How to Use Hashtags on Instagram in 2021

How to use Hashtags on Instagram

Instagram hashtags are a crucial part of the Instagram marketing strategy; when you utilize them effectively, your post will gain more traction and be seen by more people interested in what you do. A post with at least one hashtag gets an average of 12.6 % more engagement than ones with no hashtags. Thus, it is safe to say that hashtags are important for your brand to grow. Just like how using the right hashtags can benefit your brand, using the wrong ones comes with disadvantages.

If you are in desperate need of a guide to help you understand how to use hashtags on Instagram. Then you have landed at the right place. Many creators buy Instagram followers as part of the Instagram marketing strategy. These are real people that use and follow influencer's branded hashtags and engage with their posts.

What are Instagram Hashtags?

What are Instagram Hashtags

Hashtags are simply a group of characters - numbers, alphabets, or emojis preceded by a # symbol. (#hashtag). Hashtags are used to label and categorize posts to gain more exposure and engagement for the content. When hashtags are used on social networks like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other supporting platforms – they turn into clickable links. When a user clicks on the link or performs a search for the same, they will be exposed to posts tagged with the same hashtag.

How to use Hashtags on Instagram?

Top Instagram Hashtags 2021

Top Instagram Hashtags

The top hashtags are more like the root or parent hashtags that are more generic and cover a wide array of topics. Hence used in different types of IG posts. Example, #sports, #Marketing, #technology. Top hashtags earn a high level of competition. You can use them, but it can be very hard to gain traction for your posts. A newbie, who is just starting on his/her Instagram venture, should not rely entirely on top hashtags. Instead, they could include them as part of their overall hashtag strategy.

Most Trending Hashtags on Instagram

Trending Instagram Hashtags

These are small, low competition hashtags that have managed to gain popularity amongst your audience. Trending hashtags can be a part of your strategy if you are aiming to build traction for your content. The popularity span of these hashtags is short, but they can bring in new audiences and generate / increase instagram engagement rate when used efficiently. Your ranking will automatically increase for more popular hashtags on Instagram - when you receive a large number of likes, comments and shares for "trending hashtags" during their popularity phase.

Use Super-Specific Hashtags

Super specific Instagram Hashtags

Instead of going for highly competitive generic hashtags, we suggest you go for once that are more specific to what you do. These hashtags are good enough to get used to but not so mainstream that you lose out to other posts. To put it into simple words, these are the ones that speak more about your brand and categorize your posts in a smaller, more specific category. For example, if #football is the most prominent hashtag in your industry, you could use #ManchesterUnitedfootball to reach a more targeted audience.

Using ultra-specific hashtags, you may have a smaller reach and less exposure, but you will find a better, more invested audience. We suggest using a healthy mix of top, trending and super specific hashtags in your strategies.

Use Instagram Hashtags Generator

Instagram hashtags generator

Now, before you start scratching your head and start questioning yourself about "how you will find your hashtags?” I am here to give you that answer - use a hashtag generator. You just have to enter a seed term of your choice, and the tool will generate different results based on your input.

Here, I am listing down my top 3 favourite hashtag generator tools

  • Seek metrics
  • display purposes

You can use these tools to generate 30 of the top, random and live hashtags, all by entering a seed keyword. Tools like can be quite handy when finding the best hashtags for Instagram. But make it a habit not to rely on them entirely. Be on a constant lookout for your competitors and leaders within your niche. Regularly analyze the hashtags they use in their posts, and scrutinize the content they create.

Select the Right Hashtags for Your Post

Select the Right Hashtags

Select the right hashtags for the right post. Your hashtags should be compatible with your photos and videos. Hashtags get the job done of putting your content in front of your audience when they search, but the post itself has to grab their attention. More than half of all Instagram accounts use the explore section

Before starting using Instagram hashtags for likes and followers, insert them into search and look at the content that shows up. There has to be some resemblance between your post and the ones that appear in the results.

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Instagram Hashtags: Best Practices 2021

Instagram hashtags best practices

The Optimum Number of Hashtags to Use

When it comes to using hashtags, nothing is written in stone. Instagram permits its users to include up to 30 hashtags per post. Although, just because you're allowed to do so doesn't mean you should do it all the time. A large number of hashtags look spammy, just like keyword stuffing in a web article. We recommend 11 hashtags per post, but it is all up to you at the end of the day. If you find 30 relevant, high performing hashtags - go for all of them. We have seen brands using 4 or 5 hashtags, giving enough breathing space for other elements in their caption.

