Lance and the Instagram Hashtag

I work with this guy Lance.

Lance is a hotrod guy with the typical car addiction. If he’s not working on a car… he’s working on another car. When he is relaxing at the end of a long day, he pinstripes things.

He’s a pretty bad-ass pinstriper. You should really check out his work at Custom and Stripe. He makes functional art. Basically, he pinstipes things you can use:

  • Wallets
  • Clocks make from saw blades and wood
  • Skateboard decks
  • Bowling pins

… you know, guy shit.

Anyway, Lance posts this sweet looking bowling pin he painted black and pinstriped the shit out of on Instagram. I noticed he didn’t use any hashtags. I thought I would take the chance to use this as a test to show him the power of the hashtag on Instagram.

Here’s what I did.

  1. Reposted his post from a few days ago using Repost for Android.
  2. Added 13 random hashtags while I was talking to him.
  3. Tracked it for a couple of hours to see how it did.
  4. Convinced him that adding a couple of pound signs and related words can benefit him.

Here’s the Instagram Hashtag how-to part

He got a cool little product photography backdrop and started to use it. The images he is taking are a lot better and show the product off a lot better than before. Now that there is a good image to share that really makes his work “pop”, the images are more shareable and can compete with the other pinstripers and artist out there.

His Original Post

Here is the image he posted. Bowling Pin

He used these in the comment section, which is totally cool to do. Putting the hashtags in the comment section works the same as putting them in the bottom of your original post.Putting them here is great for those of you who might not like the look of the hashtag vomit at the bottom of every post.

Here is what used for Instagram Hashtags:
#pinstriped #pinstripeart #bowling #bowlingpin

He has about 220 people that follow him.

My Repost

Here is what I reposted. The same thing with the repost logo in the top corner.

I have about 143 followers on this account.


My Instagram Repost

This is the wording from my post:

Follow this guy @ltscustomandstripe for more #functionalart
. . .
#pinstriping #customart #mancave #guyshit #thingsguyslike #hotrod
#rockabilly #ratrod #madisonwi
#madison #brunswickbowling #wisconsinlife
. . .


That’s it. How-to complete.

What happened using these Instagram Hashtags?

Well, this is the interesting part. He had the post up for 4 days when I reposted it. He had 14 likes and a comment he posted with a few hashtags.

When I looked at the post a couple hours later, I had 13 likes. That’s one less than he did with more followers after four days.

When I clicked through on the hashtags to see if the repost was showing up near the top, here is what I found.

I’ll list the hashtag, how many posts using the hashtag and if it is doing well or not. The top 9 posts are usually popular posts that people are responding to so Instagram wants to show them off. This is where you want to be.


#brunswickbowling (3596 posts) – In the top 9 (still there after 6 hours).



#thingsguyslike (367 posts) – In the top 9. In the same spot 6 hours after posting.


#pinstriping (222,315 posts) – In position 56 after 6 hours.

#customart (262,344 posts) – In position 143 after 6 hours.

#mancave (674,562 posts) – In position 220 after 6 hours.

#guyshit (2571 posts) – In the top 9 after 6 hours.


#hotrod -(1,703,747 posts) – In position 401 after 6 hours.

#rockabilly (2,161,574 posts) – In position 571 after 6 hours.

#ratrod (552,151 posts) – In position 135 after 6 hours.

#madisonwi (176,960 posts) – In position 126 after 6 hours.

#madison (1,051,874 posts) – In position 310 after 6 hours.

#wisconsinlife (41,344 posts) – In position 32 after 6 hours.


What does all that mean, though?

Looking back at the numbers, you’ll see how quickly my Reposted Instagram image got lost in the sea of images when there were a lot of posts that used the hashtag. What this means for you is, use a mixture of super popular, moderately popular, and less used hashtags, This will give you a better chance of being seen for longer.

When you’re starting out, it can be hard to randomly come up with hashtag ideas. Here’s a quick tip… steal the hashtag ideas from popular posts. Look to see what they are using and use them too… exactly the same ones. You’ll show up in the same places they do.

Here’s a quick tip… steal the hashtag ideas from popular posts. Look to see what they are using and use them too… exactly the same ones.

You’ll show up in the same places they do.

The same thing applies to the photography. Take a look at the top 9 posts to see what’s popular there. See if you can make something similar, but with your personality or flair. Are the images

Are the images overhead looking down?

Are they people?

Are they heavily filtered?

What do they have in common?

Scroll through the posts using the hashtag to get a feel for what people are doing and see if you can incorporate anything into your own photos.


Your Homework

Go to Instagram and look at some posts in your timeline. See if they used any hashtags. See how they added them, where they added them, and how they compared to other posts that used the same hashtags. You’ll  be able to see how they work pretty quickly and see the benefits once you start using them. You’ll get more engagement (likes and comments, profile views, and possibly clicks on the link in your profile.

Stop back and let me know what happened when you started using hashtags.

Curate this Article

I help you use social media, SEO, and pay per click ads to get you more traffic to your site.