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How to Effectively use Hashtags on Instagram

Are you confused about using hashtags for Instagram? Here are 7 tips for effectively using hashtags for instagram.

When I first opened my account, I refused to use hashtags on Instagram.  It seemed so …..spammy.

And the only engagement/likes I got were from the 50 or so family and friends that followed my account. It was like crickets.

Then I tried using hashtags…sporadically and non-strategically.

And still…crickets….

The fact is, adding the right hashtags can drastically increase not only your engagement, but the reach of your posts. And it can help you reach new audiences and/or your target market.

So here are a few tips on How to Effectively use Hashtags on Instagram

1. Don’t use too many hashtags 

Instagram allows use to use up to 30 hashtags per post.  Now, that doesn’t’ mean you have to use all 30!!!  But depending on your brand and the purpose for your photo, I would say find your sweet spot and post  somewhere between 10 and 20 a post.

2. Don’t put all of  your hashtags in your status, place them in your comments

Using too many hashtags can come off as spammy. So to combat that, place the bulk of your hashtags in your comment section, right after you post your photo. That way, the hashtags in your status is not the first thing that your followers see. Even better, when your followers comment, your first comment tends to disappear. So people are still finding you via hashtags, but your followers don’t see them all when your post shows up in their timeline.

3. Use relevant hashtags

Just because the trending hashtag at the moment is #fashionweek doesn’t mean that you need to use it in every one of your photos that day. Research your hashtags to make sure they fit your brand and are relevant to your photo. Using the #sunset or the #chrisbrown hashtag just because they are popular can actually damage your credibility and is annoying to your followers.

4. Use branded hashtags 

You should have at least one branded hashtag for your business. I use #everydayeyecandy and #eyecandysfollowfriday. Using branded hashtags helps to establish brand recognition. So if you haven’t yet established one yet for your business, get to it!

5. Do your Research

To find hashtags that are relevant to your brand: look at your competition, look at the other Instagrammers in your niche. Find out what tags are they using and are they working for them. Take the time to research those hashtags and ask yourself not only do they fit your brand, but do they fit your aesthetic?

6. Use a combination of popular and niche specific hashtags

Using more popular hashtags will get you results almost immediately.  But when you use a hashtag that is popular, your posts will soon be lost in the many posts of that popular hashtag.  Using  niche-specific/less popular hashtags usually live longer in search queries and will get you more likes/engagement in the long run.  The key is to use a combination of the two. For example: you post a photo about coffee: the popular hashtag might be #coffee.  Break it down to #coffeegram then to the type of coffee #Chemex and finally #pourover.  All of these are relevant and they will not only get your photo seen initially but will extend the life of your photo due to using niche specific hashtags.

7. Save Your Hashtags

When you find that right combination of hashtags, save them so that you aren’t wasting precious time trying to remember them each time you post! I’ve heard a variety of ways to save them but one of my personal favorite ways is to save it in the notes section of my phone. I have specific lists saved for each type of photo I post. That way, I’m not wasting valuable time trying to remember my hashtags!


So there you have it, 7 great tips to effectively use hashtags on Instagram. 

If you would love to learn more about Instagram and get an even more comprehensive explanation of how to use hashtags to grow your Instagram community,  Sign up for My course Instagarm Better: A Plan for Authentic Community Building. 




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  • Reply
    September 18, 2015 at 9:03 am

    I am just getting on the real hashtag train and I love it. I search by hashtags and I think it’s the best tool to use on instagram. I don’t even use it on twitter at all. I have one that is branded for my brand which I love.

  • Reply
    September 18, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Very good tips! I have one branded hashtag so far. I’ll need to start adding hashtags in my comment section. Thanks!

  • Reply
    September 18, 2015 at 11:48 am

    Great tips. I just started with a branded hashtag not too long ago

  • Reply
    Laila @FrontRowMama
    September 18, 2015 at 11:48 am

    This is SO helpful. I’ve struggled with this,lol.

  • Reply
    Camesha | Mama Motivator
    September 18, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    These are great tips! My Instagram skills suck. ? Looking forward to this course!

  • Reply
    September 18, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    I used hashtags to be funny honestly lol…until recently my Instagram was private so it didn’t really matter to me but these tips are perfect. I’ll get on with the branded hashtags and such now. THANK YOU as always, great tips!

  • Reply
    September 18, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    I love Instagram. I am going to have to work on hashtags. I have a few I use consistently but some days I don’t even bother with any. I’ll have to rethink that. Thanks for the tips.

  • Reply
    September 18, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    I have GOT to save my lists so I don’t spend all those minutes posting them. Sometimes my followers start commenting before I can get done with my hashtags. Oy vey!

  • Reply
    September 18, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    Im still playing around with what works for me on Instagram. I’m always brainstorming hashtags at the minute that I post. I will keep these tips in mind.

  • Reply
    September 19, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    I never really thought about using a branded hashtag, but it makes so much sense! Thanks for the tips. I may have to check out that ecourse! 😉

  • Reply
    GinaB @ Mirror Watching
    September 20, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    I especially liked tips 4 and 6. I’ve pinned this post and signed up for your e course. See you on Monday!

  • Reply
    LaShon Renee
    September 20, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    Good IG tips. My Instagram account is slowly coming along. I just need to post more often.

  • Reply
    September 20, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    great post! I’ll definitely be using these tips!

