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Our ultimate guide to Using Instagram Hashtags

Instagram hashtags are fundamentally a way to label and categorize your content. They then help Instagram serve your posts to relevant users. Instagram hashtags are still one of the best ways to increase engagement on your Instagram posts. So, how exactly do you find the most effective hashtags for your posts and should they go in your caption or in the comments? In this article, we will answer these questions, and more, in our ultimate guide to using Instagram hashtags.

Popular Hashtags

There is no doubt that paired with a strong content strategy, hashtags can help yield impressive results on Instagram. One of the most helpful things to know before anything else is what hashtags are currently popular and likely to be useful if added to your posts. Here is a list of the current top 15 hashtags based upon up-to-date usage:

#follow (675.8M posts)

#love (2.1B posts)

#instagood (1.5B posts)

#fashion (1B posts)

#photooftheday (972.4M posts)

#art (863.8M posts)

#photography (836.6M posts)

#instagram (785.2M posts)

#beautiful (779.7M posts)

#picoftheday (682.5M posts)

#nature (681.5M posts)

#happy (661.6M posts)

#cute (651.7M posts)

#travel (600.4M posts)

#style (595.3M posts)

How Many Hashtags Per Post?

Now you have seen some of the most popular hashtags, it is important to know exactly how many should be used per post. Instagram recently advised that creators should use between 3-5 hashtags on their posts, despite allowing up to 30 per post.

The reason for this is that Instagram is introducing more “suggested” content feeds – like the Instagram Reels tab, for example. But in order to provide suggested content that truly is a “good match,” Instagram needs to be able to accurately categorize it. The theory? Fewer hashtags = more reliable self-categorization. However, we feel that using more hashtags is still the best strategy for increasing your reach and engagement on Instagram feed posts. Remembering though that as Instagram introduces more “suggested” content feeds, focusing on fewer, hyper-relevant hashtags could be a tactic worth testing.

Types of Instagram Hashtag

There are five main types of hashtags to consider:

  1. Location-based hashtags, like #HydetPark or #UpperEastSide

  2. Branded hashtags for campaigns or events, like #ThinkPink or #Nike

  3. Industry hashtags that describe your niche, like #SocialMediaMarketers or #PersonalTrainer

  4. Community-focused hashtags to bring your community together, like #BarefootWalkers or #IAmABookWorm

  5. Descriptive hashtags which describe the content of your actual post, like #Beautiful or #happy

It is a good idea to include a variety of these different categories in mind when selecting your hashtags and it can provide valuable inspiration to your strategy.

Should You Add Hashtags To Every Instagram Post?

Yes! Absolutely you should. Try to choose hashtags that are as narrow or as niche as possible. The less volume of posts a hashtag has, the more likely you’ll be seen by people who follow them. Plus, if the subject matter is highly specific, people are more likely to engage with your post.

Can You Use The Same Hashtags In Every Post?

This may sound tempting if your content is quite similar. However, this isn't a good idea as Instagram’s algorithm may penalize you for consistently using the same hashtags. In some cases banning accounts for this kind of thing, seeing them as fakes or bots.

Hashtags In A Comment?

Remember, you can hide your hashtags in a comment. Instagram doesn’t distinguish between caption hashtags and comment hashtags. Simply write your caption as you would then navigate to the published post and leave a comment with your hashtags. They will be hidden completely until users navigate to the comment section.

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