10 Tips for Using Hashtags on Instagram

Like Google, Instagram can serve as a search engine. You can look for all kinds of goodies from yummy recipes, to virtual assistants and everything in between.

When using Instagram for business, you want your content to be seen by as many people as possible, not just the people who are following you already. To do this you need to make sure you’re not only using hashtags in every post, but that you’re using them correctly.

If you’re an Instagram newbie, hashtags are tags you associate with your post as it relates to your business or the specific content you’re sharing – i.e. #tiptuesday. When users search hashtags on Instagram, they can see a whole whack of posts that other people have created using the same tag.

Is it possible to get your posts seen without using any hashtags? Yes – but it’s going to make your growth on Instagram take A LOT more time, unless your brand is already super well known.

I’ve conjured up 10 different tips and tricks on how to use hashtags to make your content more visible and connect you with your ideal clients or others in your industry.

Instagram hashtags

1. Use 30 hashtags in each post.

Instagram allows users to use a maximum of 30 hashtags per post, and you’re going to want to use all 30. That’s 30 different ways people can come across your posts. If you try to use 31+ hashtags in one post, Instagram will know and simply won’t let your post go through until you delete enough hashtags to bring you back down to 30.

2. Search your hashtags before using them.

Before adding hashtags into your post, do your research and type each and every single one into Instagram’s search engine. This step is especially important in ensuring you’re not using hashtags that has been banned by Instagram. Consistent use of banned hashtags puts you at risk of Instagram limiting the visibility of your account so users can’t find you easily (shadow banned), or shutting your account down completely.

*I’ll be writing a separate blog post listing other reasons you want to search your hashtags before use, so stay tuned!

3. Create two sets of 30 hashtags.

Instagram sees it as spammy activity if you’re using the exact same set of hashtags in every post. Create two different sets of 30 and alternate them with each post. They don’t need to be two completely different sets; as long as your hashtags are in a different order and a few of them differ between sets, you’re good to go.

4. Keep your hashtag lists on your computer and on your phone.

If you use a third-party app to schedule your Instagram posts, keep your hashtag lists on your computer for easy access when scheduling. You’ll also want to keep your hashtag lists on your phone so they’re just as accessible when you’re posting on the go.

5. Put your hashtags in the comment section.

30 hashtags is a lot of text. Instead of putting them within your caption, put them in the comment section of your posts. You want to save your caption for fun or key information, and adding in your hashtags will make your caption cluttered and less inviting to read.

6. Use location-based hashtags.

This is especially important if you’re a brick and mortar store or if you only serve clients or customers in a particular area. Even if you’re someone like me who can with clients all over the world, perhaps you especially want to attract clients who live in your city. Start by typing the city (i.e. #Winnipeg) of your target audience into Instagram’s search engine and see what other location-based hashtags come up.

7. Use hashtags with your business name or signature product/program offer.

Create a hashtags for your business name and the key products or programs you offer, and use them in every single post. Encourage your clients or customers to use your hashtags too to gain more traction and so that content from other users pop up underneath those hashtags as well.

8. Search the hashtags you use on a regular basis and engage.

Just like you, other Instagram users love and appreciate it when they receive likes, comments, and follows. Search some of the hashtags you use on a regular basis as they relate to your target audience, and engage with the first 20-40 posts that some up under that hashtag. Like the first 40, leave quality comment on ones that really catch your eye, and follow accounts that align perfectly with your target audience or who post content you want to see on a regular basis.

9. Follow hashtags.

By now you should have the ability to follow hashtags on Instagram. If you don’t have this feature yet, try updating your Instagram app or your phone. Following a hashtag means the posts of users with larger accounts who use a hashtag you follow, will show up in your feed without you having to search for them. I.e. I follow #canadianblogger so whenever someone with a large account uses that hashtag, their photo will pop up in my feed. Following hashtags is great because it allows you to easily connect and engage with ideal clients or people with a common interest.

10. Use hashtags in your stories.

When you’re posting a photo or video to your Instagram stories, you can hit the sticker button at the top and insert a hashtag before posting. This is a great spot to post your business name or product/service name hashtags because when someone clicks on a hashtag in a story, it takes them to where they can see all of the posts that have used that hashtag.

Coming up with a strategy for using Instagram hashtags can be a little tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’re golden. If you have any questions about using hashtags on Instagram, pop them in the comments below and I’ll be glad to help a sista (or a brotha) out.

If you’re in need of 60 different Instagram hashtags that relate to your business and your target audience but don’t have time to do all the research, I can help a sista out with that too. If you want me to use my mad skills to find the hashtags you need, click HERE, scroll to the bottom to book this service, and I’ll get to work for ya!