How to Use Hashtags on Instagram: A Comprehensive 2023 Guide to Master Instagram Hashtags

By: Val Razo

Last Updated on May 25, 2023 by Val Razo

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the world of Instagram hashtags? You’re not alone. Mastering the use of hashtags on Instagram can seem like a daunting task, but it’s an integral part of maximizing your social media presence. This comprehensive guide aims to demystify the process, presenting you with a step-by-step approach to use hashtags effectively to grow your Instagram account. This guide will walk you through key techniques, insights, and strategies to ensure you’re leveraging hashtags effectively, driving engagement, and fostering growth on your Instagram account.

How to Use Hashtags on Instagram

Table of Contents

Understanding the Basics of Instagram Hashtags

Instagram hashtags are like the breadcrumbs of the social media world. They’re what connect you to the larger conversation. If you’re using Instagram primarily to reach out to new followers, consider hashtags to be your best friends. They offer an effective way to use Instagram to increase your reach and get more eyes on your posts. But simply throwing a bunch of hashtags onto a post won’t do much. There’s a specific art and strategy behind using hashtags on Instagram effectively.

Instagram search functionality is an excellent tool to explore and understand the usage of various hashtags. Learning to use Insta and its features effectively is crucial to gaining the most out of your experience.

Hashtags can help in broadening your content reach, boost your brand, target the right audience, and even get your content featured on the explore page. However, it’s important to remember that hashtags can make or break your Instagram marketing strategy. The wrong choice of hashtags can lead to decreased engagement and shadowbanning. On the other hand, strategically chosen hashtags can amplify your reach exponentially.

One essential tip in Instagram marketing is to master the way to use hashtags effectively. You might wonder, “Is it better to use more or fewer hashtags?” While Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags per post, sometimes, it’s better to use fewer but more targeted hashtags.

One excellent approach to using hashtags is to take the time to conduct hashtag research. Look for trending and relevant hashtags that align with your content. Remember, every hashtag on Instagram serves as a clickable link leading to a page with other posts tagged with the same hashtag. It’s a fantastic way to get your content in front of interested users who aren’t following you yet.

It’s essential to use the hashtag that is most relevant to your post. Using irrelevant hashtags might attract the wrong audience, decrease engagement, and potentially lead to shadowbanning. Always use relevant hashtags to maintain the authenticity and credibility of your posts.

To wrap it up, hashtags help you connect with users, and increase your visibility and engagement rate. The key is understanding their specific purposes and using them strategically in your Instagram marketing strategy.

Different Types of Hashtags and When to Use Them

Navigating the realm of Instagram involves the strategic use of different types of hashtags. Each category serves a unique purpose and holds the potential to amplify your content reach significantly.

Branded hashtags are often the go-to choice for businesses and influencers. These unique tags are custom-made to promote a specific brand or campaign. For example, a business might use its brand name or slogan as a hashtag on all its posts. Not only does this reinforce brand identity, but it also encourages followers to use the hashtag when posting their own content related to your brand.

On the other hand, community hashtags are ideal for connecting with like-minded users around a specific subject or interest. For instance, #veganrecipes would draw together individuals interested in plant-based cooking.

Then we have specific hashtags. These are less broad and more focused, providing a perfect route to a targeted audience. Using specific hashtags such as #vintagefurniture or #longboardlifestyle can better position your posts to reach the intended audience.

Content hashtags are also useful. These include product or lifestyle hashtags and can be naturally integrated into your post caption.

Lastly, trending hashtags are vital in times of widespread social events or hot topics. They might not always be relevant, but they can significantly boost your reach when used appropriately.

It’s essential to balance these different types of hashtags in your posts, considering the context and audience to maximize engagement and reach. Knowing when and how to use these hashtags will contribute greatly to your Instagram marketing success.

Mastering these different types of Instagram hashtags and knowing when to use them can make a world of difference in your Instagram engagement.

The Importance of Using the Right Hashtags

Instagram isn’t just about using any hashtag, it’s about using the right hashtags. Your hashtag should reflect your post’s content and your target audience’s interests. Relevant hashtags make your posts discoverable to people interested in your content. On the other hand, using irrelevant or overly generalized hashtags can lead to a lack of engagement or even penalization by Instagram’s algorithm. Therefore, understanding and using the right hashtags is the right way to use Instagram for maximum engagement.

using the right hashtags

Driving Meaningful Interactions

Beyond mere discoverability, using the right hashtags has significant user engagement implications. When your hashtags align accurately with your content, you naturally attract an audience that finds value in your posts. This likelihood of shared interests spurs likes, comments, and shares, fostering a vibrant and interactive community around your content.

For instance, a fitness influencer using targeted hashtags like #HomeWorkout or #FitnessJourney will garner more attention and engagement from fitness enthusiasts compared to using a general #Fitness tag. Similarly, a food blogger can generate buzz by using specific food or recipe-related hashtags, like #VeganDesserts, rather than simply #Food.

