UPDATED on April 26, 2020
The discussion continues on whether the Instagram hashtags should go in the caption of a post, or in the first comment.
We've updated the earlier version is this article to include some new findings and research from our friends at Social Insider.
Where Should My Instagram Hashtags Go?
In our Social Media Manager Facebook Group, this question about Instagram hashtags comes up weekly. As soon as there is a wave of new members, one will post this question and everyone, everyone has an opinion on it.
So, where should my Instagram hashtags go; should I add them to the caption or put them in the first comment? What do you do and why?
Are you curious, too?
We decided to put this debate to rest right here on the Social Media Pro blog!
This article will touch on
- why there is a debate about the location of Instagram hashtags
- when to add Instagram hashtags to the caption
- when to add Instagram hashtags in the first comment
- how and why you decide where to put your Instagram hashtags
What Industry Leaders Are Saying About Instagram Hashtag Location
Can we just say people are very passionate about their Instagram hashtags? We are not just talking about the location of Instagram Hashtags, but the debate goes on about how many hashtags one should use per post, when to use them and what type of hashtags should be used.
Phew. No wonder people are confused!
With as many as 800 million active users per month on Instagram, that means there are close to 800 million personal opinions out on where to put the hashtags! I do believe some people don't care to argue about it and just put them where they are most convenient.
We did some digging and found plenty of articles on this topic.
Plannthat.com wrote up an article stating the same question we did. Find out what they recommend.
In The Complete Instagram Hashtag Guide for Business, Hootsuite mentions that “if you don’t want to clutter your captions, there are two ways you can “hide” your hashtags.” Read the guide to learn how to do that.
Alisa and Melissa at Tailwind tell us “consensus is that the functionality is the same no matter which position you choose – it’s all about the look you prefer.”
What An Instagram Expert Has To Say About Your Hashtag Location
We asked Jenn Herman, the world's forefront blogger on Instagram marketing, her thoughts on the importance of the location of Instagram hashtags.
She gave us this answer:
Studies and conversations with Facebook/Instagram have confirmed that there is no impact on the location of hashtags on an Instagram post. Placing them in a caption vs a comment has absolutely no impact on the algorithm or reach.
The only slight caveat to this is that the post appears in a hashtag search based on the timing at which the post was shared. Therefore, if you place hashtags in a comment, rather than the caption, you may lose those 30 seconds of time in the hashtag search for the time it takes you to upload those hashtags and post the comment. Is this important? Only if you're using super popular hashtags with millions and millions of posts. Which I discourage doing anyways because that's where you're most likely to attract bots and fake followers.
The Social Media Manager's Debate About Instagram Hashtags Continues
Our Social Media Manager Facebook group is not the only place that this question about where to place your Instagram hashtags gets debated and where the answers seem to fall in either the ‘hashtags in the caption' or ‘hashtags in the first comment' side.
Check out this Reddit thread
Instagram: Hashtags in the post or in the comments? from socialmedia
It is pretty clear to us that it makes no difference at all where you place your hashtags; in the caption or in the comments. You won't get an additional benefit doing one over the other.
What does make a difference in your reach and how can you grow your followers on Instagram?
Concern yourself with picking the right
- content (image)
- type of hashtags
- type of post
For the sake of this debate, let's see when you would want to use hashtags in the caption, and when you might want to use hashtags in the comments.
When Should You Add Instagram Hashtags To The Caption?
You are camp #hashtagincaption if you are
- short on time
- the forgetful type
- using a third-party tool to schedule and post to Instagram
- if you have a following of less than 100K
Using hashtags in the caption is the easiest way to add them to your post. No need to go back and add them to the first comment (something some of us might forget to do!). Since third-party tools can post on your behalf to Instagram, adding hashtags in your caption makes that a one-stop option, automating the whole posting process.
When Should You Add Instagram Hashtags In Your First Comment?
You are camp #hashtagincomment if you are
- someone who likes things neat
- a designer
- detail oriented
- have a following of 100K+
Using hashtags in the first comment makes the caption look neat and clean and less ‘spammy' and cluttered. It is more visually pleasing to have hashtags hidden. Just make sure ‘no hashtags in the caption' doesn't turn in to no hashtags at all! Have your hashtags ready in a note and copy and paste them into the first comment as soon as you can after posting.
How You Decide Where Your Instagram Hashtags Go!
Here are a few ideas on how you can decide:
- Toss a coin
- Play Rock, Paper, Scissors
- Count Eeny Meeny Miney Mo
- Read this study by SocialInsider
All jokes aside, it is up to you to decide where to put your hashtags – for yoursefl, and for each brand you work with as a social media manager.
May we suggest you experiment with both options? See which one you like best? You could even decide against deciding to like one option over the other and use a mix of ‘hashtag in the caption' and ‘hashtags in the first comments' depending on what you are posting!
We know you have an opinion; where do you put your Instagram hashtags?
Let us hear it!
I am a Certified Social Media Manager, Strategist, International Keynote Speaker, Organic Specialist and Agile marketer! Blogging is my creative outlet. Running, hiking and skiing are how I recharge. You'll recognize me on stage and online by my always present orange glasses, a nod to my Dutch heritage.