Success on Instagram revolves around posting consistently - don't shy away from experimenting with different numbers of hashtags in your posts until you find your sweet spot.

Check Out Your Competition

You don't have to follow in your competitor's footsteps all the way. But analyzing your competitor’s content and the hashtags they used can provide valuable insights on what hashtags are working for them - chances are they will work for you too. Who knows, you may even find high-performing hashtags that you had no clue about before. You can also avoid competing for the same audience and look for alternative hashtags.

Find Hashtags Used by Your Audience

When choosing your hashtags, consider what your audience might be searching for. It is completely normal to use trending and top hashtags - if you are trying to get more likes on your content. But if your goal is to build a strong community of followers, you'll want to be consistent in your hashtag usage.

If you use different hashtags for different posts - you are not going to attract loyal followers. Users will only decide to interact with you because your posts coincide with their interest for the time being. Hence, when you are designing your strategy, always consider your target audience and uncover their interest and needs - this will help you find hashtags that you can use consistently in all of your posts.

Learn here about how to create perfect Instagram post.

Encourage Followers to Follow Your Branded Hashtags

The 2018 upgrade of the Instagram algorithm came with the added feature of following hashtags - giving its users the ability to get frequent updates on different topics by following top and most trending hashtags of interest.

Following hashtags is no different than following a user's profile. You have to open the hashtag page and press the follow button. Brands and creators can benefit from this feature. If you create a branded hashtag and get your audience to follow it - your posts have the potential to show up twice in your follower’s feed. The first time because they follow you as second time because they follow your hashtag. You also have to follow your own branded hashtag within and outside of the IG app – this is a good practice if you want to gauge the performance of your hashtag. Look for opportunities to share user-generated content and interact with your audience whenever possible.

Also read: How to Create Instagram Reels in 2021

Where Should You Put Your Hashtags?

Where should you put your Hashtags

Instagram Stories

The Instagram story feature has undergone upgrading in recent times. You can now include hashtags in your story updates so that your photos or videos are discovered via hashtag. Five hundred million out of all Instagram accounts on the platform use stories every day. IG stories occupy the top of your page and generate lots of views. Hence it is high time you utilize stories and gain maximum impact.

Instagram Bio

Hashtags in Instagram bio

To many people, bio is known as a snippet of text that appears below their profile picture and username - Instagram now allows you to add clickable hashtags here. Instagram has a 150-character limit for bio. Create a compelling bio that sums up everything you do on Instagram, but leave enough space to include one or two hashtags. Just by inserting # in front of a text, you will create a clickable link that can play the role of highlighting your brand.

Hashtags in Comments

Hashtags in comments

Hashtags are a great way to gain exposure and get increased engagement for your posts. But too many hashtags can clutter up your caption - making it look unprofessional. Instead, you have the option of placing your hashtags in the first comment of your post; they will work the same way as the hashtag in the caption. One advantage of this tactic is, you can hide your hashtags and keep your caption clean and eye-catching.

What are Branded Hashtags

Branded Hashtags

Branded hashtags are specific to your brand; they can represent your company's name, tagline, product, slogan, or campaign. These are not the most trending hashtags. A branded hashtag is something you create from scratch. Hence it won't help you get your content out to a large number of people, but it can help you identify audiences that are aware of your brand and would like to engage with you.

If you want to find a new audience, you have to make sure that your followers use your branded hashtags in their posts and stories. When someone clicks on your hashtag, they will be able to all the posts related to your business. #GoPro is a good example of a branded hashtag. Athletes and travellers use this hashtag in their posts, making it easier for the camera making company to share content from its product users.

What are Banned Hashtags?

Banned Hashtags

Banned hashtags are not the best hashtags for an Instagram post. Instagram prohibits them because the algorithm has determined that they spam or violate Instagram's community guidelines. Posts that are tagged with banned hashtags will not be shown to users on the platform. The use of banned hashtags can significantly downplay the potential of your posts to reach and engage with new audiences. There are also chances of your account being shadow banned – when that happens, only your followers will be able to see your new post. Hence, if it is not necessary, avoid using banned hashtags whenever you can.

We hope you found our articles on how to use hashtags on Instagram valuable. You can also find more blogs on the popular photo and video sharing platform, by accessing our website.

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