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Maybe if I Hashtag My Photos, More People Will Follow Me….

Oh, the hashtag. Such a simple concept that holds so much power. Just by using the pound sign (#) attached to a keyword, you can easily categorize all of your Instagram photos. But why? Some may say because it helps other users find photos with subjects of their interest, but the true reason to hashtag your photos is to gain more followers. Trust me, I know this from first hand experience. Users interested in certain keywords will see your posts and think, “Hey, that person loves her puggle. I love my puggle too. We should connect.”

What should you hashtag:
-#yourname: that way your biggest fans can see all your pictures without having to scroll through all photos on their feed.
-#subject: #cat or #dog – this is the most basic form of the hashtag and provides the best categorization tool.
-#location: where did you take the picture? Was it in in #Hawaii or at #UCR?
-#photography tool: did you take the picture with your #iphone4s or your #android phone? Did you use #picstitch to add additional photos effects?
-#contestname: this is especially relevant for companies holding contests to see all photo entries in one convenient location.

Some of the most popular hashtags right now are:
#sky, #iphoneography, #photooftheday, #followme (way to be discrete), and #puppy.
Check out the top 100 tags here.

A couple things to remember:
-Hashtags cannot contain spaces. For example if you were to tag #new york, the only keyword hashtagged would be “new.” Instead, tag #newyork.
-If you forget to hashtag photos while you upload them or want to go back and hashtag older photos, you can always add the hashtags into the comments section as they will still be categorized to the same location.
-Instagram has banned all hashtags promoting self-harm, including references to anorexia and/or suicide. If you see content of this sort, let Instagram know.

What are your thoughts on hashtags?