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How to use Hashtags on Instagram.

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If you are an Instagram fan then you will probably already know that you can add a maximum of 30 hashtags to a post. But the question is should you add 30?

And if not how many hashtags should you add to your Instagram posts to get the maximum exposure?

In this article, we will be answering this question and all your other hashtag questions to help you understand how to use tags to grow your account and your Instagram followers.

We will also mix in a few tips and tricks so keep reading.

Firstly we must cover some basics as to what hashtags are.

How to use Hashtags on Instagram the basics


What are hashtags?

There are thousands upon thousands of images published every minute on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and all other social platforms

The only way that your content is seen is if one of your followers happens to see it

If your sharing to Facebook the chances of one of your friends and followers see’s your content is even less likely due to the pay to play nature of Facebook and its engagement damaging algorithm.

This when hashtags come into play and become important because they expand your reach far beyond your following especially if you are sharing your content on Instagram and Twitter.

A hashtag is simply a keyword or phrase preceded by the hash symbol (#).

So like #Instagram or #InstagramTags

Adding the # turns that keyword phrase into a link and links into where all the content that has used the same keyword phrase is, showing the most recent content first.

In other words, using # categorizes your content so that it can be found when someone searches or clicks on the tag you use.

Essentially, by including hash marks in your post; it can be indexed by the social network so that it can be discoverable to everyone, even if they’re not your followers or fans.


How many hashtags should you add to your Instagram posts

Marketers are really divided on how many tags you should add to your Instagram posts.

Some say 5-6, while research suggests the best number of tags to add is around 11.

Others are of the opinion that you should max out and add all 30.


But what do I think?

Well it comes down as it always does on questions of this type to your content

If you write a good long text block on your post then you have the opportunity to add in tags within the description and then more at the end.

If your content is much shorter then it may be a good idea to go mid range and not max out.

You have to ask yourself how the content looks on the screen to your visitors. 

A block of hashtags on an Instagram post can look very spammy even though Instagram itself doesn’t class adding 30 tags as a spammy practice.

But if your content is wordy then like suggested above you can mix in tags within the text and that will look much better.

There really is no right or wrong answer to this.

If you think that adding 30 looks spammy then don’t add 30.

Yes you can use 30 tags on a post and the temptation is there to just cut and paste them to every post you make but it is not a good idea.

It can look automated to your followers, it just doesn’t look real and it shows a lack of effort.

Instagram’s community guidelines tell us that “posting repetitive comments or content” is really not a good idea.


How the BIG Brands use hashtags

The top brands on Instagram use tags but what is interesting is that they don’t max out i fact they don’t even come close to maxing out.

They tend to use between 1 and 7 tags.

How many hashtags should you add to Instagram posts
How many tags the big brands use on posts – Source


On viewing Nike’s Instagram page you can see that they tend to use just 1 hashtag but of course, you could argue that with almost 81 million followers they have no need to tag.


How do I find popular Instagram Hashtags to use?

There are sites and apps that you can use to help you find tags that you can use on Instagram. HashTagsForLikes is a good online option along with TagBlender.

But the problem with online services is when you find your tags how do you add them to your post?

You can copy them to the clipboard and then how do you cut and paste them into a post on Instagram?

The answer is that you more than likely have to manually add them in because you can’t cut and paste tags into Instagram online because you cant create content via Instagram.com. 

(If you have managed to find a workaround for this problem then please do let me know in the comments section below.)


All content creation for Instagram is done via the app or at least that is how it is supposed to because there are online programs that can help but my understanding is that they break the Instagram Terms Of Service.

Instagram is first and foremost a mobile app and is designed to be mobile so a better option for tags would be to add another app to your mobile that offers the most popular tags, then you can copy and paste them into Instagram.

This article will help you find the best Instagram Hashtag apps.

7 Best Instagram Hashtag Apps For Android and iPhone


What are the best Hashtags to use on Instagram?

So now you have found the popular tags, the question is are these popular Instagram hashtags the best tags to use?

The goal of using hashtags is to expand your reach.

Using the popular tags sound like a good idea but popular tags can be too popular.

Adding popular tags like “love”, “beautiful” and “pretty” will see your content buried in moments because they are just so popular. 

There is also a ton of content tagged into these popular Instagram tags that just should not be tagged to these words and phrases that you are going to want to be staying away from.

A much better idea would be to shoot for tags that have been used 10k to 100k maybe the odd 1 Million if you are looking for some fast likes.

They tend to be more targetted and there is just more chance of being seen and not buried in a content avalanche.

What are the best hashtags to use on Instagram?Click To Tweet


Create your own Instagram tags to use

If you are building a brand or selling a product it is a great idea to mix in some tags that talk about your brand or products.

But before you create a tag to use fit is a good idea to first search for posts already using your proposed tag.

You don’t want to use a tag that is already associated with something else especially if it is of an unsavory variety.

