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Instagram #hashtag best practices

Are you #confused about hashtags? Hashtags can be an extremely valuable addition to your social media posts, but only if they're used correctly. This article answers the what, why, and how of hashtagging on Instagram.

What is a hashtag?

Hashtags are an easy way to categorize content and make posts more discoverable. Hashtags are clickable and followable on Instagram. When you search for a hashtag, you will see a page with all the posts that are tagged with that hashtag.

Why use hashtags?

With the perfect hashtag, your business can build a community online that encourages others to post using your hashtag. You can probably think of so many monumental campaigns that have a memorable hashtag, such as #icebucketchallenge, #ShareaCoke, or #LikeaGirl. But overall, you should join in on hashtagging because (as long as your profile is public) your content will be more discoverable to people who don't follow you.

How to use hashtags?

Now the important piece, hashtag best practices. You can use up to 30 hashtags on an Instagram post and up to 10 hashtags on a Story. I recommend using as many as you can, but here's the catch: only use relevant hashtags! Long-tail, relevant hashtags will encourage long-term engagement and conversions. Anyone can use the basic #travel, #love, or #food. You will see millions of posts in those broad categories so it will be difficult for prospective customers to find you in that sea of content. A long-tail hashtag, such as #localbusinessmarketing, will make your content more discoverable. Lastly, check what hashtags your competitors and target demographic follow. Yes, you can see what hashtags people follow! Use those to increase your target audience.

Check your Instagram insights on a post without and a post with hashtags. Your reach and discovery percentages should both increase with hashtag use. Instagram tracks the number of accounts that you reach with hashtags. Reaching about 10 new quality accounts with every post will lead to long-term engagement and following.


Lucy Carlisle is passionate about developing brand identities through storytelling and design. With a communications background, she recognizes aesthetics and storytelling are some of the most powerful ways to breathe life into your brand. Lucy's goal is to bring your prospective customers on a journey by developing personal connections and sharing stories that captivate and inspire audiences. Lucy has four years of experience in the ROI trifecta: marketing, advertising, and public relations. Her multi-disciplined approach allows her to navigate a multitude of marketing efforts. Visit The Social Link Marketing to learn more.


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