What Instagram Hashtag Strategies Should UK Contemporary Artists Use to Gain Broader Exposure?

For many contemporary artists in the UK, Instagram is a valuable tool for gaining exposure and reaching a wider audience. It has allowed artists to showcase their work to a global user base, and has been instrumental in helping many emerging artists gain recognition in the art world.

However, simply posting content on Instagram is not enough to guarantee visibility and engagement. What artists need is a well-thought-out Instagram hashtag strategy. Hashtags are often overlooked or misused, but when leveraged correctly, they can significantly improve the reach of your posts, helping you attract more followers and potential customers.

In this article, we will explore some of the most effective strategies for using Instagram hashtags. We will look at what kinds of hashtags you should be using, how to find them, and how to use them to your advantage.

Understanding the Power of Hashtags on Instagram

Before we delve into the strategies, it's crucial to understand the purpose and power of hashtags on Instagram. Hashtags are more than just a trendy social media fad. They're a practical tool used across several social media platforms, including Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and more.

When you use a hashtag in your post, it becomes part of a larger conversation. Other users can click on that hashtag to find related content, making it a useful way to discover new posts and accounts. For an artist, this means that the right hashtags can expose your work to people who might not have found it otherwise.

For example, if you're an artist who specialises in abstract art, using the hashtag #abstractart could help your posts reach people who are interested in that style. When they search for that hashtag, your posts could appear in the results, thereby increasing your visibility and potentially gaining you more followers.

Identifying Relevant and Popular Hashtags

Finding the right hashtags for your posts is crucial. You want to use hashtags that are not only relevant to your content but also popular enough to increase your reach.

When considering what hashtags to use, think about your brand and your audience. What kind of art do you create? What are your values? Who is your target audience? By aligning your hashtags with these factors, you can ensure that your posts reach the right people.

In addition to using hashtags related to your art, consider using hashtags related to current trends or popular themes. This can help you tap into a larger conversation and reach a broader audience. For example, if a particular colour is trending in the art world, you could create a piece featuring that colour and use the corresponding hashtag.

There are various tools and resources available to help you find popular and relevant hashtags. Instagram's own search function is a good starting point. Just type a keyword into the search bar, and Instagram will show you related hashtags and how many posts each one has. Other social media management tools, like Hootsuite and Tailwind, have features to help you find and track hashtags.

Balancing Broad and Niche Hashtags

It's essential to strike a balance between using broad, popular hashtags and more specific, niche ones. While popular hashtags can help you reach a larger audience, they're also more saturated, meaning your posts might get lost among the thousands of others using the same hashtag.

On the other hand, niche hashtags have a smaller, more targeted audience. They may not get you as many views as a popular hashtag, but the views you do get will likely be from people who are genuinely interested in your content.

For instance, if you're an artist who uses recycled materials, the hashtag #recycledart could help you reach people specifically interested in that genre. It might not have as many posts as a more generic hashtag like #art, but its audience might be more engaged and more likely to interact with your posts.

Tracking Your Hashtag Performance

Knowing how your hashtags are performing can help you refine your strategy and make better decisions about what hashtags to use in the future. Instagram's Insights feature provides valuable data about your posts and how people are interacting with them.

By tracking your hashtag performance, you can see which ones are driving the most engagement and which ones aren't working as well. This can help you identify trends and patterns, and adjust your strategy accordingly.

For example, if you notice that posts with certain hashtags consistently get more likes and comments, you might want to use those hashtags more often. On the other hand, if some hashtags aren't getting you any traction, it might be time to try something new.

Incorporating Hashtags in a Natural and Engaging Way

Finally, it's important to remember that while hashtags are a useful tool, they shouldn't be the focus of your posts. Your content should always come first, and hashtags should be used as a way to complement and enhance it, not overshadow it.

Try to incorporate hashtags in a natural and engaging way. Instead of just listing them at the end of your caption, try to weave them into your text. This can make your captions more interesting and less like a list of keywords.

Remember, the goal is to reach the right people, not just more people. By using hashtags strategically, you can increase your visibility, connect with your audience, and build a stronger brand presence on Instagram.

Understanding the Importance of Hashtag Placement and Timing

An often-overlooked component of your Instagram hashtag strategy is the placement and timing of your hashtags. While Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post, cramming in as many as possible isn’t always the most effective strategy. It's crucial to understand how to use them most effectively to gain broader exposure.

When it comes to hashtag placement, many artists make the mistake of burying them at the end of their captions or in a separate comment. While this might make your captions look cleaner, it does not benefit your post's visibility. Instead, aim to incorporate hashtags naturally throughout your caption, as this increases engagement and allows Instagram's algorithm to better understand what your post is about.

Furthermore, the timing of your hashtags also plays a crucial role. Posting your art at times when your targeted audience is most active can significantly boost your visibility. To identify these optimal posting times, you can use Instagram Insights or other analytics tools. Aim to post your content and incorporate your hashtags during these peak engagement times.

Remember, your goal is to be visible to your target audience, not just any audience. Strategically placing and timing your hashtags can help you appear on the explore pages of those who are most likely to be interested in your work.

Adopting the Right Attitude Towards Hashtags

The right mindset towards hashtag use is as important as the strategies you employ. Hashtags are not a magic bullet for instant success, and they should not be the sole focus of your Instagram strategy. It is essential to understand that while hashtags can aid in visibility, engaging content is king.

For UK contemporary artists, it's crucial to think of hashtags as a component of a larger Instagram strategy, not as a stand-alone solution. This strategy should also include posting consistently, engaging with followers and other accounts, and creating high-quality, compelling content.

Remember, the point of using hashtags is to gain broader exposure and attract the right audience, not just any audience. While likes and follows are great, what you really want is to build a community of engaged followers who appreciate your art and are likely to support your work.

In conclusion, Instagram hashtags are a powerful tool that can help UK contemporary artists gain broader exposure. However, using them effectively requires a well-thought-out strategy. By understanding how hashtags work, identifying relevant and popular hashtags, balancing broad and niche hashtags, tracking their performance and incorporating them in a natural and engaging way, artists can significantly improve their reach and visibility on Instagram.

Remember, though, that the best Instagram hashtag strategy is one that aligns with your brand, resonates with your target audience, and is part of a comprehensive, holistic Instagram approach. So, keep experimenting, keep learning, and keep evolving your strategy to find what works best for you and your art.