Once you know you can use your tag you can then work on promoting it and prompting your followers to hopefully adopt your tag when talking about you or your products.


Related Article

How To Add Clickable Links on Instagram

One of the limitations of marketing on Instagram is the absence of clickable links in posts.

You are allowed to add one clickable link to your profile page along with 150 character description but you cannot add clickable links to Instagram posts and unfortunately, I can’t change that. 

But I can offer you a great Instagram trick and work around that is the next best thing to having clickable links on Instagram.


Following Hashtags

You can now follow hashtags this means that your content can end up on other users feeds who follow the tags you use and this helps build your following.

You have to use relevant tags for your posts if you want to succeed on Instagram.

When an Instagram member follows a hashtag and sees something they don’t like they can select the “Don’t Show for This Hashtag” option.

How to use Hashtags on Instagram the basics

The following hashtags feature is designed to teach the Instagram algorithm what content a particular member likes to see in their feed.

If your content is flagged by clicking “Don’t Show for This Hashtag” then the algorithm will learn fast that your content is not liked.

Following Instagram Hashtags for your niche is a great idea. But if your one of these users who like a clean feed then remember if you follow tags then you are going to flood your feed with content.

You only have to follow 1 tag that is popular and you can have thousands of related posts showing in your feed burying the content of the members you choose to follow.

How to use hashtags on Instagram - Pinterest image

How to use Hashtags on Instagram the basics – Takeaways

Using Instagram hashtags is not about getting seen by a lot of people.

It is about getting seen by the right people.

Using the right hashtags for your content leads to higher engagement and more followers.

If you are going to max out your tags then at least write a good chunk on text.

This shows that you are real.

Mix up your tags. Don’t continually just use the same bunch of tags over and over.

This just makes you look automated and spammy.

With regards to following tags, well I am not sure about this. It really depends on the type of Insta account that you run.

If you follow individuals then it is probably a bad idea to follow tags and your favorite celebrity will be buried under an avalanche. 

But if your page is more business or product based then following tags may well be a very good idea as you get to see everything that is happening in your niche.


That’s all for now!

Do you have a strategy for using hashtags on Instagram?

Let me know in the comments section below

Make sure that you subscribe to the comments so that you are notified when I reply





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How to use Hashtags on Instagram - Should you max-out your tags?
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How to use Hashtags on Instagram - Should you max-out your tags?
Do you know how to use hashtags on Instagram to get results? In this article, we will be answering all your hashtag questions to help you succeed on Instagram.
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Follow Dexter Roona:
Social Media Expert and Blogger. I love all elements of social media and my InfoBunny Blog is now really just about providing help for those looking to build their Social Media Authority.

10 Responses

  1. Suraj thapa
    | Reply

    I thought hashtag was just a symbol. Oh my god, you have written so much about the hashtag. Rally impressed by reading your post. Now, I know the benefits of the hashtag. Thank you for this amazing post.

  2. Krook
    | Reply


    Thanks for sharing it
    Krook recently posted…Facebook has launched Facebook Lite version for iPhone UsersMy Profile

  3. Daren Lee
    | Reply

    How much hashtags can we use in a Instagram post?

  4. Lisa Sicard
    | Reply

    Hi Dexter, very interesting. I have been using tools like Rite-Tag and Hashtagify as well to search for them.
    I do follow your guidelines for using them by the length of my post text. It just looks more pleasing to the eye. I rarely reach the 20 or 30 per post though. It just looks spammy to me.
    Nice to know that Nike only uses one. Maybe I’ll start using less on a few to test that one out.
    Instagram really has become quite complicated these days. Thanks for the tips Dexter and have a great day!
    Lisa Sicard recently posted…How Omnichannel Marketing Strategy Addresses Your Business ChallengesMy Profile

  5. Sathish Arumugam
    | Reply

    The rules which are mentioned in the above article on how to use the Instagram hashtag is really good and targeting a set of audience. Using the hashtag for Instagram makes the content more discoverable. Competitor and top influencer will use the best hashtag that is relevant and tending to the company. If we include the right Instagram hashtag to the post we will be seeing higher engagement than before, Thanks for sharing the article
    Sathish Arumugam recently posted…Generate Blog Post Content Ideas Using Loads of Informative ResourcesMy Profile

  6. Santanu Debnath
    | Reply

    I have recently started using Instagram and exploring many features of this awesome platform. I was looking for this topic and found your article. You have shared such a detailed guide on this topic, that it clears my doubts. Many thanks for sharing this awesome guide.
    Santanu Debnath recently posted…A2 Hosting Review 2018 – Are They 20x Faster Best SSD Hosting Provider?My Profile

  7. Joie Gahum
    | Reply

    I use hashtag tools like hashatory in finding good hashtags. So far so good.

  8. Max
    | Reply

    Did you try https://tagsets.com/? For me it’s much more convenient and functional than HashTagsForLikes or TagBlender.

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