So it’s no secret that I’m a huge lover of Instagram. Despite my initial hesitation, it’s grown to be my ‘happy place’, and rarely a day goes by that I don’t upload a photo of what we’re up to. When I started out, I was hesitant to use hashtags, and didn’t really understand them, but I’ve come to realise how important they are to getting your photos seen and liked by as many people as possible, and connect with other users who share the same interests as you. There are so many instagram hashtags for parent bloggers that it can be a bit overwhelming, so I wanted to share the ones that have really worked for me to grow my following and increase engagement on my posts.
What are Hashtags and why should I use them?
So, if you’re a seasoned Instagrammer, feel free to skip this paragraph, but I felt it was worth a run down for anyone who isn’t familiar with them!
Using hashtags (#) is the best way for people who don’t follow you to discover your posts – and therefore the best way to pick up new followers! Instagram addicts (like me) will spend time browsing their favourite hashtags to discover new feeds and beautiful photos that aren’t coming up in their regular feed. So strategic use of the right hashtags can get your photo in front of thousands more pairs of eyes and should result in new followers too.
When you upload your photo to Instagram, you have the use of 30 hashtags available – totally up to you what you choose, but a strategic choice of hashtags can be the key to getting your photos out there. The key is finding hashtags that fit your photo which are used by a big enough set of people, but small enough that your photo stays near the top of the recent posts for as long as possible, or, even better, gets into the Top Posts grid at the top. When you select your hashtag, you can view the number of posts that have been tagged within it – so a generic hashtag like #spring or #children will likely have millions of posts and therefore your chances of being seen within it are small, and people are unlikely to be browsing within such a vast hashtag.
Like lots of Instagrammers, I like to include my hashtags in a comment rather than in the caption itself. When you’re using lots, it just looks neater! But make sure you do this as soon as you post the photo, otherwise you won’t get the benefit of being in the recent posts within the hashtag.
The Importance of Hashtag Communities
What you want to be searching for are hashtag communities – usually set up by one or two people, the ‘owners’ of these hashtags regularly share and promote the very best posts which have been tagged. This is a great way to get your posts seen and loved. Because they operate more as communities, the people who use the hashtag are far more likely to browse the photos within it – again, more exposure for you!
Be strategic with the communities you choose – for example, #childhoodunplugged (@childhoodunplugged) is a huge collection of stunning photos, but in all honesty, unless you’re a seriously talented photographer (a category I certainly don’t fall into), you stand little chance of being featured, and the sheer number of photos will mean that your is pushed out of the Recent Posts list pretty fast.
It’s all about trial and error, playing around with different hashtags and seeing what works for you. Try to mix them up too – don’t use the same ones each time – and then you can get a good sense of what is effective for you. Take a look into the Top Posts of each hashtag and see if you’ve managed to get your post into that grid – and do a little whoop if you made it!
My Favourite Hashtag Communities
There are so many fabulous hashtag communities for parenting bloggers, with new ones popping up all the time. But here are some of my current favourites, which have been really effective for me in both getting more exposure for my posts and for attracting new followers. I’ve included the number of posts currently tagged within each hashtag so that you can get an idea of the size.
For Capturing Childhood
It goes without saying that this is one of the best hashtags out there at the moment for sharing your captures of your little ones. Run by Aby (You Baby Me Mummy) and Amy (Mr and Mrs T Plus Three), showcasing daily features of lots of truly stunning images. 56,000 posts.
I love this hashtag, run by Alison (AnnieBobs), also with a dedicated (and stunning!) Instagram account @lovelifeoutside. Use it for all of your photos of you enjoying the great outdoors. I use this one a lot, as Max and I love to get outside and enjoy the fresh air! Twice daily features on the Instagram account (3,700 followers) of the best shots within the hashtag. 50,000 posts.
Another fabulous hashtag, run by Chloe (Life Unexpected) and Alice (New Young Mum), with it’s own Instagram account, @curiouslittleexplorers. For all your shots of your little ones exploring the world around them. Daily (or twice daily) features on the Instagram account (874 followers). 15,000 posts.
If you and your kids are lovers of the outdoors, this is another great little community to join. Run by Jenny (Monkey and Mouse), who shares her 4 favourite shots each week on her Instagram (@jennyseaves) and blog. 1000 posts.
Run by Laura (Life with Baby Kicks) and Clare (Mudpie Fridays). Inspiring you to capture the memories of those fast passing days of childhood. Favourite 4 photos shared on each blog and Instagram account (@mudpiefridays and @laura_babykicks) weekly. 3,800 posts.
This is a beautiful feed, capturing those everyday moments. A focus on children. They have their own account @our_everyday_moments to feature the best photos within the hashtag (21k followers). This is a truly beautiful feed, but not impossible to get featured on if you tag the right photo – I’m proud to have been featured on it once and it resulted in loads of fab new followers!
Not one I participate in myself as I only have the one child, but I love seeing all the lovely sibling shots in this one. Run by Danielle (Someone’s Mum) and Harriet (Toby & Roo) Every weekend (from Friday until the end of Sunday), tag your favourite shot of your kids together and Danielle and Harriet will each share their favourite 4 with their instagram followers (@someone_s_mum and @tobyandroo)
More General Hashtags
A new hashtag, set up by Gemma (Life is Knutts) and Yvonne (Double the Monkey Business), with a focus on recording whatever you’ve been up to that day. Not just for shots of your children, but as both bloggers have a focus on their children, the audience is going to be well placed for shots of your kids. That said, I love a hashtag I can use for lots of different shots and this fits that perfectly! Follow them both (@lifeisknutts and @doublethemonkeybusiness) to see their favourite shots each week – and a weekly blog feature too. 300 posts (although only 2 week’s old!)
Run by Jenny (Lets Talk Mommy), this one is for all your zoomed in captures (for my Instagram, that seems to be most of them!) Jenny features her favourite 9 photos weekly on her Instagram account, @letstalkmommy, to her 12K followers. 22,000 posts.
Run by Rachel (The Ordinary Lovely) and Karen (Mini Travellers), this hashtag is for sharing your out and about photos, with a specific focus on discovering ‘off the beaten track’ spots. Each blogger features their favourite posts on their Instagram (@theordinarylovely and @mini_travellers) and their blog, and one winner each month receives a National Trust family day pass. 5,000 posts.
For any lovers of interior decor, this is a fabulous hashtag, run by Jess (Mummy of Boy Girl Twins) and Caro (The Twinkle Diaries). For anything home related – there are some fabulous and inspiring shots in here! Jess and Caro share their favourite 9 with their instagram followers (@mummyofboygirltwins and @thetwinklesmama) 1,200 posts.
I find it’s generally worth using as many hashtags as you can (bearing in mind the 30 limit), so I’ve included some more instagram hashtags for parent bloggers here that might take your fancy.
I really hope that this is helpful for anyone out there trying to grow their Instagram following.
Do you have any favourite hashtags I’ve missed? I’m always looking for new ones, do let me know in the comments!