How to find the best hashtags for Instagram posts

We’ve talked a lot lately about how the ‘gram is changing. As it does, best practices for the platform are changing too. So if you want to be rocking the social media game, you’ve gotta get with the times when it comes to hashtags. 

Six tips for killing it with your social media hashtags 

One: Group your hashtags 

You want to have a variety of types of hashtags on Instagram. So think about four categories: 

  • Brand – the tag you want used in relation to your product name 
  • Industry – hashtags related to what you do so people interested in, say, #sweettreats can find your bakery 
  • Audience – tags that might describe your target audience and what they like 
  • Location – where you are so people in your area find you 

You want to have a few of each type of hashtag in your posts. This way, all your social media bases are covered. 

Two: Clean up 

Don’t make a mess with your hashtags! You don’t want a post that’s hard to read. but that’s what happens when you put your hashtags right at the end of a line. Instead, keep a separator between your post caption and your hashtags. That could be just a few blank lines, or a set of dots, or some dashes. The style is up to you. 

Three: Don’t get banned 

Before putting your hashtags out there, make sure that the ones you’re using aren’t banned. How does that even happen? Well, when someone reports inappropriate material in a hashtag, every post with that tag can be hidden until the issue is sorted out by Instagram. You don’t want that to happen to you, so that’s why you want to make sure you’re not using any of the hashtags that are out of commission for the time being. Research the hashtags before you use them to see what kind of content is associated with that hashtag, and make an informed decision if it’s the right fit for your post, and for your brand.

Four: Keep things focused 

You don’t want a bunch of hashtags that don’t matter to your business, content, or audience. Then people will just get annoyed because it’ll feel like your tagging randomly or trying to get attention for content that shouldn’t be in those tags. Instead, choose relevant tags. Some people say that, if you do this, you only need 3-5 hashtags, but we disagree. Our clients get the best engagement when we use 15+ hashtags on their social media posts. 

Five: Go for the perfect volume 

Not all hashtags are made equal. When there aren’t enough people posting with a hashtag, you’re probably not going to get anyone looking at it. Too many posts on a tag means your content is going to be buried in seconds. So go for the middle. The ideal range is generally 10,000 to 200,000 posts on each tag you use. 

Six: Tell some stories 

Instagram isn’t just about posts. There are also Stories. But are you using hashtags on your Stories? If not, you should be! That’ll help make sure that people are actually seeing the Stories you’re telling, which is the whole point.