Before you begin you might want to look at the 15 Trusted Instagram Tools to grow your account in 2020
Instagram hashtags are a tricky thing. Do them wrongly and you can get banned; but do them right and it opens a world of possibilities on the gram. This quick guide to Instagram hashtags will help you understand everything you need to know about using Instagram hashtags to gain followers and increase likes.
Why Hashtags Are Important
Hashtags are essentially Instagram’s sorting process. With around 95 million photos posted on Instagram every day, it’s difficult for Instagram to efficiently deliver the right content to the right people. Hashtags help your post get discovered by viewers most interested in seeing it. — Hubspot
Did you know that posts with at least one Instagram hashtag average 12.6% more engagement than posts without a hashtag? Well now you do.
Hashtags can skyrocket your business to new heights, but if used too frequently or without a clear strategy in mind, they become pointless and inefficient, e.g.: #happy #superhappy #ecstatic #jumpingforjoy #whatsanothersynonym. — Hootsuite
How high up on a hashtag page your post appears depends on how often it’s used, how popular your post is (does it already have a lot of likes and comments?), when you shared it, and the strength of your audience. The higher your post appears, the better, as it will be more discoverable by people who don’t necessarily follow you.
#instagood, #tbt, #cute, #love, #fashion, #summer, #nofilter.
Your audience might fill each of their posts to the brim with these popular Instagram hashtags, but is your brand doing the same?
How does your brand take advantage of Instagram hashtags? Do you use the most popular tags? How many do you use per post? Did you include a branded hashtag? Have you ever even tested what works best?
Finding the Right Hashtags for Your Posts
The thought of using up to 30 hashtags per post may intimidate you. Don’t let it, especially when you realize you just use the same block of hashtags on every post.
Ways you can find suitable hashtags include:
- Use Instagram search. Look for relevant tags with a reasonable usage that are not so popular that your posts will quickly disappear.
- Use the hashtags that the influencers in your industry use.
- Look at your competitors’ posts and use the non-branded tags that they use. Check their posts to ensure that the hashtags are not part of one of their campaigns before you use them, however.
- Look at posts that use hashtags you have found successful.
What Hashtags can be used for:
- Hashtags for followers
- Hashtags for community engagement
- Hashtags for discoverability
Use the Right Type of Hashtag
There are two major types of hashtags on Instagram:
- Branded hashtags: Branded hashtags are specific to your company. They might contain your brand name, your products or a specific campaign. It’s also worth noting that 70% of hashtags on Instagram are branded.
- Community hashtags: Community hashtags are more general and don’t necessarily have anything to do with your company. Some examples are hashtags like #instafood or #picoftheday. They’re widely used and aren’t specific to any one person or company.
Match Hashtags With the Right Photo
If you upload a post showing yourself basking in the sun onboard a yacht, you might include #summer, #travel, and #yachting along with other relevant phrases.
When you’re targeting frequently-used hashtags, you need the photo that goes with your Instagram caption to stand out. As we mentioned earlier, the hashtags you use should be relevant to the photo you’re posting.
How many hashtags can I use on Instagram?
Instagram limits users to 30 hashtags per post, and we use exactly 30 – this is counted across captions AND comments. If you try to post 20 in your caption and another 20 in your first comment, the comment will not post. You don’t have to however.
In Stories, the hashtag limit is 10 per Story.
- Can I use punctuation in Instagram hashtags? No – punctuation will break the link
- Can I use numbers in Instagram hashtags? Yes!
- Can I use emojis in Instagram hashtags? Definitely.
Research your market and use hashtags that precisely describe your products, services, or brand and you’re well on your way to being an Instagram guru.
DON’T USE THESE HASHTAGS
What hashtags should you NOT use?
Steer clear of the wrong hashtags for your brand and audience! While Instagram hashtags increase your reach, there’s no point using hashtags that aren’t relevant to your post. Avoid hashtags such as #follow4follow and #like4like – they might work in the short term, but these followers are unlikely to engage with your content (or even be real people).