  • Reply
    Nicole (Nicole's Lifestyle Lounge)
    September 20, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    Great tips! I’m currently using 3 hashtags for my blog and business.

  • Reply
    September 20, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    Instagram is my favorite social media outlet. Love the tip on saving your hashtags in the notes because I don’t always remember them.

  • Reply
    September 20, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Thanks for these tips. I am working on getting my Instagram right so I am going to employ these tips.

  • Reply
    September 20, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    These are really great tips and they definitely work! When you post the right hashtags, you can go a few days without posting and still get consistent new followers just because of the hashtags you use.

  • Reply
    Logan Can
    September 21, 2015 at 9:42 am

    These are really great tips. I have recently started trying to use more brand hashtags not only for sponsored posts, but anywhere I can. 🙂

  • Reply
    September 21, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Great resource for Instagram beginners wanted to build their brand or business! Your last tip is something that I need to do more often. I hate when I spend time typing the hashtags in the comments and then IG won’t let me post them. Precious time wasted.

  • Reply
    September 21, 2015 at 10:23 am

    I’m new to Instagram so this was really useful to me. I didn’t even know you could hashtag in Instagram! Don’t suppose you’ve written a beginners guide to Twitter too? Would love to have a read.

  • Reply
    Erin @Yorkshiretots
    September 21, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Thank you! The hashtags in the comments idea – why didn’t I realize that myself? Really helpful list!

  • Reply
    Kristen @ A Mind Full Mom
    September 21, 2015 at 11:26 am

    I am trying to grow my Instagram account, so this helps tremendously–thank you!

  • Reply
    September 21, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Great tips. I have a similar post going live this week. lol I agree hashtags looked so spammy.

  • Reply
    September 21, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    This is such a useful post.
    I love the tip of saving the hashtags once you’ve found some that really work AS WELL as not overdoing it with the hashtags. So important for people to understand the power of social media when used correctly. Thank you

  • Reply
    September 21, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    I am signing up to your course as I am fairly new to Instagram ( nearly three months now) but I nearly have 700 followers and that is by following some of the rules that you have posted here. Engagement is the key to expanding your community.

  • Reply
    September 21, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    I try not to use too many hashtags but there is a lot of conflicting advice out there about how many you should and shouldn’t use that I am not sure I will ever get it right x

  • Reply
    September 21, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Great tips! I’m always looking for new ways to use hashtags. Love the tips on creating your own hashtag & saving the good ones on your phone. Can’t wait to try it! Great post! 🙂

  • Reply
    Zena's Suitcase
    September 21, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    I think your right about doing the research. I always get to posting a photo and think, right what hashtags will suit this. Some research would definitely take the guessing out of it for me

  • Reply
    September 21, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    I like using meaningful hashtags on Instagram. I try not to use too many so maybe those times I do I should add the rest to the comments. Thanks for the tips!

  • Reply
    Michelle Murray
    September 21, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    I am struggling with instagram at the moment and how to maximise my reach so this has really helped. I think i need to spend a full day working it out as I love the idea but just not got it yet.

  • Reply
    Zoe Alicia
    September 21, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    I must say, I’m not really one for hashtags on Instagram. I like to let my pictures do the talking – but great tips for Instagram beginners!

  • Reply
    September 21, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    Some great tips in here – I need to get better at hashtags on Insta. Putting them in the comments is a fab idea because that means you don’t have to spam Facebook with hashtags either – and doh! why didn’t I think of saving them too… 🙂

  • Reply
    emma t
    September 21, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Some great tips here. I love instagram and usually use a few hashtags, but I struggle to remember the ones I use.

  • Reply
    The L's Mum
    September 22, 2015 at 3:06 am

    Some amazing tips here. Especially the research hashtags and also saving them. I am always spending too much time trying to remember the ones that work well for my profile. Thanks for sharing your tips.

  • Reply
    Kerry Louise
    September 22, 2015 at 6:23 am

    Very helpful post thank you! I don’t tend to use hashtags on my photos as I get a fair amount of likes already but this post is great for those wishing to build their followers.

  • Reply
    September 22, 2015 at 9:44 am

    I use IG to drive traffic to my blog and to build a community, so I use it differently to a brand or business.I have started using more hashtags but as I post the same content weekly, I know which ones work for me.I never thought about moving hashtags to my comments as I think it looks weird.I’m very used to seeing more than 15 on a lot of photos I like.But a few months back it would put me off no end, until I realised the power of the hashtag.I have never thought of saving the hashtags I use, that is a really good tip I’m going to use.

  • Reply
    Sarah Golding
    September 22, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Those tips are great. I’ve only recently started using hashtags, the saving the best ones is a brilliant idea I’ll definitely do that

  • Reply
    September 22, 2015 at 11:41 am

    Great tips. I, like you have said, have started to put my hashtags in comments rather than the actual post. I find that it looks less spammy. Using them has given me a lot more engagement x

  • Reply
    September 22, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    Great post. I used to use far too many hashtags on my Instagram photos but recently have started using just a select few.

  • Reply
    Erin- Sixth Bloom
    September 23, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    Love love love all of the tips you’re giving with IG! I’ve already shared and pinned!

  • Reply
    Ickle Pickle
    September 24, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Great post – I love the idea of a ‘brand’ hashtag. I am thinking about that one already! Kaz x

  • Reply
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