The Dos and Don’ts to Grow Your Instagram Following With Hashtags

When I meet with yoga instructors to discuss their branding or marketing strategy on social media I see the same mistakes again and again. I’ve decided to share what I’ve learned over the years, so you and other yoga instructors can quickly learn how to grow your Instagram following without wasting valuable time like I did.

best tips to grow your instagram following

1.  If you don’t use hashtags, start now.

One thing I have learned over the years is the importance of using the tools Instagram gives you. One of the most important tools to use on Instagram is the hashtag “#”, or “pound sign” if you’re old school. Hashtags sort and group like images and make Instagram images searchable. Your yoga students are likely using these hashtags to look up inspiration for their own practices, so it’s in your best interest to be there!

I see talented instructors failing to use hashtags on Instagram all the time. If you aren’t using hashtags your images will only be seen by your followers, people directly searching for you or by people snooping your feed. This isn’t good if you’re trying to grow your following, especially if you’re already putting a lot of time and effort into creating quality content.

2. Choose your hashtags wisely.

100 best instagram hashtagsDon’t use a bunch of random hashtags. Each hashtag you choose should be intentional. Also, check to make sure the hashtag you’re using is still active. No sense in using a hashtag that no one is using. Instagram has also been known to shut down hashtags that are overused or misused.

Some unexpected hashtags Instagram has shut down or restricted are: #goddess, #instagirl, #killingit, #shesquats, #booty, #curvy, #publicrelations, #stopdropandyoga, #sunbathing, #woman, #womancrushwednesday, #women, #cheeky, #desk, #everybodyisbeautiful, #bikinibody, #bombshell, #adulting, #happythanksgiving, #newyears, #newyearsday, #freethenipple, #girlsofinstagram, #instabody, #instababe, #loseweight #popular, #thinspiration, #thinspo, and #wtf. Just don’t use these or any other more scandalous #hashtags and you’ll be fine.

What hashtags should you be using as a yoga instructor? Here is a curated list of just over 100 popular hashtags specifically for yoga instructors and yogis.

3. Don’t be spammy.

You will not grow your Instagram following by spamming on Instagram. Don’t post to the same hashtag group in back-to-back posts or multiple times a day. If you must post multiple images in a short amount of time from a specific event, use Instagram’s slideshow feature, so you’re not filling your followers feeds with your pics… Do not spam, period!

4. Don’t abuse your hashtags.

Don’t stuff your Instagram captions with hashtags. If you use hashtags every other word in your Instagram caption it is difficult to read and appears spammy. Here is an example of what I mean:

I’m so #excited! I went to a #yogaworkshop with #dylanwerner in #Bali and I can #finally get into #handstand on my own. #Practiceandalliscoming #yogalife

Instead try:

I’m so excited. I went to a workshop with Dylan Werner in Bali and I can finally hold handstand on my own! Thanks @dylanwerneryoga!

#yogaworkshop #handstand #practiceandalliscoming #yogalife

This is a mistake I see commonly with yoga instructors that are new to Instagram and are just learning to use hashtags. Keeping your captions clean, uncluttered and easy to read should be part of your strategy to grow your Instagram following.

5. Grow your Instagram following by engaging with hashtag users.

Like and comment on the most recent posts in the hashtags you are using. If you catch someone while they are still online, and your comments are authentic they will check out your profile. If your profile resonates with them then they will likely like, comment and follow you too.

Like I said before, make sure your  comments are authentic and not just a ton of emojis or generic comments like “Cool”, “Love it”, etc. Use generic comments minimally. Pro tip: Comment on what they say in their caption, not just the image. It shows genuine interest.

6. Store hashtags in a note app or in Google Keep

Save yourself time and keep your hashtag groups organized in a notes app. I like to use Google Keep personally, but use whatever works best for you. Once you have your hashtags stored in a notes app you can simply copy and paste them into the first comment. I like to have 5 dots, one on each line, before my hashtags start. By using the dots I can hide my hashtags and it doesn’t look spammy or desperate.

7. Have two to three sets of Instagram hashtags.

Grow your Instagram following by creating two to three sets of Instagram hashtags for each type of post. For example, if you mostly post yoga asana pics create two groups of hashtags. With two sets of hashtags you won’t burn out or spam your hashtags and you won’t be competing with yourself for featured posts.

If you also post delicious vegan food create one or two hashtag groups for this topic. If you post travel pics, create one or two hashtag groups for this post type too. And then don’t use the same hashtag group in back to back posts (unless they’re a day or two apart).

8. Use hashtags with many posts and fewer posts.

Don’t just use the most popular hashtags. Use a variety of hashtags. If you only use the most popular hashtags you risk your images getting buried. If you also use smaller active (and more niche) hashtags you will be more likely to rank in the top nine and trend for that hashtag. You want this! It means more eyes are on you!

9. Keep it relevant: 2-3 topics.

This is just a general rule of thumb. Once you’ve decided on your brand image and what’s important to you and your ideal client/student stick with two or three relevant topics. If you’re a studio you could focus on your yoga community (both instructors and students), events and inspirational quotes. If you’re a traveling yoga instructor you could post yoga pics, healthy food, and adventure pics. These are just ideas. You do you.

10. Create a brand hashtag.

For example, if your business name is Ambuja Yoga your hashtag could be #ambujayoga. If people are snapping pics at your events, ask them to use your hashtag and ask them to tag you in the pic. You can even offer to repost/regram their pic to increase their exposure… it’s a win-win!

You may also want to create an event hashtag. This is a fun way your students can share pics and connect with one another.