Steering Clear of Instagram’s Pitfalls

It’s crucial to avoid the temptation to use irrelevant or overly generalized hashtags in a bid to reach a wider audience. Instagram’s algorithm is increasingly sophisticated and penalizes such behavior. This includes shadowbanning, where your posts become invisible on those hashtag pages, despite appearing normal to you. This drastically reduces engagement rates and undermines your efforts to use IG for marketing or community building.

The right way to use Instagram is to employ hashtags judiciously, with a clear focus on relevance and engagement. This approach not only aids your visibility and connections on the platform but also ensures a positive and consistent growth trajectory for your Instagram presence.

Discovering Popular Instagram Hashtags in 2023

Keeping up with the latest trends is vital for staying relevant on Instagram. This includes staying updated with the popular Instagram hashtags in 2023. These are the hashtags that have a large number of posts and are being widely used by Instagram users. However, this doesn’t mean you should blindly adopt the most trending hashtags. Some of the top hashtags may be overcrowded, making your posts harder to discover. Therefore, balancing between popular and niche hashtags, including those specifically popular hashtags for 2023, will ensure your posts get the attention they deserve.

Finding the Sweet Spot between Trending and Niche Hashtags

Among the popular hashtags, we see evergreen favorites like #Love, #Instagood, #Photooftheday, #Fashion, and #Art continuing to reign supreme. These broad hashtags see a vast number of posts every day, indicating their persistent popularity among Instagram users.

However, there’s a catch with using these mega-popular hashtags. Given the enormous volume of posts under these tags, your content might get drowned in the sea of posts, reducing its visibility. Therefore, strategically combining these general hashtags with more specific ones can improve your content’s chances of standing out.

Sweet Spot between Popular hashtags and Niche Hashtags

Adapting to Evolving Instagram Trends in 2023

If you’re looking for something more 2023-specific, consider hashtags like #StayHomeStaySafe, #VirtualReality, and #Sustainability. These reflect some of the major global trends, as remote work and eco-consciousness continue to shape our world. Likewise, in the fashion domain, we see the rise of hashtags such as #UpcycledFashion and #SlowFashion, mirroring the increasing emphasis on sustainability.

In the fitness realm, hashtags such as #HomeWorkouts and #MentalHealthMatters are witnessing a surge, encapsulating the shift towards holistic health.

Mix and match these popular and niche hashtags, aligning them with your content and target audience. This ensures that you stay on top of the latest trends, thereby maximizing your reach and engagement on Instagram.

How to Find the Best Hashtags for Your Posts

Finding the best hashtags for your posts can be a game-changer in boosting your Instagram engagement. But how do you go about it? Start by identifying relevant hashtags that align with your brand and content. Instagram’s Explore feature is a great place to start. Look at the top posts in your niche and note down the hashtags they use. You can also search for related hashtags on Instagram’s search bar. Aim for a mix of popular and niche hashtags to reach a broader audience. Remember, it’s about using the hashtags for your posts that make the most sense. It’s not about quantity, but rather, the quality of hashtags for every post.

Leverage Instagram’s Hashtag Suggestions

A useful tool in Instagram’s search bar is the suggested hashtags feature. When you type a hashtag in the search bar, Instagram will list other related hashtags. This function can help you discover new and relevant hashtags to include in your posts.

Use Instagram Hashtag Analytics

If you have an Instagram business or creator account, you can use Instagram’s analytics to determine which hashtags drive the most engagement. Look at your top-performing posts and note which hashtags they had in common. If certain hashtags are consistently leading to high engagement, keep using them.

Use Third-Party Tools

There are numerous third-party tools available that can help you identify the best hashtags for your posts. Tools like Hashtagify or All Hashtag can provide insights into the most effective hashtags in your niche. They analyze data and give you a list of potential hashtags that might increase your post’s visibility.

Finding the best hashtags for your posts requires ongoing testing and analysis. Different posts and audiences will resonate with different hashtags. Keep track of which hashtags perform well, be open to experimenting with new ones, and continuously adjust your hashtag strategy based on your results.

Incorporating Hashtags in Your Instagram Caption

Next on our list is learning how to incorporate hashtags into your Instagram caption smoothly. It’s not as simple as just plugging them in anywhere. The goal is to make them fit naturally into your Instagram post. One strategy is to weave them into the sentence itself. Another is to add hashtags after your main caption, separated by line breaks or emojis. But be careful not to clutter. Too many hashtags in the caption can look spammy and may turn off your followers. So, balance is key for a visually pleasing and effective Instagram account.

