How to Properly Use Hashtags on Instagram

Charles Tumiotto Jackson
2 min readMar 21, 2019

It’s quite common to read that hashtags are outdated on Instagram.

This statement probably comes from people that either don’tapply a strong hashtag strategy or use hashtags the way they used to, back in 2012.

Hashtags help you get your content out there, it helps your content to reach new people that will fit in your audience. That’s what they’re for.

Hashtags are literally keywords, why the hell shouldn’t you use them?

However, hashtags need to be used the right way to really be effective in your Instagram SEO strategy.

If you want to have the most impact using hashtags, here are a couple of rules that you can follow:

  • Don’t put hashtags in the first comment of your post. Sometimes they seem to work, sometimes they don’t, it changes all the time, almost every time the app updates. In any ways, it doesn’t look cleaner. So don’t take the risk and don’t do it.
  • Separate the hashtags from your caption. This will make your post look cleaner.
  • Don’t use hashtags that have more than 600k publications in them. Your content will just be invisible and you would have wasted a hashtag.
  • Use the maximum number of hashtags possible: 30. Because, why not.
  • Don’t use hashtags that have less than 90k publications. You might be trending in this hashtag for a while if your content is great quality, however, there won’t be enough traffic to make your image actually blow up and get noticed.
  • Use hashtags that are relevant to the picture that you are posting. Which means: don’t use hashtags that are relevant to your account but to your specific post. If you have an account about journaling, don’t put a #journaling on a picture of you and your friends in front of the Eiffel Tower.
  • Don’t use the same hashtags on every post. Instead, rewrite them every time and pay attention to the points listed above. If you keep using the exact same hashtags every time, Instagram can consider that as a form of spam and they can ban your content from the hashtag searches. Cooler people call it being “shadowbanned”.

By following these steps, I’m a 100% sure that your posts will get noticed more, liked more and shared more.

Hashtags are obviously not the only way to get discovered but it’s probably the easiest tool. Yet, some people don’t use them well enough and some marketing gurus keep telling people to stop using them.

Do you feel like you tried everything to grow on Instagram? Hopefully, what follows will be the last thing you will have to do to reach your goals.

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Charles Tumiotto Jackson

Content Marketer, willing to put the “social” back in Social Media. Let's talk about Social Media Marketing →