Everything You Need to Know About Using Hashtags Successfully on Instagram

In order to be successful on Instagram, you’ll need to use the right hashtags in your posts. Using the right hashtags all but ensures higher engagement. Hashtags not only categorize content, but they also make it more discoverable. When a user clicks a certain hashtag, they will see all of the posts tagged with it.

What’s even better is that users can now follow hashtags. This enables your content to show up on a user’s feed, even if they aren’t following you. By sharing great content and using relevant hashtags, you increase your chances of getting new followers.

But using hashtags isn’t as #simple as it may seem. Here’s what you need to know about using hashtags to maximize your Instagram presence.

Know How to Measure Hashtag Success

Before you can figure out if you’re using hashtags the right way or not, you want to first know how to measure your current success. If you have an Instagram business profile, you can use the View Insights feature to determine your reach along with your impressions.

With this data, you can pinpoint which hashtags are the most effective in improving your business’ reach across the social network.

Hashtags Can Be Used in More Places Than You Think

While most people use hashtags on their posts, they can be used in many other places as well. By using hashtags in various locations, you can get the views and follows that you need in order to improve brand recognition and visibility.

For example, you can use up to 10 hashtags on a Story. You can also add hashtags to your bio.

Avoid Irrelevant or Repeating Hashtags

Using irrelevant hashtags or repeating the same hashtag over and over won’t help you get Instagram followers. In fact, it may lead to you losing followers. Instagram now allows users to block certain content that uses a specific hashtag.

This enables the social network to figure out what content each specific user likes to see on their feed. If too many of your posts are flagged using the “Don’t Show for This Hashtag” feature, your content may be shown less often, or may not be shown at all.

To avoid this, don’t use the same list of long hashtags on every post. You also want to avoid using irrelevant hashtags. When creating a post, only use hashtags that make the most sense to your content.

Remember, social media marketing is more about getting seen by the right people versus getting seen by a lot of people. This is what drives the success of hashtags which then leads to higher engagement and a growing number of followers.

Specific Hashtags Work Best

The hashtags that you use on your Instagram is heavily dependent on your business’s industry. While there are tons of broad industry hashtags that you could use, you’ll gain a larger number of quality followers if you use more specific hashtags; including details such as the location or using a branded hashtag can get you the engagement and views that you want.

Know Where to Look for Trending Hashtags

There are an endless amount of hashtags that you can use. But if you want to maximize your potential, you need to focus on using the right hashtags on the right posts. Some of the best ways to find quality hashtags that fit your brand include:

  • Instagram’s search function
  • Competitors
  • Industry influencers
  • Related hashtags

You can also find successful hashtags by sifting through your old posts. Look through your feed and see which posts were the most commented, shared, or viewed. Chances are that you’ll find a trend in which hashtags were the most popular.

Remember, avoid using irrelevant hashtags. Otherwise, you risk being flagged as a spammer.

Hashtag Success is in the Numbers

Just as there’s an optimal time to post, there’s also an optimal number of hashtags to use. According to TrackMaven, posts that have nine hashtags get the most engagement. Posts with 10, 11, and 12, also get tons of views.

But this doesn’t mean that you should spam each of your Instagram posts with hashtags. Don’t use hashtags just to meet this threshold. You only want to use the ones that are relevant to the content that you’re posting.

Using hashtags like #followme may get you new followers, but they likely aren’t ones that are going to make a purchase or engage with your business.


Hashtags aren’t as simple as they may seem. There’s a lot of research that goes into choosing the right hashtags that will get the most engagement and interest. Keep these hashtag tips and tricks in mind so that you can make the most of your business’ Instagram presence.

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