Too many hashtags in the caption can look spammy

Crafting a Catchy and Engaging Instagram Caption

Writing an Instagram caption with seamlessly incorporated hashtags requires a dash of creativity and understanding of your audience. Hashtags can help make your caption more engaging, but only if used judiciously.

Remember, the quality of your caption can significantly impact your Instagram marketing strategy. So, think about what your audience would find interesting or relatable. For instance, if you’re posting about a recent hiking adventure, your caption might read, “Embracing the great outdoors 🌲 #NatureLovers #HikingAdventures”. This way, the hashtags feel like a natural extension of your caption.

Using Hashtags on Instagram Stories

Finally, let’s talk about Instagram Stories. They offer a great way to boost your engagement and reach. But did you know that you can actually use hashtags on Instagram stories too? Yes, you heard it right. And it works wonders in getting your stories in front of more eyes. You can add hashtags to your stories by using the text tool or the hashtag sticker. But remember, don’t go overboard. One or two hashtags in your stories are usually enough. Next time you use a hashtag, think of incorporating it into your stories. It might just be the engagement boost your Instagram account needs.

Using a hashtag on IG Stories becomes a gateway for new audiences to discover your content. Whether you’re sharing a behind-the-scenes look at your day, a product promotion, or a fun poll, adding a hashtag significantly improves your Stories’ visibility.

Here’s a trick: blend your hashtags in your stories with the background using the color picker tool. This way, you can maintain aesthetic appeal while benefiting from the hashtag’s discoverability.

Using hashtags on Instagram stories

Strategic Usage of Instagram Story Hashtags

As with Instagram posts, using relevant hashtags in your stories is better. For instance, if you’re sharing a quick recipe, consider using hashtags like #QuickRecipes or #HomeCooking.

Likewise, it’s crucial to understand that a hashtag in an Instagram story isn’t just about visibility but also about creating meaningful interaction. You might want to use hashtags related to challenges, throwback Thursdays (#TBT), or weekly themes like #MondayMotivation. These are more likely to solicit responses and promote engagement.

Remember, incorporating hashtags on Instagram stories isn’t just about increasing views. It’s also an excellent opportunity to build a community, increase brand loyalty, and gain insights into what content resonates best with your followers. Using these strategies, you can fully leverage the power of IG Stories.

Techniques to Hide Hashtags on Instagram

Are you wondering how to hide hashtags on Instagram without sacrificing their benefits? You’re not alone. Many Instagram users grapple with the same question. 

Technique 1: Using Line Breaks and Emojis

The first method to hide hashtags on Instagram involves clever use of line breaks and emojis. The technique is straightforward – write your caption, then make a line break or add an emoji. Repeat this four or five times and then, add your list of hashtags. Instagram will collapse the caption after three lines, meaning your followers will only see the hashtags if they choose to tap ‘more’. It’s a handy way of maintaining a cleaner look and feel in your captions, without giving up on the functionality of hashtags.

Technique 2: Hiding Hashtags in the Comment Section

Another technique, favored by many Instagram users, involves placing your hashtags in the comment section of your post. You post your photo or video with your main caption, and then you immediately comment on your own post with a list of hashtags. The benefit of this method is that, once other users comment on your post, the comment with your hashtags will be hidden among the other comments. The hashtags will still function as they should, making your post discoverable to those browsing the hashtags, but without cluttering your caption.

Technique 3: Combining Hashtags with Instagram’s Font Tools

You can also utilize Instagram’s font tools to minimize the visibility of your hashtags. For example, you can change the font color of your hashtags to match the background color of your Instagram story. The hashtags will remain active and clickable, but they won’t be visible to your audience unless they’re highlighted.

Technique 4: Masking Hashtags Behind Instagram Stickers

For Instagram Stories, there’s a neat trick where you can hide your hashtags behind a sticker, GIF, or location tag. Start by typing your hashtags, then shrink them down to the smallest size. Next, place a sticker or GIF directly on top of the hashtags. They’ll still function and boost your story’s discoverability but won’t be visible to viewers.

Technique 5: Using Lesser-known Hashtags

Lastly, you can use less popular or unique hashtags to maintain the aesthetic of your posts while ensuring they don’t get lost in the sea of more popular ones. This strategy involves using a combination of well-researched, lesser-known hashtags relevant to your post, which will have fewer posts attached, thus reducing the clutter and noise around your content.

These are some of the best techniques to hide hashtags on Instagram, keeping your posts aesthetically pleasing and effective. Each technique allows you to retain the benefits of using hashtags without cluttering your captions or stories. Experiment with these techniques and see what works best for your audience and brand.

effectively use Instagram hashtags to grow your account

Top Methods to Use Instagram Hashtags to Grow Your Account

Want to grow your account with Instagram hashtags? Here’s how. The first rule is relevance. Always ensure the Instagram hashtags are related to your content. This way, you attract followers who are genuinely interested in your brand. 

