Instagram hashtags, the basics.
New to hashtags or need a refresher after constant social media updates?
We know, it’s hard to constantly keep up! *shakes fist so we’ve put together a quick guide on how hashtags work.
Found mostly on Instagram and Twitter (and sparingly on Facebook), hashtags are a creative way to categorise what you’re posting about on social media platforms.
Hashtags are also a great way to find messages or information about a particular topic, or a great way to add your thoughts to a conversation online, and a great way to feel connected to a community.
Here are our top 10 beginner tips to
mastering and learning how hashtags work.
1. Hashtags, golly, where do I even begin?
At the very beginning, we recommend you check out your favourite Instagram accounts or even some of your competitors and look at the type of hashtags they’re using – you’ll discover they use creative phrases, acronyms – and a lot of them.
2. Timing of hashtags
Hashtags are directly related to the time of your image post, so you want to make sure you use your hashtags as close to posting as possible.
If you delete hashtags and repost them, or simply add hashtags a few hours later it won’t work. Best practice is to post your hashtags at the same time that you post your image.
3. How many hashtags am I allowed to use per post?
You can use up to 30 hashtags per post on Instagram, which can be combined in your image caption and within your own comments.
4. How many hashtags should I use?
There are some strong opinions (oh we love the inter-web!) on how many hashtags is the magic number we should be using per image, but in our years of experimenting we’ve found the more hashtags you use, the more eyeballs you’re getting in front of – so we have no problem with recommending using all 30.
5. Some of the big accounts I see on Instagram don’t use any hashtags? What gives?
These accounts have worked their butts off already, securing a loyal following and a high enough engagement rate that when they post they’re happy with their natural Instagram visibility and don’t feel the need to actively pursue hashtags.
6. Should I use my name as one of my hashtags?
Unless your business or your Instagram name is well known, we’d recommend holding off using your IG handle as a hashtag (unless you’re running a competition).
This is because unless people are actively searching for your name, they’re not going to come across your image and it might be worth a different one to get in front of your customers.
7. Why do some websites suggest really popular hashtags like #f4f or #instagood?
To be completely honest we’re not sure, those two hashtags are horrible and you’re never going to be sure what you’re going to get! Eeep!
If you’re confused #f4f means if you follow someone, they’ll follow you back instantly, ‘Follow for follow’, in the same way that #l4l means ‘like for like’.
It’s gross, spammy, and won’t give you any decent viewers (or customers) on your account.
8. How do I find hashtags to use?
Instagram has this great feature inside the app where you can search for a hashtag, and they’ll recommend ‘related tags’.
We highly recommend putting in a bit of research into your niche, what hashtags your ideal audience are searching for and thinking outside the square. (Get it?)
9. Using a hashtag in a comment on someone else’s Instagram feed.
This is fine if you’re sharing a hashtag, making a witty comment, or think the other person should see the hashtag feed. If you’re hoping that the image will be added to the mix of that hashtag – it won’t work.
Just tag your own work. That’s not how hashtags work.
10. Should I use the same hashtags every day?
This is completely up to you. It’s your account!
The Instagram algorithm finds it easier to categorise what type of account you are (and recommend you to others) if you’re regularly using a few of the same hashtags.
We usually recommend using a few of the same tags, then get creative depending on the subject matter you’re posting about.
Do you have any basic Instagram hashtag tips you think we should add about how hashtags work?