A Starter Guide To Using Instagram Hashtags

A Starter Guide To Using Instagram Hashtags

Updated January 11, 2021
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Do You Have an Instagram Hashtag Strategy for Your Business?

What is Instagram without hashtags? Nothing more than a public picture album. Hashtags are used on Instagram as a way to communicate, to connect with like-minded people and businesses.

Instagram hashtags are a way to find new collaborators, customers, business partners, sponsors, experts, events, charities, celebrities and more.

Instagram hashtags are a way to be found by those who may want to do business with you.

In this article, we explore how and when to use hashtags and what strategy to employ to get the most out of your Instagram hashtags to grow your business.

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How Many Hashtags Should be Used on Instagram?

The answer to his question runs the gamut.

We've heard anywhere from 0 to 30 hashtag, which by the way, is the maximum number of hashtags per post allowed by Instagram.

The best advice we can give you today is to test for yourself for each account as to how many hashtags give you the best results!

Having said that, we also asked checked in with an Instagram expert.

Jenn Herman of Jenn's Trends recommends using 10-20 hashtags per post.

Here are the four types of hashtags she recommends you use.

Mix & match hashtags from:

  1. custom-branded
  2. trendy or themed
  3. content-related
  4. industry-related

Which ones to use and how many at a time is really up to you, but keep reading for more suggestions.


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How To Pick Relevant Hashtags For Your Instagram Post

To pick relevant hashtags, keep in mind these numbers.

Pick

  • 4-5 popular hashtags (up to 1,000,000 posts)
  • 5-6 moderately popular hashtags (hundreds of thousands)
  • 2-5 niche specific hashtags
  • 1-3 branded hashtags

You might not be able to stick to these guidelines for every single post,  however, this strategy has been tried and proven successful for Jenn's business as well as for her students.

There are tools available to search for ‘related' hashtags.

One such tool is Hashtagify. There is a free version to use for limited access, or you can pay to get all features.

Check it out to find the most popular and widely used hashtags for both Instagram and Twitter!

Researching and Following Hashtags

As mentioned before, we recommend that you as a social media manager do your hashtag research for each new client and each new industry you get involved with.

Besides finding hashtags to use, it is also important to create a list of hashtags to follow.

Suggestions of hashtags to follow include:

  • Event hashtags
  • Hobby hashtags
  • Interest hashtags

For example, create a list of industry events. Even if you can't physically go to those events, you can get connected to the attendees of the event by interacting with their content about the event simply by following the event hashtag.

What Happens When You Do Not Use Hashtags?

If you chose to not use any hashtags on Instagram, you are quite honestly missing the point of Instagram.

You can still upload posts and create a beautiful Instagram feed, but it is much harder to be discovered if you do not use any hashtags. Just FYI; even celebrities use hashtags in their posts to be discovered by new fans!

Therefore, if you chose not to use hashtags on Instagram for your business, you can pretty much expect nothing to happen.

What Happens When You Use the ‘Wrong' Hashtags?

What is a wrong hashtag?

If you intentionally use a hashtag that is not in any way, shape or form related to the image you are posting, you are hashjacking. If you use this as a strategy to gain followers and interactions, it will backfire in the long run because

Hashtagging is just not respectable. It’s basically spamming when you throw in hashtags that have nothing to do with your content, just to get it viewed.

If you unintentionally use the wrong hashtag, you might get a few unfollows but if it happens every now and then, it should not negatively impact you. You might just get lower engagement and reach on that particular post.

Where To Put Your Instagram Hashtags

Lastly, we want to address the location of your chosen hashtags!

This is a much-debated and discussed topic in just about any Facebook group related to social media.

We wrote about it and gave an answer to that question a few months ago.

Where do you put your hashtags?

Instagram News

Much like any other platform, Instagram is evolving. New features are tested, announced and rolled out constantly. The one consistent thing about Instagram is that it gets updated frequently.

Here are a few articles we've spotted talking about Instagram testing new and upcoming features!

Instagram Is Working On Letting You Hide Hashtags

Instagram rumored to be testing a hashtag selector tool, geo-fenced posts.

Is there a new feature you are hoping will roll out soon?

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