Still have questions about using hashtags to grow your Instagram following? Reach out via my contact form. I’m happy to help.

Adi Mudra

Hey yogis, your mudra for the week is Adi Mudra. Adi Mudra received it’s name, adi= first and mudra= seal, because it is the first position the hands are capable of inside the womb. Adi Mudra is most commonly practiced during pranayama, but may also be practiced in asana.

yoga-mudra-adi-mudra

To Practice Adi Mudra

To practice Adi Mudra tuck the thumb into the palm, so the tip of the thumb touches the little finger, then close the fingers over the top of the thumb to make a gentle fist. In meditation or pranayama turn the palms down and rest the hands on the thighs. Adi Mudra is calming to the nervous system and is nice to practice at the end of an asana practice. I’ve also found that it can help with balance in some of the balancing postures like tree pose.

Benefits of Adi Mudra:

  • Calms the nervous system
  • Stimulates udana vayu (the governing vayu for the upper chest, throat, and head)
  • It is thought to aid in pranayama because it increases breathing and lung capacity, thus increasing oxygen flow throughout the body. Source: yogapedia.com
  • The adi mudra is also thought to stimulate the brain, which is closely related to the crown (sahasrara) chakra that governs an individual’s sense of peace, higher awareness and oneness with the universe. Source: yogapedia.com
Autumn Adams
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Autumn Adams

Owner, Founder, & Retreat Leader at Ambuja Yoga
Autumn founded Ambuja Yoga in 2014 to share her love of adventure, yoga, and travel with her fellow yogis. Ambuja Yoga has morphed into more than she could have ever dreamed and she is thrilled to have a "job" she loves. She is forever grateful for the opportunity to facilitate personal growth and self love through yoga while taking yogis to off-the-beaten-path destinations worldwide. Follow Autumn on Instagram @autumnadamsyoga.
Autumn Adams
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Yoga Vacation: Central Oregon

Cobra-pose-bhujangasana-yoga-asana

With spring break upon us and summer break just around the corner it’s time to start planning your vacation… and why not add yoga to the mix? I’m available to travel to your vacation home, local park or other destination in Central Oregon for private yoga, semi-private/small group yoga, and yoga parties (think ladies trip/bachelorette/bridal party**). Take advantage of your much deserved vacation time with a stress reducing yoga practice that will leave you feeling both energized and restored. Each yoga practice is customized to your specific needs, whether you’re working with an injury/special condition, desiring improved strength and flexibility, or just looking for a way to unwind. I provide music, mats, props, and bottled water on request.

Individual Sessions

1 hr. $65
1 ¼ hr. $75
1 ½ hr. $85

Session Packages**

1 hr. class x 5: $300
1 ¼ hr. class x 5: $350
1 ½ hr. class x 5: $400
** Class packages expire 6 months from purchase date.

Group Rates

The above rates plus $15 dollars for each additional individual per session.

Current Service Area

No Travel Fee
Bend
Redmond
Tumalo

$15 Travel Fee
Sunriver
Mt. Bachelor
Sisters

$20 Travel Fee
Black Butte
Elk Lake
Prineville
Powel Butte

** Bridal Groups please see my Wedding Wellness page.

FAQ

1. How much will it cost to have a yoga instructor come to my vacation home in (fill in the blank ex. Sunriver)? There will be three of us practicing yoga for one hour.

Base Rate ($65) + Additional People ($15 x 2 ppl.) + Travel Exp. ($15) = Your total investment ($110)
= $36.67 per person

What if we want 75 minutes?

Base Rate ($75) + Additional People ($15 x 2 ppl.) + Travel Exp. ($15) = Your total investment ($110)
= $40.00 per person

2. Is our yoga instructor licensed, insured, and/or certified in CPR?

There is no licensing for yoga instructors in the state of Oregon, however your yoga instructor is registered with Yoga Alliance and has Liability Insurance. Your yoga instructor is also certified in CPR. To protect you and our yoga instructor(s) each student is required to fill out a Health and Liability Questionnaire and Waiver before class begins. The information obtained in this form helps our instructor(s) design fun, appropriate classes that fit our students needs and abilities.

3. Where can we practice yoga?

Ideas for a yoga practice space: living room (with furniture moved to the side), bonus room, sun room, deck, or shaded lawn. Depending on local availability we may be able to rent studio space at a local Bend studio.

4. My husband and I would like to have private yoga on each day of our vacation in Sunriver(6 days of yoga). How does that work out?

We will look at your schedule and our instructor’s schedule to plan what time for each day works best for you, understanding that we may need to schedule morning classes on certain days and afternoon/evening classes on certain days to accommodate your vacation activities and our current schedule.

Here is the payment breakdown:

5 class package ($300) + 1 additional class ($65) + 1 additional person for 6 classes $15/person ($90) + Travel Expenses for 6 days $15/day ($90) = Your Investment $545
= $90.83/class or $45.42/pp/per class

Reservation Request

Note: You will receive a confirmation email once your reservation has been processed.

 

Namaste,

Autumn

Autumn Adams
Follow me

Autumn Adams

Owner, Founder, & Retreat Leader at Ambuja Yoga
Autumn founded Ambuja Yoga in 2014 to share her love of adventure, yoga, and travel with her fellow yogis. Ambuja Yoga has morphed into more than she could have ever dreamed and she is thrilled to have a "job" she loves. She is forever grateful for the opportunity to facilitate personal growth and self love through yoga while taking yogis to off-the-beaten-path destinations worldwide. Follow Autumn on Instagram @autumnadamsyoga.
Autumn Adams
Follow me