Instagram: From hobbyist to influencer using these hashtags

Instagrammability has become major player in the travel industry over the last five years. Source: Mario Calvo / Unsplash

TURNS out the hashtag isn’t just a millennial fad. 

The humble hashtag key used to be a mostly unused button. But now it features in our everyday dialogue.

It’s journey to keyboard stardom started back in August 2007 when former Google developer Chris Messina tweeted:

According to CBS Minnesota, Messina received a lot of negative feedback for his suggestion. But it picked up popularity later when people realized it was the simplest way to join a discussion on social platforms.

Twitter began hyperlinking hashtags, then Facebook and Instagram joined the phenomenon.

Since its infant days, the now powerful hashtag has led movements such as #MeToo, #TakeAKnee, and #icebucketchallenge.

They also serve as an efficient method to getting more people to view your posts; but only if you know how to use them properly.

Hashtags can be the difference between a few likes from your pals and going viral for all the right reasons.

If like many other travelers, you spend an outrageous amount of time snapping the perfect sunset selfie or perfecting the well-timed boomerang, you’re going to want it to be noticed – and not just by your mum.

The art of hashtagging

Hashtags are designed to categorize content. They also give your content more shelf life than a non-hashtagged post.

A simple search could bring up a post you thought time had forgotten.

Less can be more

Instagram currently allows up to 30 hashtags on each post, but as Coco Chanel once said, “It is always better to be underdressed.” So, don’t max out.

To appear less spammy, use period dots to separate the lines beneath your caption so viewers aren’t put off by desperate-looking hashtags.

Use apps to find hashtags

There are some great apps and websites for tracking a hashtag’s engagement and finding what’s trending.

Hashtracking and Keyhole can track how much engagement certain hashtags are getting.

And Tagify is a simple-to-use hashtag generator that can spice up your hashtag creativity.

Don’t be generic, get niche

“#Travel” has been used 287,878,404 times on Instagram and counting.

It’s not original, nor is it particularly engaging.

Think about the niche focus of your image. Perhaps it’s more aimed at backpackers or luxury travelers, those seeking relaxation or craving adventure.

However, plucking random hashtags out of thin air won’t see your followers increase either because people might not be searching for them.

An easy way around this is to type in a niche hashtag and see how many other search results come up. If the last one was from 2013, reword, rework and research it.

What kind of traveler are you?

Understanding that not every traveler is the same is the first key to unlocking your Instagram success. While #travel and #traveling apply to every traveler, the image may not suit their interests.

Finetune your hashtags into the type of traveler you are and create a brand for yourself. But don’t be afraid to use creative, popular hashtags such as:

#wanderlust #doyoutravel #goexplore #wonderfulplaces #openmyworld #lovetotravel #roamtheplanet #TravelTuesday #WanderlustWednesday #ThrowbackThursday #FlashbackFriday #SelfieSaturday #SelfieSunday

Tagging influencers and companies in your posts is also a good way to get noticed, but don’t spam them – you’ll only get blocked.

The vacationer

Source: Shutterstock

For the person who is taking time out of their work life to go on vacation but doesn’t classify themselves as a traveler.

A good way to go about your hashtags is to include destinations, the name of your hotel, bars, restaurants, attractions, beaches, mountains.

Tags: #vacation #holiday #vacationmode #vacationnails #vacationstyle #vacationgoals #vacationvibes #getaway # #sunset #sunrise #relaxation #adventure #instavacation

The travel photographer

Source: Rawpixel / Unsplash

For the person who can take interesting pictures of their travels, not just another pina colada on the beach.

A photograph can say much more than words can, and no doubt you’ll want your image to be seen.

Of course, use the generic travel photography hashtag to be included in the other 42 million other images using that hashtag, but then zone in on the niche tags to tell a story.

Tags: #travelphotography #travelphotooftheday #travelphotoawards #travelphotodiary #instatravel #worldingram #worldcaptures #inspiredtravels #wanderlust #dailytrippics #mustseepic

The travel writer

Source: Shutterstock

For the person who writes for a living or for a hobby. You’re really onto a winning formula if you can combine your writing skills with fantastic photography.

Your caption will be as important as the quality of hashtags. Try adding the hashtags into the caption to make them part of a story rather than a standalone like-enticer.

Tags: #travelblogger #travelblogging #bloggersofinstagram #tblogger #TTOT #thattravelblog #bloggerlife #travelstoryteller #storyteller #travellifestyle #travelpreneur #travelphotodiary

The sustainable traveler

Source: Shutterstock

For the person who is traveling for more than just self-fulfillment.

If you want to use your Instagram page to promote carbon offsetting, sustainable traveling, eco-travel or anything to do with making the world a better place, then hats off to you.

Whether you’re working for an NGO, a multinational company, or just have an interest in educating people through storytelling, then Instagram is a great platform to spread the word.

Tags: #Sustainability #Sustainabletravel #ecotravel #ecotraveler #storytelling #sustainableliving #NatGeoTravel #AwesomeEarth #ecotourism #travelgood #responsibletravel #slowtravel #ecolodge #unesco #wildlifeconservation #naturereserve #buybetter #accessibletraveler #travellocal

The adventurer

Source: John O’Nolan / Unsplash

For the person who wants to show the world the adventures that await.

Adventure-tripping has become a major travel trend in 2018. Travelers want to seek out unique experiences and get off the beaten track.

So, it’s only fair these travelers want to share their experiences, but simply tagging #bungyjump or #cameltrek may not get them the exposure they deserve.

Tags: #adventuretravel #adventurethatislife #adventure #explorer #hiddenlands #undiscoveredspots ##instaexplore #Beautifuldestinations #theglobewanderer #Mountains #Sky #Snow #Blue #Nature #Alps #SnowCapped #Winter #Cold #GoPro

Do not use banned hashtags 

Using banned hashtags could get you blocked on Instagram.

There are currently 114,000 banned Instagram hashtags, some of them relate to animal entertainment such as #elephantride, #slothselfie, and #tigerselfie.

But realistically, if you have a picture displaying these scenes, you shouldn’t be promoting them. Unless you want a mob of angry netizens unleashing a wrath of abuse on you.

Mix it up

The hashtags are exclusive to each type of traveler. Feel free to steal a few from every category if you feel they fit.

Happy hashtagging!