the first comment of the post.
3. Use the location hashtags (Where it was taken)
Add the location hashtags. For my travel posts I would use:
#travelasia #beijinglife #beijinger #miamilife
If you know the local language, then you can write the area in that language too, for example, #北京. If you post purposefully, then you have the chance to get featured in the Instagram search results.
When you use the name of the city or area, these pictures get more interactions with local people. If you are in the famous place, restaurant, or coffee shop, which has an Instagram account or hashtag, tag it. People may discover you by their hashtag.
When you travel, you also can find people around you by searching the location hashtags. Look what they post and what hashtags use.
4. Use the popular hashtags
There are Top 100 hashtags used on the Instagram. Probably you’ve heard about some of them already: #photooftheday, #me, #selfie, #instamood, etc. #Travel is also one of the top hashtags as well as #instagram. Millions of people use these hashtags. They are way too popular, but…
Here is a trick: use the popular hashtags, which are very close to the picture description. The content with these hashtags is updating super fast. However, it’s your chance to get viewed by plenty of people.
The difference is if you post a beautiful photo of the sunset at the beach and tag it as #instagram it may get some likes, but it’s a general keyword. If you tag it as #travel – this hashtags searched by the people who are interesting in traveling, it will get better respond.
I wouldn’t recommend using too many popular hashtags, 1-2 will be enough. First, with the top hashtag, you get out of the mainstream of searching hashtags very fast, while the less popular word will keep you in front of the people search more.
Second, better use the quality tags about your images to attract the right audience of people interesting in your art. The best you can do is to mix up the relevant popular and more unique hashtags. Use them if you are just starting with Instagram and have just a few hundred followers.
5. Use branded or thematic Instagram travel hashtags
Now there are many accounts that repost travel or thematic pictures. They can be about travel in general; be more specific, like travel women; related to the local media/business, etc. For example, this post was featured at the local Beijing magazine Instagram account:
Here is the list of 30 Instagram travel hashtags of the accounts who reshare the travel pictures.
Besides of using the branded hashtags, you may tag those thematic accounts right on the picture. Then they will also get the notification about tagging.
6. Use the holiday hashtags
There are many holidays during the year. If your picture is related to them – mention it in the hashtags: #Christmas, #Valentines, #WorldNutellaDay, #ChineseNewYear, etc.
7. Use the themed hashtags
Use the themed hashtags for getting more engagements. Some of them are #motivationalmonday, #tbt or #throwbackthursday, #followfriday.
#motivationalmonday shares some inspiration photos, quotes, ideas, advice, etc.
#tbt or/and #throwbackthursday usually used at Thursdays and refer to the picture taken in the past. Add them when you share the picture, which was taken a year or years ago.
At #FollowFriday people usually use the photos of other users and encourage to follow them. Partner with similar travel accounts, share each other pictures, tag people and add #followfriday hashtag.
Adding only a few hashtags gives a clearer look to your posts, but adding more hashtags give you more likes especially when you don’t have thousands of followers yet.
Test these tips to find your better strategy of using hashtags to grow up the interaction and followers.
If you have any questions on using Instagram travel hashtags or Instagram in general, leave me a comment below, and I’ll do my best to answer them.