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How Photographers Can Successfully Use Hashtags

No matter which social network you’re on, hashtags are your friend. As a photographer, you can make use of hashtags to get your photos seen by more people. This will draw in followers/fans and build recognition for you and your work.

Using hashtags with your photo uploads can help you connect with other users who have used the same hashtags or help people interested in the topics you share to find you more easily. This allows you to make connections with others who share your interests. Using hashtags will help you say more with your photos since the hastags will allow other users to view a multitude of photos -- including yours -- that share a subject, an idea, or at least hashtag. Here are a few quick tips on using hashtags with your Instagram account.

1. How to Tag Your Photos

Tagging your photos is pretty easy. Just follow these simple steps.


Open your Instagram app on your iOS or Android phone then snap a picture. Set your filter or design for the picture then type your chosen hashtag (don't forget the #) in the caption box and upload the photo.  You can go back to older photos and add hashtags by clicking on the comments and adding them. After you have uploaded the photo, clicking on the hashtag will take you to other photos with the same tag that have been uploaded by other users. There you go -- you've found potential connections and discovered other photos that may have similar subjects.

Facebook/Google Plus

Just upload the photo to your Facebook page or personal profile the same as you ordinarily would and when you put in the caption text, include the hashtags exactly how you want them to display within Facebook or Google Plus. 


You can now upload/attach photos to your Twitter posts without the need for a 3rd party app. You just share a tweet the same way you would for a non-photo tweet but doing it with the photo attached means the photo and hashtag will be connected and found in search. 

2. How Do You Choose Your Hashtag?

Be descriptive when choosing your hashtags. It is better to add the more descriptive hashtag of #myhalloweenhouse instead of #decorating. One is much more specific -- and decorative -- than the other. Clicking on #myHalloweenhouse will take you to (hopefully) other users that may have used the same tag and you will view some creepy and kooky decorations. The tag #decorating will bring up a huge variety of photos that may or may not be of interest to you.

Be sure to include a hashtag with your username (#MarySmith) on all of your photos so other users can find everything you have uploaded. You can also look for trending hashtags and share a photo using them- but only when it’s relevant. Never hijack hashtags just to try to get attention. People will label you a spammer for doing this. 

3. Privacy, Hashtag Guidelines and Other Stuff

Don't worry -- private photos won't show up in public, even if you include a hashtag. You can use pretty much anything except special characters in your hashtags (numbers, letters, and underscores). 

Don't forget to include a good description of your photos when you upload them -- in addition to the hashtags. You can use up to 30 hashtags on a photo, but remember that less is more. Just because you can use 30, doesn't mean that you really should. More than that will cause a failure to load, but remember that you don't want to overwhelm other users with too many hashtags. You might see others do this, especially on Instagram but don’t feel like you need to copy what they do. 

Hashtags are quite useful and have even led to bigger stories. Such was the case in Chicago when an Instagram hashtag that led a WGN reporter to a story about abandoned medical records at the Cook County Hospital. This is a perfect example of how hashtags really do matter and can draw attention. Keep that in mind when you add yours.  

While hashtags are somewhat of a new concept for many photographers, you will find once you get used to them that they are useful and easy and will bring in more views to the images you share on any network. Happy tagging!

Special thanks to Lisa from Social Media Satisfied for this helpful post on using facebook in your marketing efforts.  Follow her on Facebook here!

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