How to use hashtags in instagram effectively

Like twitter adding hashtags to your Instagram photos is a great way to find new followers and share your photos with more people.  Unlike Twitter, you can use up to 30 hashtags on an Instagram post ( If you include more than 30 tags on a single photo/video, your comment won’t post). We’ll explain how to use Instagram hashtags effectively.

Each piece of Instagram content you post can be accompanied by a short message or caption and a few hashtags. The hashtags help organise and categorise images and video content, which aids the process of content discovery and optimisation.  By using a hashtag on your image you are making it searchable to potential followers.

By using hashtags, you are cataloging your image so other Instagram users who enjoy use the same hashtags and have the same interests can find it—even though they don’t yet follow the your company’s Instagram feed.  You’ll notice within Instagram hashtags are clickable.

But hashtag use is tricky.  How do you choose the right ones to use? How many hashtags should you use per post?  Where in your post should you use them?

To get the most out of them, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind.  We’ll use a picture of Bingo (our self appointed head of wellbeing) to illustrate an example of how to use hashtags on Instagram:


Be Specific

Choosing specific tags will help you connect with other like-minded people on Instagram. For this photo, instead of using the tag #animal, we could use #staffy


The photo will be added to that highly targeted tag page, where other Staffy lovers will be able to find the photo more easily (without sifting through photos of Poodles, Chihuahua’s and Pomeranian’s).

be specific

Be Relevant

Make it easy for other like-minded Instagrammers to find you by making sure your tags describe your photo. Using very general tags like #photo might get you a few likes, but with over 72, 800,000 photos tagged #photo, it isn’t the best way to make your photos stand out and connect with the people most like you. Relevant tags will help you attract new followers who will take a genuine interest in your photos and continue liking and commenting on your photos over time. For the photo above, in addition to #staffy, we could use the tag #dog.

Never “Spam Hashtag” your photos, in other words, don’t just use popular or trending hashtags for your photo to gain exposure if it’s not relevant!

Be Observant

Pay attention to the other hashtags used on photos that use the same tag as yours. You may discover a popular hashtag you hadn’t thought of on your own. For example, on photos tagged #staffy, we can see that many of those photos also use the tag #instadog. When you do a search for those tags, you’ll find out that Instagrammers use #instadog to describe their Dog photos.

Be observant

Don’t over use hashtags

While you can include up to 30 hashtag’s most users tend to include around 5-6.  Although recent research has shown 11 hashtags is the optimum for Instagram.

instagram hashtagsCreate a list of good Hashtags

Once you have experimented with popular hashtags for your industry or area of interest, keep a list of hashtags on a mobile app on your phone like notepad to copy and paste your hashtags in to each post to save time.

If you want more help getting started with Instagram strategy for business contact us for help.

How to use hashtags in instagram

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Are you ready to say "bye" to the reel creation overwhelm and start confidently creating Instagram Reels?

Scroll to Top