When I heard about Tailwind Hashtag Finder, I was genuinely interested to try it out. It’s a new feature of Tailwind that promises to make it easy to create and schedule effective and regular Instagram posts.
Before I go any further, I’m going to begin with a quick confession: I’ve always struggled to stick at using Instagram regularly. As you’ll see from this article, I tend to get really fired up about using it for a while, then months can pass without me going near it. When it comes to Instagram, procrastination often gets the better of me.
There are a couple of reasons for this: The first is that I tend to have all my inspiration in bursts – when I’m on holiday and seeing lots of things I want to share, or when I’m going through a phase of cooking lots of recipes. After all, what is there to Instagram on days when I’m feeling down and unmotivated and my dinner is a pie out of the freezer?!
The biggest reason is that I find posting to Instagram quite laborious. Although I do website work for a living, I’m rather old school with my tech and prefer to do things on a computer than by tapping the screen of a smartphone. I find the process of finding hashtags for my Instagram posts really tiresome and frustrating, especially when I mistype them on my phone!
The result of this is that I use fewer hashtags than I should and post far less than I need to on Instagram to build up a decent following. As such, you can imagine the appeal of Tailwind Hashtag Finder.
UPDATE (May 2019): You can read all about them here.Since this review, Tailwind has added a couple of small but significant new features to Tailwind for Instagram.
Tailwind Hashtag Finder Review
Before I heard about Tailwind’s Hashtag Finder, I was already using Tailwind to build up HomeWorkingClub’s following on Pinterest, something that Tailwind is arguably better known for.
However, I’d not used Tailwind personally, as Pinterest management is a task that I outsource to a great Pinterest VA. She’s also written a great tutorial on how she uses Tailwind for Pinterest here.
Anyway, I already had a Tailwind account, so I was easily able to head straight over and start to try using Tailwind for Instagram as well.
There’s a Tailwind free trial available and it’s generous enough to allow you to have a really good play with the software. After that, the best option for blogger like me is the inexpensive “Plus” package.
This costs $9.99 per month paid for on an annual basis, or $15 per month for those who prefer to pay monthly.
It is important to note that this cost covers just one social media account. So, after the trial, you essentially need to pay twice if you want to use Tailwind for Instagram and for Pinterest. A special offer for using both would be a pleasing addition to see.
Using Tailwind for Instagram
To start using Tailwind for Instagram you first have to link it to your account. This is a slightly convoluted process because it uses Facebook as a “middleman.” However, it doesn’t take much time at all so long as you know your passwords and/or are logged into the relevant accounts.
You then have access to a dashboard which gives you lots of analytical information on your Instagram account, including engagement data and information on follower trends.
If, like me, you love looking at stats and analytics, this data alone will probably have you reaching for the “Upgrade” button!
However, my main focus here is on scheduling posts and using the Tailwind Hashtag Finder. I’ve already explained what personally holds me back from really getting stuck into working on my Instagram. If I can line posts up while I’m inspired and do the hashtags with ease (and without wanting to throw my phone), then this is a potential game-changer!
Tailwind Hashtag Finder
To post to Instagram from Tailwind, you go to the “Publisher” section of the interface. This looks just like the posting and scheduling interface for Pinterest, and it’s clear and simple to work out what to do.
What I like about the most about this is that I can prepare images on my Mac instead of my phone (like I said, I’m “old school!”) and treat uploading to Instagram as a regular “batch” task instead of something I do when I have the time and the motivation. (I take exactly the same approach to other aspects of my social media, as you’ll see in my review of CrowdFire.)
This is also where the Tailwind hashtag finder really comes into its own. From my very first use, it suggested hashtags I use regularly (such as #freelancelifestyle.) It also suggests context-sensitive ideas. As you can see from my screenshot, when I started to post about dim sum, it suggested things like #dumplings and #asianfood.
This is a HUGE timesaver and encourages you to use more hashtags in posts. (On my phone I usually get thoroughly bored with this after about six or seven hashtags!)
While there’s much debate about the optimum number of hashtags to use in an Instagram post, the general rules is that more is better. After all, the more hashtags you have in a post, the more searches your post will appear in.
Another great feature is that Tailwind sorts the suggested hashtags into categories such as “niche,” “best” and “competitive,” which gives you further guidance on which to use.
There are a couple of things that could potentially make this process even better: The first is that you obviously need to remember that you can’t apply filters to your Instagram images as part of this process. You have the option of doing it as you take the photo, or on your computer, but there’s nothing built in to do it. It’s an understandable limitation, but one that did make me think “ah yes, of course…” while I was using Tailwind.
The other issue is that while you can add a location for each of your posts, the system doesn’t appear to look up other accounts when you “@” a brand or other Instagram account within your post. This is a bit of a shame, as including a brand with an “@” mention can often result in a like or some other interaction.
All in all, however, this is a great tool. There are plenty of other features such as a Chrome extension for scheduling directly from any webpage (arguably better suited to Pinterest), and plenty of scheduling options.
You also get to schedule up to 31 posts with a free trial account, which is more than adequate to try out the Tailwind Hashtag Finder and all the other features here.
Tailwind for Instagram: Conclusion
I review lots of products and services for HomeWorkingClub and not many of them end up being “keepers.”
However, I feel certain that I’ll now continue to use Tailwind for Instagram as well as for Pinterest.
I’ll probably continue to do my photo editing, filters and collages on my phone (especially as I have a new iPhone on the way!) However, rather than use the cumbersome Instagram interface, I can now schedule, caption and (most importantly) hashtag them using Tailwind.
Hopefully, this will mean I can finally start using Instagram regularly and consistently, rather than in half-hearted fits and starts.