The Best Instagram Hashtag Guide

12 February 2020

In this “Instagram Hashtag Guide” we will explain:

  • The magic number of hashtags to use in your posts
  • Where you should put your hashtags
  • How to choose your hashtags
  • If you should have different hashtag lists for different posts
  • What value-based hashtags are
  • How to maximise your engagement on Instagram with hashtags
  • How to avoid spammy hashtags on Instagram
  • A bonus hashtag tool with loads of cool features!

Instagram Hashtags. They go beyond a meme or being slapped onto a photo to get more exposure – they can be one of the most effective ways to organically reach a new audience and in this Instagram Hashtag Guide we explain how best to use them. Instagram hashtags not only categorise your content to a very specific, niche audience and make it more discoverable by users, but they are also an effective way to reach more followers and increase your overall engagement and brand awareness even as the Instagram algorithm has changed.

The best thing marketers can do right before creating a unique niche list of hashtags is to understand and define who their ideal follower is. The more specifics you can write down about your ideal consumer, the better your Instagram and brand will become. This is because you will constantly be creating content that appeals to your ideal follower at all times.

What is the magic number for Instagram hashtags?

Flick, an online Instagram Hashtag tool suggests that you use between 20-30 hashtags to give yourself as many opportunities as possible to reach new and wider audiences. We explain Flick in a bit more detail at the end of the post.

For someone who doesn’t want to use Flick or feels that 30 hashtags are too many, we suggest going with around 11. This is a strategy that has worked well for us in the past and continues to be an effective strategy for many

Where should my hashtags go on Instagram?

This is a debate amongst many on whether to place hashtags in your Instagram caption or as a comment. There are pros and cons to each, however, we feel that placing your hashtags beneath your post, as the first comment, looks less busy than keeping hashtags in the caption amongst the various other text about your post. And we all know the importance of having a great looking Instagram profile!

The disadvantage with doing so, however, is that you cannot copy and paste them into a new post at a later stage. This is why we suggest creating a hashtag list in the note app on your phone so that right before posting you are able to copy the list of niche hashtags and paste them as a comment within the first 3-5 seconds of the post being posted.

How should I choose which hashtags to use on Instagram?

Choosing specific hashtags that are appropriate for your niche audience is important. Creating niche and specific hashtags go beyond a Google search and require marketers to do a bit of research – searching for the kind of hashtags that their ideal follower is checking or following on a daily basis. By looking at the interests and hobbies of your followers, you are able to tailor your Instagram content directly to them and become a top post in their feed. 

Marketers should be creating different hashtag lists for different kinds of posts rather than using one generic list which isn’t going to gain the same traction and engagement.

Should I have different hashtag lists for different Instagram posts?

The answer is YES!

Instagram’s shadow-banning rule blocks users that use the same 30 hashtags for every post. Avoid copy-and-pasting the same hashtag list into every one of your post’s first comments. Your hashtags should be relevant to the type of content you plan on posting in order to stay relevant. 

What we recommend is choosing 5 branded hashtags that you would like to be associated with and 6 that will change based on the relevance of each post. What this will do is build consistency and add value to users who are following your content.

What are value-based hashtags on Instagram?

Creating value-based hashtags are important because they are ultimately the hashtags that your audience will be interested in potentially following. Creating an effective Instagram hashtag strategy is not all that easy and in order to become successful among millions of other Instagram users.

We believe that you should look at Instagram hashtags as a way for your customers to find you rather than a way for your business to reach them. This requires marketers to create niche-specific hashtags that their target users will prefer.

If you are someone who is looking to tap into the platform’s potential in order to reach your ideal audience, upping your hashtag game is definitely the way to go. According to AdEspresso, having at least 1 hashtag can increase engagement by up to 12.6% which is a significant jump for just one simple phrase with a # in front of it.

How do I maximise my Instagram engagement using hashtags?

Using hashtags in your post captions, stories and comments can be incredibly effective as long as they fit authentically. With the option to now also follow hashtags, be sure to choose your hashtags wisely and consistently post content that is associated with your hashtags that users are following. This gives your followers a constant flow of content on their feeds which they are able to associate with your brand based on the value you are providing to them in their busy feeds.

How to avoid spammy Instagram Hashtags

Finally, one of our top tips to avoid looking spammy with hashtags is to make the text the same colour as your background in your Instagram Story, minimize them and place each hashtag on top of each other in the corner of your Story. This will make the hashtags invisible however your Story will still show up when a user searches for one of those hashtags. This is such an awesome way to really maximise the usage of your curated hashtag lists.

Bonus Instagram Tool!

Did we mention Flick? This Instagram Hashtag Tool does some incredible things, from allowing you to find quality hashtags in just a matter of minutes, to creating a centralised location for your favourite ones and sorting them into collections which can be accessed from your phone, tablet or computer at any time! A hashtag strategy is one of the key foundational features of your Instagram and Flick provides you with the best formula to stand out to the right people through proper hashtag targeting. Hashtags are one of the key features that Instagram uses to identify the type of content and niche you’re in, and that is why Flick’s platform is worth investing in.

Flick can help you:

  • Get an extra 30% – 80% more people coming across your content (who are your ideal followers or fans),
  • Distribute content that your audience is interested in and seeking out,
  • Use hashtags that are relevant which will ultimately get your content across to a wider audience,
  • Gain a lot more traffic and engagement which could end you or your brand up on the explore page,

If you manage to use the right hashtags, you can get your content in front of an audience who are already actively looking for posts like yours. This makes it much easier to convert people already actively looking for your content. A successful hashtag strategy is built on stable foundations and Flick provides you with the perfect platform to understand what these core principles are and how to use them in a way that leaves you feeling confident about the decision you make, which will ultimately lead to quality results.

Check out Flick here.