Guide: How to Use Hashtags on Instagram to Grow in 2019

Importance of Instagram Hashtags

There has always been a discussion about hashtags. But whatever the rest of the world says, there is no reason for you not to use hashtags. They are an elemental part of Instagram and the almighty algorithm wants you to use hashtags. So, let’s dive right into it!

#1 Hashtags Increase Your Engagement

Did you know that posts including at least one hashtag generate 12,6% more engagement (according to this Instagram Study)?

That should be enough reason for you to do the same. But why do they increase your engagement? This brings us to the next point!

#2 Reach Your Target Audience with Hashtags on Instagram

This is a big one. By using the right hashtags, you make sure that your posts will be shown to the users that are actually interested in your content. If you use broad hashtags (e.g. #love, #instagood, #happy), you might reach a lot of people that aren’t interested in what you post.

If you want to know what Instagram hashtags you should use, keep reading. We’ve got you covered!

#3 Monitoring with Instagram’s Post Insights

If you have switched to a business account, you are probably already using your Insights. This tool gives you the possibility to track the success of your hashtag strategy. You are now able to rearrange or change the hashtags of your posts in regard to your impressions.

New update_ Impressions from each hashtag_300x600 (1)

How Many Hashtags Can You Use in a Post on Instagram?

You can use 30 hashtags in a post on Instagram. That’s the official limit. However, you don’t have to use that many hashtags. Using 30 hashtags in a post or comment can make you seem spammy. You don’t want that. Furthermore, using more hashtags will expose your post to even more people. Doesn’t sound that bad? Well, consider this: If more people see your post and don’t interact with it (like, comment, share), the lower your chances to get to the explore page or to the top page of your hashtags.

So, the trick is to find out how many hashtags to use. 91% of posts by top brands have seven or fewer hashtags. That doesn’t automatically mean that you have to use seven hashtags. You have to test it and to find out what works best for you and your account

How Many Hashtags Can You Use in Your Instagram Story?

You can include up to 10 hashtags in your story. You should always make sure to use at least one hashtag in your story so your story will show up in the story section of the hashtag to increase exposure.

Best Practice: Including a lot of hashtags in your story looks crowded. You can minimize the hashtag with two fingers and then drag it out of the screen. Your story will still be posted for that hashtag but it’s invisible for your audience.

Where to Put the Hashtags in Your Instagram Post?

You have two options here. You can include your hashtags in the caption of the post or put them in a comment.  You can choose, either way, there is no difference. Just note, that if you put more hashtags in the comments after already using 30 hashtags in the caption, this will have no effect.

Best practice: You can hide your hashtags in the caption. Instagram hides captions after three lines, so your hashtags won’t be seen unless your followers tap the “more” button on your post.

Which Hashtags to Use for Your Instagram Posts?

As we have mentioned above, using more specific hashtags is the best way to grow organically. If you want to get a lot of followers in the short run, it might be better to use broad and popular hashtags. Keep in mind, that this will hurt your engagement and get you a lot of fake and bot followers. Using the wrong hashtags can even get you shadowbanned.

Finding the right hashtags that fit you or your brand is the key to a successful hashtag-strategy. There are a few ways to find the most suitable ones:

#1 Use Online-Tools

There are a lot of free services online that help you find the best hashtags. They usually give you hashtags that correlate with the ones you use. These tools analyze which hashtags are used in combination with the one you put in.

One such tool is Display Purposes. It proposes a list of hashtags with decreasing relevance to your hashtag. You can easily copy the list with the copy option on the right and use the tags for your next post.

#2 Check Out Your Niche

Look for successful accounts in your niche. Check out their posts and look for hashtags you could add to your list. There is no reason not to use the same hashtags if they are working great for your competitor. Calculate the engagement of each post and copy the tags from the one with the highest engagement.

#3 Create Branded Hashtags

Have you reached a certain point of popularity? Do you have high engagement and do your followers love your content? If that’s the case, you might want to consider creating your own hashtag. It could just be your Instagram handle or related to your brand/product/service.

Try to get your followers to use your branded hashtag as well. User-generated-content, posts, and videos created by your audience, skyrocket your engagement. It’s a win-win situation. You can repost that post and increase your engagement, while your lucky follower gets flooded with likes. You can start contests, where your followers must showcase your product (or whatever you offer) in a creative way. They have to use your branded hashtag in that post and you can easily select the most creative post in the hashtag section.

Example: Coca Cola’s #refreshthefeed

Best Practice: Create a few sets with different hashtags that you can easily copy into your post. A set has to include tags with different popularity. You shouldn’t use more than one popular tag for each set. See the example below:

Don’t Use Banned Hashtags

Instagram bans hashtags that contain inappropriate content. If you use such a tag, your post won’t be shown in the recent section and your account may get penalized for using such a tag. No big thing, right? The problem is that innocent hashtags may be banned as well (such as #snowstorm). To check if a hashtag is banned, simply search for the tag and go to the recent section. If no posts or videos are shown, the hashtag is banned. See the example below:

Hashtags Make a Difference

Using the right hashtags will get you far. You will not only experience an increase in engagement but also in your follower count. Make sure you get the most out of this free and easy method to win on Instagram.

Join our Instagram Marketing Discord server! We’re trying to build an online community focused on the business and marketing side of Instagram. Discord is the perfect place to discuss anything related to Instagram or to just have a chat with other Instagrammers!

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