How to use Hashtags to Improve Your Instagram Marketing Strategy | See Girl Work

How to use Hashtags to Improve Your Instagram Marketing Strategy

Developing a hashtag strategy as part of your Instagram marketing is the key to gaining followers, increasing likes and creating engagement.

With the right tactics, Instagram can help you build awareness, boost engagement and drive traffic to your business. But developing a hashtag strategy as part of your Instagram marketing is the key to gaining followers, increasing likes and creating engagement.

We started the Instagram account for See Girl Work just before Christmas 2015. But I didn’t start getting strategic about my Instagram marketing until I discovered Later, an app that helps me visually plan and schedule my Instagram posts.

This was a complete game changer for my business so I wanted to share this great app with my readers.

Before Later, I would save photos to my photo app one at a time. Crop them one at a time. Upload them to Instagram when I thought it was a good time of the day. Then hover over my iPhone keypad in an effort to come up with some clever caption.

Then I’d clumsily spit out a few random hashtags. Hoping someone would find us.

Now with Later, we can do everything from our desktops. I can drag and drop photos in bulk, schedule when they should go out, easily craft captions directly from the blog, plus research and use hashtags appropriate for the business.

We can even preview how the photos will look in the stream before they are posted to make sure all the photos are on brand.

I reached out to the team at Later to find out more about Instagram marketing and asked them to send over a few quick tips that I could share with my readers. They were kind enough to send the following info most of which I didn’t even know.

Why You Should Strategically Hashtag

Tagging your posts strategically to optimize your Instagram engagement will help you grow your community and network. Using Later simplifies this process and makes it less time consuming so you can focus on creating great content.

Even if you tag your photo with one hashtag, these posts will get 12.6% more engagement than photos without any hashtags.

Research Your Industry and Community Members

Before you hashtag all your posts it’s important to do a bit of research on the type of tags you may want to apply. Tagging your photos with random hashtags is a waste of space and looks spammy and may turn off members of your community.

See what your community members are hashtagging. It’s critical to immerse yourself in the type of content that your community members or target audience are creating so you create content that they will want to engage with.

The Later Search & Repost feature helps you:

1. Search for hashtags and users, to see what your community is posting and how they are tagging their photos

2. Repost content from your community with the proper photo credit

Add Captivating Photos, Clever Captions and Relevant Hashtags

A picture is worth a thousand words but crafting a witty caption for your Instagram post takes your engagement one step further.

Whether you’re posting a composed caption or just adding a few clever emoji’s, creating a caption to go with your post along with a few strategic hashtags is one of the best ways to grow your Instagram community.

The Later Media Library helps you:

1. Create and save a caption with relevant hashtags

2. Bulk upload images and schedule posts weeks in advance

Instagram only allows 30 hashtags per post, but it’s better to add 5-11 strategic and relevant hashtags to each post than it is to add popular or generic hashtags.

Posting more niche hashtags in favour of trending tags will also help to boost your engagement.

If you’re posting to a popular tag, the feed of the tagged images is constantly updated and your content won’t stand out as much as it would using a lesser known hashtag.


Now we strategically plan a few weeks ahead, the captions are more in tune with the brand messaging, the hashtags we use are getting us found faster. And I’m finally starting to feel like we’re building a real social community.

In fact, we’ve gained a new client just from Instagram! Even if you don’t use Later, these are still great tips that will help you to improve your Instagram marketing.

Need More Tips?

Read more about Later and how to use hashtags to grow your community in their recent blog post: The Ultimate Guide to Using Hashtags.

To get the most out of using the app and receive 1:1 training on the key features join the LTGR Visual Creators Workshop by emailing: Plus just for my readers, sign up for a Premium plan and receive 50% off for the first 6 months.

*The post is NOT sponsored, but my honest opinion. This post was written in collaboration with Later.


Alethea Robinson

Founder & Blogger-in-Chief, See Girl Work

Alethea Robinson is a freelance marketing & content writer who provides content strategy, blogging, and writing & editing services for creative agencies and small to medium-sized businesses. In addition to her freelance business, Alethea is also founder and blogger-in-chief at See Girl Work, an online community for creative, entrepreneurial-minded women. Before starting her blog and freelance business, Alethea worked in marketing and communications for over 15 years.

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  • Tara Siudy

    THis sounds like a great resource! I need to look into this!

  • Yes to hashtags! I’m always sure to optimize my Instagram posts with as many relevant hashtags as possible. Later sounds like an awesome resource! I’d never heard of it before now, so thanks for the introduction. 😛

    Christie’s Take on Life. xx

  • Jhilmil Bhansali

    Yes, hashtags make so much of difference..I try to really include relevant #’s in my posts. Interesting read altogether

  • Chandresh Jain

    Its all about Strategy and smart work .. These app Help iusin doing both .. Will check this one out

  • Marianne Turkson

    These are very helpful tips. I had learnt a lot

  • Rose Mont

    I had not heard of this app and will have to look it up. It seems like it would help a lot I would just have to figure out the scheduling.

  • I think it’s important to stay strategic about Instagram. I love researching relevant hashtags and discovering new ones. There’s definitely an art to it but it is still my favorite social media platform since I am so visual.

  • Thank you for this! I need to keep it in mind, because I never know what hashtags to use on Instagram.

  • Ania Ewelina

    Love this. I always try to change up my hashtags to gain exposure and these are some solid tips. Thanks

  • Taiwo

    I’ve heard good things about Later — I personally don’t use it — but you’ve given some solid advice here for sure!

  • Line To Marie

    Ow, that amazing!.I’ve net get Instagram hashtags. I dont even know how to use them very well. Your post opened my mind. Thanks!

  • Kristal Xavier

    I never know how many hashtag to add to my Instagram post it is nice to see how to lay out your instgram this make is more easier.

  • First time hearing about Later! Sounds like a great tool for Instagram! I am always looking for new tips to try so I will definitely need to check this out! Thanks for sharing!


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