Harnessing the Power of Niche Hashtags

One crucial method to effectively use Instagram hashtags to grow your account is to tap into niche hashtags. These are specific to a certain industry, hobby, or community and have a dedicated following. For example, if you’re a fitness brand, instead of just using #fitness, you could use more niche tags like #FitnessTipsForBeginners or #HomeWorkoutIdeas. These hashtags help you reach a targeted audience who are more likely to engage with your content and follow your account.

Building Engagement Through Participatory Hashtags

Encourage your followers on Instagram to use your branded hashtags by hosting contests, challenges, or giveaways. The aim is to have your followers post content related to your brand and use your branded hashtag. This is a fun and interactive way to spread your brand’s awareness while increasing your follower count.

Staying Relevant with Trending Hashtags

Keep an eye on trending hashtags that relate to your brand. Participating in these trends boosts your visibility and shows that your brand is up-to-date. Be careful to only participate in trends that align with your brand’s values and image.

Leveraging Hashtags for Community Building

Community hashtags are great for showcasing your brand’s personality and values. They’re ideal for connecting with like-minded users and fostering a sense of community. For example, if sustainability is a key aspect of your brand, you could use an Instagram hashtag like #SustainableLiving in your posts and stories.

Remember, using hashtags strategically is about understanding your audience, staying authentic, and providing value. By doing so, you can effectively grow your presence on Instagram and build a dedicated follower base.

Lastly, let’s discuss how to evaluate the performance of your hashtags. Are they getting you the engagement you desire? The answer lies in Instagram Insights. This tool, available for Instagram business profiles, provides data about the impressions you receive from your hashtags. You can access it by clicking on the ‘View Insights’ button below your post. Here, you’ll see your interactions, reach, and the number of impressions from hashtags. By keeping an eye on this data, you can adjust your hashtag strategy as needed, ensuring your hashtags are always working in your favor.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many hashtags should I use in an Instagram post?

When it comes to deciding how many hashtags to use on Instagram, it’s essential to find a sweet spot. Instagram allows a maximum of 30 hashtags per post. But does it mean you should use all? Not necessarily. While using the maximum number of hashtags can increase your reach, it can also appear spammy. Therefore, test using 30 hashtags per post and fewer numbers like one or two hashtags to see what works best for your audience. Remember, quality always trumps quantity.

Why should I use different sets of hashtags for every post?

You might wonder why not use the same hashtags for every post. After all, it’s simpler and saves time. However, using a varied set of hashtags for every post maximizes your content’s exposure. Different hashtags on every post reach different audiences, making your content visible to broader users. It also reduces the risk of appearing spammy to Instagram’s algorithm, which is a win-win for your account.

Are there any banned hashtags that I should avoid using?

Yes, there are indeed banned hashtags on Instagram that you should steer clear of. When hashtags you use are banned, banning them can lead to reduced visibility or even a potential shadowban from Instagram. Always make sure that the hashtags they’re using are not among those flagged by Instagram. Banned hashtags won’t appear in search results, so it’s easy to identify and avoid them.

How do you discover new hashtags to add to my Instagram posts?

In the quest to discover new hashtags to add to your Instagram posts, you can use several strategies. One way is to observe the hashtags you want to use by influencers in your niche. You’ll be surprised how maybe you’ll discover new hashtags that never crossed your mind. Also, research your audience and competitors to find out what hashtags they frequently use.

Can I add hashtags to my Instagram post after it has been published?

Yes, you can add hashtags later to your Instagram posts even after they have been published. This can be beneficial, especially when you realize that hashtags are often used by a trending event related to your post. To add them, edit the post and include your hashtags. You can click on hashtags to see related posts and ensure your post aligns with them. So, don’t worry if you forget to add hashtags to your Instagram post initially; there’s always a chance to add them later.

What are the benefits of using Instagram hashtag generators?

Instagram hashtag generators are tools that can help you find the best Instagram hashtags for your posts. They save time and offer a variety of hashtags to use. These tools use algorithms to suggest hashtags related to your content, brand, or industry. They also allow you to analyze the hashtags they use by other influencers, providing more insights. Try an Instagram hashtag generator next time you’re stuck on what hashtags to use.

How do I avoid using hashtags that are too popular or not popular enough?

Avoiding hashtags that are too popular or not popular enough involves a balancing act. If you’re using the most popular Instagram hashtags, your posts might get lost in the sea of content. On the other hand, hashtags that are used very little might not get you the visibility you want. The key is to use a mix of popular, moderately popular, and niche-specific hashtags. This way, you’ll avoid hashtags that are less used.

Author Bio

Val Razo

Val Razo is a skilled professional in the field of Instagram Marketing. With over five years of experience as a freelance Social Media Marketing consultant, Val has assisted numerous small and medium-sized businesses in achieving their goals.