What is Instagram?
If you’re not familiar with Instagram, it’s a fantastic social media platform that allows you to upload pictures and share them in the Instagram app on your smartphone. You can share them privately or publicly, much like Facebook, and you can also share from Instagram to other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and more. Basically, it’s a visually-oriented social media platform where you can share photos of your life, work, pets, kids, or whatever you’re interested in showing to the world! I use Instagram mainly for sharing work-related posts, but I also share personal posts from time to time. Click the link or the image below to visit my Instagram feed. If you want to know more about Instagram, here’s an excellent article from Lifewire.com that goes into tons of detail.
What are hashtags?
A hashtag is a word (such as coffee) or a short phrase (such as makesmesmilethursday) preceded by a pound sign, aka hash (#) which is used to find posts on a specific topic (#coffee or #makesmesmilethursday). I’ve heard some people refer to hashtags as mini-search engines. You can type a hashtag (the # followed by the word or phrase) into the search bar on Instagram and find TONS of posts related to your hashtag. For example, I love animals. If I wanted to check out some cute pets on Instagram, I might type #petsofinstagram in the search bar. Here are the adorable photos of the amazing pets I would see. If I saw one that I was particularly in love with, I could click or tap the picture to visit the account, then I could follow the account if I wanted or like some of the pictures by tapping or clicking the heart.
It works the same way for any music hashtags that music teachers use, such as #iteachmusic, or lots of other hashtags you could try! Check out #hedgehog (I found @Mr.Pokee that way, and I love him!). If you like the farmhouse style of home decor like you’d see on HGTV’s Fixer Upper, you might try #farmhousestyle, which is how I came across @desertdecor. I also love the beautiful home decor photos posted by @thedowntownaly. Play around searching for your favorite things, you’ll have so much fun seeing all the beautiful photos Instagram users have posted, and you’ll also find some amazing accounts to follow!
What’s the point of hashtags, anyway?
I used to wonder what they were for too. I just didn’t get it at first, and I thought seeing tons of hashtags was actually a bit annoying! Who’s with me? Anyone? Maybe I was just getting OLD 🙂 Anyway, here’s the scoop: they can help you connect and engage with others who have similar interests as you, which is the whole point of social media! They can make things you are interested in easy to find, and once you learn to use them, they can change your life! Seriously! And they can make you feel younger too! Well, maybe I wouldn’t go THAT far…
What’s the difference between # and @?
# = hashtag: a symbol used help you find posts or photos of a topic you’re interested in (#handlettering)
@ = ampersand: a symbol to identify a person or instagram account holder (@shereadstruth)
# is very different from @ on Instagram. # allows you to find all the posts with the given hashtag. @ allows you to tag or search for a specific person/account. For example, if you were posting a picture showing your students using one of my TpT products, you could let me know in Instagram by typing @pluckypianista in the comment of your post. I would get a notification that you had mentioned me in your post. If you typed #pluckypianista, you would NOT be notifying me; you would be hashtagging your post with my name, and anyone who searched for the hashtag #pluckypianista would be able to see your post.
How do I use hashtags?
When you upload a photo to Instagram, write a brief story or anecdote about the photo. Instagram refers to your words/story as a caption. Once you’re finished writing your caption, post your photo. Next, add a new comment to your own post by tapping the speech bubble and add some specific hashtags to your comment. See the screenshot below. Other Instagram users who are searching for the particular hashtag that you used will now be able to find your post. Below you can see a recent post of mine with some music hashtags as well as some additional hashtags that I enjoy using.
Your Instagram followers will see your post as they scroll through all the posts of the Instagram accounts they follow, similarly to a Facebook feed, except that ALL of your followers will have the opportunity to see your Instagram post. If you want to broaden your audience, use hashtags to help people who don’t currently follow you find your posts. You can also use hashtags to find posts of other Instagram users who use the same hashtags that you use.
For example, I use many of the non-music hashtags in the screenshot above for a variety of reasons. Find some you love, and your Instagram posts will be seen by more people, and you may even gain some new followers! You can use only 30 hashtags per post, so be sure to choose the most relevant ones to use. Depending on what you’re posting, you might use a completely different set of hashtags from one post to the next!
Since I got a little more serious about Instagram a few weeks ago, I’ve gained a ton of engagement on my posts, and over 130 new followers (over 50 of those were this past weekend!), just by using a few well-chosen hashtags! I’m really excited to see where things go during the next few months as I continue learning how to rock Instagram 🙂
Which music hashtags should I use?
I’ve compiled a list of 50 of the most popular hashtags used by music teachers. These hashtags will definitely help your posts be seen on Instagram! As always, you will probably want to search each hashtag before using it to be sure that what you are posting with a certain hashtag is in line with what others are posting when using that same hashtag. On Instagram, when people who are searching for a specific hashtag see posts that are not related (if they’re searching for #pianoteacherproblems and come across something that is not at all related to piano teaching), that can damage your reputation on Instagram. Please use hashtags wisely!
Music education hashtags
#musedchat #musicteacherlife #musicteacher #iteachmusic #musiceducation #musicclassroom #elmused #musicteachersofinstagram #elementarymusic #elementarymusicteacher #musiced #generalmusic #iamamusicteacher #trebleclef #musicteachersrock #musicteacherproblems #pianolessons #pianolesson #pianorecital #pianoteacher #pianoteacherlife #pianoteaching #iteachpiano #pianoteacherproblems #teachingmusic #teachingrhythm #musicteacher #onlinemusiclessons #onlinepianolessons #skypepianolessons #skypemusiclessons #kidsmusic #familymusic #toddlermusic #babymusic #orffposse #kodaly #suzukimusic #iteachband #bandteacher #iteachchoir #choirteacher #choirconcert #orchestraconcert #highschoolorchestra #choirsolo #solfege #choir #kindergartenmusic
If you have a shop at Teachers Pay Teachers
#tptmusic #musictpt #teacherspayteachers
Music hashtags for fun, if you create memes or love cake
#marchingbandmemes #choirmemes #pianomemes #musicmemes #musiccake
Other teaching hashtags
#teachersfollowteachers #teacherlife #teachersofinstagram #iteach #iteachtoo #teacherspayteachers #teachersofig #tpt #teacher #teacherblogger #teachergram #teachersoftpt #teacherproblems #iloveteaching #teachertalk
How am I supposed to remember all those hashtags? That’s a lot!
Here are two great hints to help you with your lists of hashtags.
- iPhone keyboard shortcuts for Instagram hashtags. This is what I currently use, and it’s a piece of cake once you get used to it! Here’s the tutorial I followed to set this up. It takes a few minutes, but it’s totally worth it! After you post your photo to Instagram, you’ll type your shortcut phrase into the first comment. Ta-da! Done and done.
- You can also type your list of hashtags into your iPhone’s Notes app, and then copy and paste them into your Instagram post’s first comment. Easy as pie!
Want to learn more?
Here’s an excellent post from later.com on how to use hashtags on Instagram. Happy hashtagging!
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