A Complete Guide to Instagram Hashtags

hashtag guide

One of the most important features on Instagram is hashtags. As you may know, you can use them to help users and the algorithm find and discover your content.

However, they are a double-edged sword, meaning that, if used correctly, hashtags can boost your marketing strategy on the platform, but, if you use the wrong ones in the wrong way, you’ll only end up losing followers and views. 

This is why it’s very important for any marketer, influencer, or anyone who wants to gain visibility on Instagram to know how to use hashtags. The good news? You’ve just landed on the right article. Below is a complete guide on Instagram Hashtags.

Why should you use Instagram Hashtags?

Hashtags are words that help define the content of the picture you’re publishing. When you use a hashtag on an Instagram post, your picture will appear on the page for that hashtag.

If you use the hashtag “#love”, for example, your content will be shown when a user runs a search for the #love hashtag. Furthermore, your content will also be shown to users that have already shown interest in other posts that are associated with the #love hashtag.

As you can see, this is a strategy that is extremely simple yet powerful at the same time. You can increase your posts’ organic reach by using relevant hashtags on your Instagram posts, Reels, and stories, making sure they can reach your target audience.

Hashtags can also be used to create a community around your Instagram account. By sharing hashtags, users on Instagram create communities and businesses create networks around their brand.

So, why should you use Instagram hashtags? To boost your content reach, build a community, expand your network, and strengthen your online presence.

What are the types of Instagram Hashtags?

Instagram divides hashtags into categories based on their functionality. The main types of Instagram hashtags are the following:

  1. Industry hashtags: used to show a connection to an industry or a sector
  2. Niche hashtags: used to show a subcategory of a primary industry
  3. Branded hashtags: created by a brand to build and promote their identity.
  4. Community hashtags: associated with cultural movements or ideologies.
  5. Descriptive hashtags: these are hashtags that describe the content of the picture or video.
  6. Location hashtags: related to the location where, usually, the content has been created or shared.

How to pick your hashtags

Using hashtags isn’t enough to guarantee success: you need to use them properly and in the right way. Here are some tips on how to use Instagram hashtags.

Check the explore page

The Instagram Explore Page is where you can see all the posts related to a niche or topic. Check it to find out what the most trending hashtags in your niche are. You can do this by tapping on a post and checking its tags.

Also, use the explore page to check out hashtags used by your competitors.

Branded hashtags

Using trending hashtags isn’t the only strategy you can adopt; it is also important that you create your own hashtags. It’s important that you create branded hashtags. They help you create your brand identity, build your reputation online and strengthen your presence on the platform.

Use analytics

Use analytics to check how your hashtags are performing. Also, use data to find out what hashtags your audience is using so that you can make the most of this information to tag your posts properly.

Do not exaggerate

Instagram allows you to embed 30 hashtags on your posts and 10 on stories. Even though you are allowed to do so, we don’t recommend going al the way. Choose your hashtags carefully and then use from 1 to 3.

Where can you use Instagram Hashtags?

It’s now time to find out where you can use hashtags on Instagram.

1. Captions: they are used to describe your posts or reels’ content and you can also add hashtags to them. In particular, it is more effective if you use the hashtag in the first line,otherwise it could be hidden (only the first 125 characters are shown).

Make sure to pick the most relevant hashtag and include it at the beginning of your caption.

2. Comments: as you know, you can add comments on Instagram posts or reels. Nothing prevents you from using hashtags in the comment section of your own posts or reels.

3. Stories: people love Instagram stories, so make sure that you post a lot. It’s also really important to remember to include hashtags on your Instagram stories, so that people know how to find you. 

4. Your profile: you can also add hashtags to your profile so that people can find you easily. 

Things to avoid

We’ve already mentioned that you shouldn’t use too many hashtags, but is there anything else you should avoid?

  • Do not use banned tags; it potentially can get you shadowbanned
  • Do not use repetitive hashtags
  • Do not use irrelevant hashtags just because they are trending
  • Avoid trending hashtags that are overdone. If you use the hashtag #love, the competition will be so high (because everyone is using it) that your post will disappear in the crowd.

How are your hashtags performing?

To find out how your hashtags are performing, you can use Instagram Insights. Select a post and then tap on View Insights. You will want to check the Discovery section and in particular the “from hashtags” data. 

Final Thoughts

As you’ve just learned, hashtags are very important on Instagram. The platform and its users rely strongly on them. However, because everyone is using them, the competition is very high, and in order to succeed you need to learn how to use hashtags properly.

In this article, we’ve provided you with everything that you need to know to start using Instagram hashtags effectively so that you can boost your popularity on the platform.