There's a good chance you're on Instagram, and there's also a good chance you're a cyclist. The hashtag (#) acts as a way to not only tag your Instagram images, but also helps you get found. If you're like me, you'll want your pictures seen by a wider audience. I mean just look how clean my bike is!
As a growth marketer working in the cycling industry, I see common mistakes from both cycle company and cycle individual when using hashtags and Instagram in general. I'm going to clear that up.
In this Instagram hashtag guide, I'll share the best cycling hashtags for Instagram you should be using right now as well as some awesome tips for your account to make you stand out. After all, a hashtag is only a small part of the bigger picture... (rate my pun.).
How many cycling hashtags should I use at once?
You need to be careful not to overuse hashtags as this can come across spammy and shows that you're just targeting aimlessly rather than having any strategy. Use the hashtags defined below, or use extra niche ones you're aware of to really hone in your messaging.
There's two sides of the coin when it comes to exact counts.
A marketer will generally say use 5-6 because it comes across as less spammy and more targeted yet some research suggests the best engagement comes from using over 11! With everything, test and test again. See what works for you and if it is infact true you are getting better growth and engagement with over 11 cycling hashtags, then stick to that method.
United Kingdom Cycling Hashtags
For those that are UK based and only wish to target other UK cyclists, use these niche hashtags to get involved in the country's conversation. Remember that quantity is not everything. Quality hashtags are important unless you're just after a vanity mark.
- #UKCycleChat (Top Pick)
- #UKCyclingEvents (if you're at a sportive or race)
- #WelshCycling (if you're in Wales, or are Welsh)
- #BritishCycling (the largest group but low engagement)
Generic cycling hashtags
These type of tags are generally useless unless you're after lots of likes and no real quality. The bigger the hashtag is, the more people are shouting for attention and it all becomes far too contentious for any genuine growth. So in the case of the big belters below, be warned you aren't going to be getting much value from them and probably a spam bot's "Nice shot!" comment occasionally.
Photography cycling hashtags
Want to move away from a candid casual picture and showcase photos you've done on your DSLR camera? These tags are good for showcasing professional photography or those trying to make a name for themselves in the photography world. These are all pretty big cycling hashtags too, so some tough competition to get noticed and quite a lot of spam engagement.
- #CyclingPhotographer (slightly more niche)
Women specific cycling hashtags
If you're targeting towards women only, or want to find other women who are out cycling and sharing their imagery then there are many specific hashtags out there. All of these are specifically cycling and have no cross-over with motorcycles which some 'bike' tags do.
Cycle fashion hashtags
Want to show off your new jersey or get some inspiration for your next pair of cycle shoes? Hit up the fashion and latest trends with these cycling hashtags.
- #SockDoping (cycle specific)
General Instagram Advice
There's more to Instagram than the hashtag. You know that. I know that. Now you're sorted with that will get you noticed, here is a quick run down of some other tips you can use to accelerate your Instagram's account growth.
Tell the story behind the image
Instagram posts are a lot like normal content. They need to be engaging and interesting and a common trend has gone away from it all being about the picture, but now more about the story behind it too. We're seeing longer form post text performing well as it delves into the story behind the image.
But the image is important too. Bright images generally do well on Instagram, but the cycling industry is rooted in the black and white gritty photography. Go with whichever best suits the mood of the story behind the image and remember to be honest, true, and entertaining.
Talk to other Instagrammers
Hashtags work both ways. You get noticed, but you also notice others. The most successful accounts are interacting with other people in the cycling industry and letting them know what they like about their images. The magic is in the DM (direct message), so don't be afraid to reach out and give a genuine compliment or ask for advice.
The Gary Vee's $1.80 strategy is a good way to keep on top of this. In short, distinguish the top ten hashtags for your account, and for the top ten images each day, leave a genuine comment about what you like about the image. This will build new relationships and get new eyes looking at your account too.
Be active and post regularly
The more you're showing your images, the more chance you have to be noticed. Don't forget, it's common knowledge that the best times to post are during lunch hours 12:00-13:00 or around 18:00 when Monday-Friday when people are clocking off work.
Cycling hashtags are often chronological so the more you post, the more you're likely to be seen at the top of these searches. Instagram are also highlighting top posts in the bigger cycling categories, so if you're ever lucky to get a lot of recognition, you may see a big growth spike as you're put and held at the top of the feed for several days.
Any specific questions you have about Instagram, feel free to drop them in the comments below and I'll get round to answering.
Don't forget to follow Cyced on Instagram - drop by and we'll follow you back.