Hashtag Protocol

  • To those folks that do a lot more social media that I do I was looking to confirm something. When it comes to using hashtags, it seems that people are latching on to existing themes, right? You're not just making up weird hashtags because those can't actually be found, right?

    Are you then researching hashtags? I'm working on a couple of pieces and I was getting ready to finalize them to post and realized I really had no idea how to categorize them. Inktober was pretty straight forward because all I did was tag inktober. I've only used IG starting last month for Inktober so I'm a little lost on this part lol.

  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @jdubz i am not expert at it, but i have been using hashtags that explain the art. For example if there was a little frog in the painting I would do #frog

  • I'm no expert either since i only started using instagram last month but i found this website to help me out.
    I usually search tags for the medium i used for example: ink
    If it is connected to anything like folktaleweek this week
    And what is on the picture itself for example: I drew an elephant so #elephant, which is what @Chip-Valecek explained above.


  • Hashtags are essentially search terms so you want to find a sweetspot where you use something people might search like "inktober" "sketchbook" "[yourcity]artist" .etc, but not something so vague and overused that it will be drown out in the search results like "art" and "drawing". I'm by no means an expert but this is my understanding of it. There's also nothing wrong with using a couple really random obscure tags and seeing who else has that same random idea - it just won't lead to great visibility. I tend to hashtag my stuff a combination of things relating to the medium, subject matter, myself as an artist/my city/state, and then special interest groups that I've searched out beforehand. For instance if you're working in ink "inkedartgroup" and "inklouvre" are both moderatly popular tags to attract fellow artists. If you're illustrating a pitbull you could go with pitbull-centric tags like "pitbulllove" and "pittienation" to attract pitbull lovers that might enjoy your work. Always think of it as knowing your audience/who you want your audience to be, and what they might search for.

  • Also no expert 😉 I would definitely like to know more about the use of hashtags. What I used to do was to pay attention on the hashtags used by people I follow. I've hand-written down a lot of them, sorted by topic. On top of that, adding hashtags about the subject matter of the piece. There are many hashtags you would not make up yourself just by thinking of it, so it's worth it checking out what's popular at the moment. Some hashtags have millions of entries and the probability to bee visible diminishes. On the other hand you might be visible on rarely used hashtags, but nobody watches them ... no easy task ... 😩

  • Pro

    Basic guidelines:

    • You're allowed 30 hashtags per picture. Use all of them, because they're your search terms
    • Don't use overused hashtags like #art or #love. People use those so much that your picture will get drowned out in seconds in the new posts section. Look at the number of posts that use this hashtag: if it's more than 2-3 millions it's starting to be overused. Instead, try to have 10 hashtags in the 5 figures, 10 hashtags in the 6 figures, and the last 10 in the 7 figures (ideally no more than 3 millions)
    • Try to think of what people would search. If you do a picture of an elephant you might be tempted to do #elephant. But there's a big chance this hashtag if very overused and that people looking for that want photos, not art. Try something like #elephantart or #animalart for instance. #childrenillustration and #childrenbook are also things people interested specifically in your art will look for.
    • A good way to find hashtags is to look at posts from other artists in your niche/industry and see what they're using. It might give you ideas!
    • There are also accounts that feature artists, and if you can get on those it will give you a huge boost of views and followers at once! Most of these accounts have their own hashtag, or you can tag them. By doing this you are "entered" in the running for a chance to be featured.
    • Once you have a solid list of hashtags, you can copy/paste it to avoid doing this exercise every single time! I have 3 lists of hashtags for different contexts that I copy/paste. Every 4-5 months I go through them to update and improve.

    I hope this helps!

  • @NessIllustration Thank you, this is solid advice! I am always so baffled by how to tag my stuff!

  • @Eli @jdubz you can also search a hashtag. You'll see how buried your post is and also if the art pops compared to other posts.

  • Great feedback thanks everyone. I believe I'm getting a better picture of how to at least be more intelligent about it.

    And Zach that's a great thing to do as well. Good tip!

  • Just to continue some practical application here because why not learn as much as possible hah. I posted the below image and then I did some research and ended up with the following 10 or so hashtags:

    #birdillustration #bluebird #illustration #illustration_art #procreate #animalart #childrenillustration #cuteillustrations #movtivation #painting

    Honestly I have no idea how I'd get to 30, so I've got to work on that. Did I miss anything big or did I use one that didn't make sense?

    I did notice though that many people/organizations I follow only use like 4 to 10. I didn't see many that went over that except for maybe the ones that actually came out of the main childrens illustration IG page.


  • Pro

    For ideas on how to get to 30, here are some of mine: #childrenillustration #illustration_best #childrenbookart #childrensillustrators #childrenbookillustration #childrenillustrator #illustration_daily #illustratenow #artforchildren #illustrationoftheday #instaillustration #kidlitart #kidsillustration #illustratorsofinstagram #illustrated #womenofillustration #freelanceillustrator #cuteillustration #professionalartist #illustrationdaily #illustrationage #illustrationwork #illustrationer #illustrationnow #illustrationforkids #illustrationoninstagram #illustrationofinstagram #illustrationdrawing #illustrationaday #illustrationworks

  • Pro

    For you I would also definitely suggest #digitalpainting (8 million posts) and #digitalpaintings (99k posts) moreso than #painting which is overused (over 85 million posts)

  • Great thanks for the suggestions Ness! That's super helpful. I didn't even think to check "digitalpainting" and I can see that's a huge difference.

  • Nice.

    I'm using this tool.


    I wonder no one is talking about this website.

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