Hashtags are the key feature for making your content discoverable on social media, and Instagram is no different. First used in 2007 on Twitter, hashtags are now the staple of content discoverability on Instagram and they’re a vital part of your overall strategy.
Hashtags aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, so if you are confused about how to use them, it’s time to get acquainted! Instagram allows you to post content with up to 30 hashtags, but that doesn’t mean you should always use 30.
In fact, when you use that many hashtags, your account can come across as spammy or desperate. If you don’t use enough, though, you aren’t going to get your content out to enough people.
How many hashtags should you use for best results?
We’re going to give you 5 tips on how to use hashtags the right way and make sure you get just the right number for all of your posts. We’ll also talk about what happens when you use too many.
Let’s get started!
While choosing hashtags is one of the most important things you can do for your hashtag strategy, you’ve also got to plan them out and know how many of them to use and which ones can work on different types of content.
Here are our 5 tips on how many hashtags to use.
While there is no official consensus on how many hashtags are best, research has indicated that anywhere from 4-10 hashtags bring in better engagement levels.
A relatively steady engagement rate is found when using within that range and doesn’t vary much depending on increasing or decreasing the hashtag number, but after 11 hashtags, it shows that engagement numbers begin to fall.
That indicates that posts with a high number of hashtags aren’t effective in generating more traffic and engagement and that choosing high-impact hashtags ranging from 4-10 in total is going to bring you better results and make your content look better and get more engagement.
Once you decide on how many hashtags you want to use, you’ve got to make sure that they not only align with your content but also bring good results. You have to ensure that the hashtags are high-impact, as we mentioned above, because you’ve only got a few.
Check out the popularity of a hashtag before you decide on whether or not to use it; don’t waste time using hashtags that are overly popular because they aren’t going to get your content seen. If they’re being used by over 1m users, it’s probably best to look for more options.
When you use a very popular hashtag, your content will get pushed down the content feed after you post it too fast for people to notice it. What’s more, you will likely reach a lot of users that aren’t in your target audience if they’re too general.
If the hashtags are hardly searched at all and are not very popular, you aren’t going to get results there, either. So doing your research on hashtags before you make your selections can help you to get the best results and make sure that each one you use is used with purpose and intention.
Using a hashtag tool like Task Ant is the perfect way for you to stay up-to-date on which hashtags are popular and which ones are optimal for bringing you results from your target audience. Otherwise, the process is super time-consuming and it’s hard to record your findings.
In addition to using the right number of hashtags and using them wisely, you should always have a base of hashtags that are connected to your content and that you can use for pretty much any different type of post you’re making.
You might want to use different tags when you’re posting a selfie than when you’re posting an outdoor scene or whatever niche-specific things you post, so having a few different hashtag sets ready to go will help you always have a solid hashtag strategy in place.
You need to be creative, strategic, and effective with the hashtags that you use. For that reason, do your research and know which ones work; even if you only use 4-10 per post, you should have many more in your back pocket.
Even experts have trouble agreeing how many hashtags are best on Instagram. While research has shown that 4-10 is the key range, there are still some gurus that claim using 30+ or even doubling up via the first post comment is the way to go.
If you’re looking for ways to implement 30 hashtags on your posts, you should make sure they are all relevant and productive to your brand, at least. Use a combination of in-caption, after caption, and in the first comment, so that way they are spread throughout your post and not just in one big block.
If you do it that way, you won’t seem as spammy and you’ll also look more organized and thoughtful in your hashtag implementation, which boosts your credibility and authenticity. If you want to use more than 10 hashtags, mix it up and don’t do it all in a long list.
You should also consider where you’re going to put your hashtags. Here are the possible locations for using hashtags:
- Directly in your caption (mixed with the words of your caption)
- At the end of your caption in a list
- In the first comment of your post
- A combination of the above
In order to keep your posts unique, you should also change up your hashtag usage. Don’t always just list them right at the bottom of your post; try out a first comment, or incorporate them in your caption, or use a mixture of both. That way you add some variety to your content.
You aren’t going to be able to use more than 30 hashtags on Instagram, so that’s the max. Even though you’re allowed to use 30, that doesn’t mean you should, as in many cases, 30 hashtags can be perceived as too many.
People don’t want to see a bunch of hashtags all over your content and you’re not even likely to see enhanced results through using them. Focus your energy on really finding the right hashtags for your content and you’ll be getting much better visibility for your content.
If you use too many, you’ll look spammy and desperate for more followers and to fit into a bunch of different areas. When you use the right hashtags, you look more focused and more confident in your content offerings. Don’t just overuse hashtags for the heck of it.
You can also look less authentic or thoughtful when you bombard your posts with hashtags, so be purposeful and intentional with your strategy.
There is also not a straightforward answer to this, but you’ve used too many hashtags when you start to become random or overly spammy. If you’re just throwing hashtags onto your post, you’re probably using too many.
Anywhere over 11 can minimize your engagement if you don’t use them right. When choosing hashtags, make sure you consider the following:
- Your target audience
- The content you’re going to tag
- Which hashtags from your bank are most related to the content
If you use them correctly and authentically in a variety of spots on your content, you won’t be using “too many” hashtags; research does show, though, that the best range is between 4-10 hashtags with a max of 11 for best engagement.
If you can be creative with your hashtags, you can use up to 30 effectively if you make sure they are connected and relevant to your content. The recommended number is between 4-11 per post.
Always make sure that you have a variety of different relevant options in your hashtag bank; creating go-to hashtag sets with Task Ant can help you easily choose, save, and post your hashtags to get your content out there fast and with little hassle.
It’s a game changer for hashtag strategy organization, keeping you current on popular and thriving hashtags in your niche, and can help you make sure you use the right number of hashtags every single time!