How to Use Hashtags on Instagram for More Followers

April 21, 2021

Instagram hashtags are among the most effective tools for promoting your account. However, to actually increase the reach and the number of likes and followers, you need to use hashtags on Instagram properly. We suggest that you read our guide and stock up on useful tips to promote your account.

How to Hashtag on Instagram

Hashtag is a combination of letters, numbers, and emoji preceded by the # symbol. These are the key phrases indicating what your content is related to (what is shown in the picture, what the text is about, etc.). You can use hashtags in posts, stories and IGTV on Instagram. They perform several functions in the profile:

  • increase the post reach;
  • attract the target audience’s attention;
  • help find your posts;
  • let the customers and buyers remember about you;
  • structure content;
  • allow users to follow particular headings;
  • represent your brand.

To create a hashtag on Instagram, enter # symbol and the key phrase immediately after it. This way, you can either add the existing hashtags (Instagram will offer you the options) or create the new ones. To add a hashtag to your stories, you can enter it in the text or select a special sticker from the gallery.

How Do Hashtags Work On Instagram?

If you click on any hashtag, you will go to the search page, where all the posts with such a hashtag will be represented. That is, hashtags on Instagram work on a similar principle to Google search queries. There are two tabs on the Instagram hashtag page: popular and recent.

The most important characteristics by which Instagram forms a list of popular posts is how much engagement the post gets, and how quickly it gets that engagement. That’s why it’s important to encourage your audience to be active on your page.

Please note that your post will only appear in hashtag searches if your account is open.

How Many Hashtags Can You Use On Instagram?

How many hashtags you can use per post. In total, Instagram allows you to add 30 hashtags per post. However, to understand how many hashtags would be useful for your posts in particular, you need to test various numbers of key phrases. Typically, users notice the best activity when applying 5 to 9 hashtags. Try various combinations, and you will find your perfect number.

How many hashtags you can use on IGTV. You can add 30 hashtags to your IGTV. That is, the same restrictions apply here as for regular posts. We recommend that you follow these restrictions to avoid being banned.

How many hashtags you can use in stories. You can add 10 hashtags in the text of the stories, and another one with a special sticker.

What Are the Types of Hashtags on Instagram

All Instagram hashtags can be divided into several main groups.

  • Branded hashtags. These are hashtags with brand names or those directly related to the brand (slogan, positioning, unique association phrase). Such hashtags work for brand recognition and also help to track all mentions of your product on the social network.
  • Navigation hashtags. These are the phrases that help your followers filter the posts on your page and quickly find the ones they need. Such hashtags are very useful in many cases: they can be used to indicate products in stock, various headings, topics, reviews, etc.
  • Geohashtags. On Instagram, you can mark the geolocation of the post as well as add hashtags with particular locations. If you think it through correctly, it can be an additional tool to attract followers. Such a plan can work well if you tag places that could potentially be interesting to your audience.
  • Instagram hashtags to increase activity. Yes, there are hashtags aimed at offering the exchange of likes, comments and subscriptions. We recommend that you use this type of hashtags very carefully and only in rare cases (if you arrange liketimes, etc.). Otherwise, you may attract a large number of bots and non-target audiences, and this will only spoil your further reach.
  • Thematic hashtags. These are the key phrases indicating the topic of the post. These hashtags are the most valuable for account promotion. If you manage to select the right phrases and add posts with a variety of relevant hashtags on a regular basis, you can attract a large number of new followers.

Hashtags can also be divided into groups according to their popularity:

  • High-frequency hashtags: more than 100,000 posts;
  • Medium-frequency hashtags: 10,000 – 100,000 posts;
  • Low-frequency hashtags: up to 10,000 posts.

While considering the hashtag’s popularity, it is important not to use too many high-frequency queries, because then you will simply get lost among other posts. Also, don’t use too many niches, unpopular queries, because too few people are looking for them, so that won’t help your account in any way.

It is optimal to use 3-5 medium-frequency hashtags and 5-7 low-frequency hashtags.

How to choose hashtags

There are several effective ways to help you choose hashtags for your post:

  • Brainstorming. Think about which phrases best describe your business, brand, individual posts. What queries would you like to get you in the top? Write all these phrases in a separate document.
  • Instagram search. Start typing the phrases you wrote down into the Instagram search bar. This way you will see the already existing hashtags and the level of their popularity. Choose the ones that work best for you.
  • Analysis of competitors’ posts. Have a look at your competitors’ pages and the accounts with similar topics. Write down the hashtags that could work for your posts.
  • Top analysis. It is very useful to analyze the posts appearing in top feed due to the right hashtags. Pay attention not only to the list of key phrases but also to all the nuances that could be of interest to Instagram users.
  • Review of target audience posts. Yes, this resource can also suggest some useful phrases. Find out what your audience is interested in and offer the required photos or topics using your research and the relevant hashtags.

How to Effectively Use Hashtags on Instagram

Now that we’ve covered the technical aspects, let’s talk about the specific recommendations that will make your hashtags more effective.

  • Write down the most important hashtags in a separate file and add new search queries.
  • Dilute your main queries with secondary ones to reach a larger audience.
  • Each time, analyze the effect of the hashtags and record this information in a file with a list of queries.
  • Analyze the posts in the top on a regular basis.
  • Try to use 3-5 medium-frequency hashtags and 5-7 low-frequency hashtags in the post. Important: another number of hashtags may be best for you. Try different approaches.
  • Avoid overly popular hashtags, activity hashtags, and banned hashtags.
  • Add a branded hashtag to the profile header.
  • Motivate your followers to use your hashtags in their posts (by offering small discounts, PR, etc.).
  • Encourage followers to like, comment on, and save your posts with hashtags, so you are more likely to get to the top.
  • Try adding hashtags to your post description, comments, stories, and other places for maximum effect.

And most importantly: offer useful aesthetic content on your page and create posts regularly. Only then will you be able to gather a large target audience and connect with it. Find more tips for promoting your account here.




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