October 2018 Update: Tailwind released Hashtag Finder 2.0 and I’m so pumped about it. Pretty much everything that annoyed me in their original version (like repetative or irrelevant hashtags) has been fixed. You can sign up for a free trial (30 IG posts, plus 100 pins) here, then follow along below to give your hashtag game an instant upgrade!

I 100% believe you don’t need to use every social media channel to be successful in your blog or biz.
If you hate taking photos or find it too overwhelming, you don’t need to use Instagram.
Experiment with, take a course or read an ebook about a platform that you enjoy more!

I have gotten traffic and buyers from IG, so I keep playing along with it. I WANT to be good at it because I have that Instagram-perfect-envy.

But – I’m always looking for ways to make it easier.

This is by far my favourite Tailwind hack I’ve learnt so far!

If you’re struggling with hashtags, this will cut your efforts down like crazy.

Tailwind for Instagram

The best part of this Instagram hack is you don’t even need a paid account, though you will need the Plus plan if you want to take advantage of their super convenient auto-posting feature.
You can create your free Tailwind account here and get started with 100 free pins and 30 IG posts to try it out before investing.

1. Account set up

If you’re not using Tailwind yet, go ahead and click open a new account with your Instagram account.

If you’re already using Tailwind for Pinterest, you’ll need to add your Instagram accounts via the website (it can’t be added on the app.)

Make sure you’re signed into the Instagram account you want to add.
On the Tailwind page, hover over your account name on the lefthand menu. Click the green ‘Add new account’ button then follow the prompts to connect it.

Once your initial account set-up is done, you can create hashtag lists either on the computer or on your phone. It’s easier on the computer since it will tell you how many posts each hashtag has, which is super helpful.

2. Choose your keyword group
If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m a little Pinterest obsessed, and blog about it often. As I mentioned above, Instagram isn’t totally my thing, but I’m learning to love it! If you want to connect on IG, you can follow me at @shanleyweston and @craftybeavercanada 

Since I’ll be posting photos and tips that will link back to the blog, I’m going to need a list of Pinterest relevant hashtags.

For your lists, think of the overarching subjects that you post about the most. You can always add specific hashtags later. Having a few base groups set up will help you use all 30 hashtags without having to rewrite them each time.

3. Make your hashtag list
On the Tailwind site, if you normally use it for Pinterest, when you select an Instagram account your options on the lefthand menu will change a bit.
Select Draft under the Publisher section.

The image you upload doesn’t matter since we’re not actually posting them. Upload whatever you want that will help you differentiate the lists.
I picked a random graphic I’d made that mentioned Pinterest.

tailwind for instagram keyword hack
4. Tailwind does the work!
To get started, type in your main hashtag. For my example, I did #pinterest.
As you add hashtags, Tailwind will start offering you suggestions. They’re all colour-coded and ranked as niche, good, best or competitive.

One of the main benefits of making the lists on your computer is you can hover over a hashtag and see roughly how many posts are using it. I try to avoid using too many that are over 1 million. They move so fast your post usually gets buried before anyone sees it.

#socialmediamarketing, for example, has over 5.7 million Instagram posts, so it’s pretty competitive. #marketing has over 20.1 million posts!
#weheartit is classified as best, but when I hover over it I see there are 3.6 million posts – too rich for my blood.
#socialmediatips has 848.3k so I’ll add that. I’m aiming for a mix of audience ranges.

If you don’t like any of the current suggestions, hit the two little arrow circle and it will give you more options.
When you’re happy with your list, click save changes. This will save your list as a draft.

tailwind hashtag list
You can also save it as a hashtag list. To do this, highlight and copy your hashtag list first.
If you click the hashtag button then copy it, it thinks you’ve made a change to the list and won’t let you make a hashtag list until you click save changes again.

5. A caveat against irrelevant hashtags
It can be tempting to add popular but irrelevant hashtags, but it won’t help you in the long term.
If you plan to promote posts at some point, you’ll be paying for people to see your post who don’t care and won’t engage.
It’s better to pick a niche hashtag that will be wild about your photo than a high-count but uninterested hashtag.

6. Using your lists

Now that you have a few lists of go to hashtags, when you upload an  
I love the idea of the Tailwind Instagram scheduler because I have so much stuff going on I just don’t remember to post. One of the great changes they made with Hashtag Finder 2.0 is allowing you to easily select if you want your image to auto-post, or for you to receive either an iOS or SMS reminder when it’s time. 
To keep posts looking clean, I post my hashtags in the first comment, instead of in the actual post. IG doesn’t allow this practice with their API, so no approved schedulers will do it automatically. With Tailwind’s built-in reminders, you get a little notification when it’s go time, so I can just cut out my pre-written hashtags, post my image & caption, then paste the hashtags into the first comment. Boom, done!

If you have an iPhone you can download their free app. Unfortunately, they don’t have an Android app currently but you can still access their website via your mobile browser.

More free awesomeness: Tailwind offers free webinars on Pinterest and Instagram marketing! When you’re signed into your account , click the ? button in the top right menu to access them. If you follow Tailwind on Facebook they also share more great webinars and training.

Drop me a comment below and let me know if you’re using IG for your biz or blog. If so, what’s your favourite Instagram hack for all us not-so-great-yet-but-IG-superstars-in-training?

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