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How to Use Hashtags on Instagram


 photo from  unsplash.com

photo from unsplash.com

Hashtags have become one of the most significant tools for content management and promotion within in the last few years. Hashtags are present on the majority of social media platforms today and are used every single moment. This practice of hashtag strategy is particularly relevant on Instagram as of spring 2017. If this tool is used effectively, hashtags can promote an account’s content to new audiences, thus producing more engagement and followers.


Instagram Hashtag Rules

The use of hashtags on Instagram has evolved throughout the years of its existence, but there are a few things to note:

  • There are only 30 hashtags allowed on each Instagram post at a time.
  • When a person puts a hashtag on a photo, it is placed on the hashtag search list in order of when the photo was originally posted – NOT when the hashtag was placed. (This was a big change a few years ago.)
  • There is no “trending hashtag list” on the app, but there are hashtags that do trend every so often. This can be watched by following creators relevant to your industry.

TIPS: Creating the perfect hashtags


You have 30 hashtags to work with – make them count. To make this task less daunting, split the hashtags down the middle:

  • First 15 hashtags

    • make these broad hashtags that will relate to every single one of your posts. For example, if you are a fashion blogger, research the most popular hashtags for fashion bloggers everywhere and add those here.
  • Last 15 hashtags

    • Make these specific to the photo you are posting. Put the brands mentioned, the place it’s taken, the holiday/special date possibly mentioned, the day it was taken, and more. These could be things that are put in this specific post, but might be unique or new to your account or personal brand.

If you use this 15-15 rule, the hashtags will always be partially created and you will have less hashtags to worry about when posting the content.

NOTE: If your account is sponsored or is a part of a certain social media campaign, make sure you are using the correct hashtags and that you are including those in the 30 allowed on your post. Put those directly into the caption of your post.

11 STEPS for a Successful Instagram Post

1. Create your content

Have the photo that you want to work with ready.


2.    Edit the photo

The editing can be performed on third party apps like VSCO, Photoshop, and more. It can also be done on Instagram in step 5.


3.    Create hashtags in Notes app or document

Go to the Notes app or another place where the list of desired hashtags can be typed and placed.


4.    Hide them with dots/dashs/emojis

Put one dash [ - ], dot [•], or emoji [☺] on each line of your document or notes app for 9 or more lines. This will cause your hashtags to be hidden by those that are just scrolling by your content. Hiding them makes your followers focus on your content rather than your promotional hashtags. 


5.    Have these dots and hashtags copied on your phone ready for pasting.

This will ensure that the hashtags will be added as soon as the picture is posted.


6.    Go into Instagram + make final edits (cropping, etc.)

If you’ve already done your main editing, the only thing necessary will be adjusting your image using Instagram to choose which parts of your content will be cropped. Posts can be square or rectangular. If you need to edit more, do that using Instagram editing features.


7.    Create the caption (which should include the most important hashtag)

The first words are going to draw the scrolling follower in, so make them count. Make sure it matches your brand. The shorter the caption, the better. Also, keep in mind that links cannot be put in captions, so mention the “link in bio.” Finally, if you are posting this content in relation to a campaign or trend, put that special hashtag here, apart from your other hashtags. This will ensure that your followers will click on it (or at least see it).


8.    Post photo.

Post the photo and make sure it was posted successfully.


9.    IMMEDIATELY, comment the dots + hashtags as a comment.

Paste the hashtags and dots that you created in your notes app in step 4 to a comment right after you post it. If it does not successfully post, it is probably because you did over 30 hashtags. Edit that until you have 30 hashtags or less.


10. Wait and watch the likes and comments come in the 24-48 hours.

Don’t delete the hashtags too quickly. Let them sit for at least 24 hours to ensure as much as engagement as they are going to get.


11. Delete the hashtags (if you’d like)

This is totally optional.


It is important to note that social media platforms and rules are changing quite frequently, so these strategies and steps might become outdated and not allowed quickly. If there is a rule change, adapt your strategy to match those rules.

Thanks for reading! Let me know what other parts of social media I can give you some tips with.