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Jan 15

30 Hashtags… Say What?!

Instagram lets you use up to 30 hashtags on every post, so let’s talk about how to make the most of this free marketing / networking opportunity – and why.

First, what is a hashtag? Hashtags are the labels that millions of people around the world use to describe the photo, video or text they just posted on social media. In this way, posts with the same label – or hashtag – are linked together. For example, if you search Instagram for the hashtag #dogsofinstagram right now, you’ll find 86,511,207 dogs-of-instagram posts.



(Photos courtesy left to right: @explorewithhollie, @missyminzi, @george_and_troja)

We use hashtags to expand the reach of a post. Say someone is thinking about visiting the Olympic National Park in Washington State. They might go searching for #olympicnationalpark to get a feel for the area.



(Photo courtesy @simplyklug)

To get the most traction from a post, we recommend adding a variety of hashtags to your posts, aiming for:

  •  10 high volume hashtags (200,000 – 2,000,000 total posts);

  •  10 medium volume hashtags (50,000 – 200,000 total posts); and

  •  10 low volume hashtags (10,000 – 50,000 total posts)

So where does a person find that many hashtags for a single post? There are a few ways to go about finding hashtags for your niche.

  • Search a simple hashtag within Instagram and look at the related hashtags they offer up as suggestions directly beneath your search term – and bonus – this will tell you how many total posts each hashtag has.

  • Choose one of the “related hashtags” and you’ll get a fresh list of related tags.

  • Find influencers in your niche (Instagram accounts with a lot of followers) and get inspiration from the hashtags they use.

  • New in 2018 is the ability to follow hashtags. Keep an eye on the hashtag recommendations that show up in your own feed. It’s possible these will be good ones to remember next time you post!

  • Take a look at some of the posts by websites and magazines in your market. Many of them will feature photos that fit their style – so check their bio section for details including which hashtag to use to “submit” your photo.

  • Use this same technique with content curators – accounts that are made up of curated (versus created) content. @coffeeshots is one of these types of accounts.


“Reposting Inspiring photos.

Hashtag #COFFEESHOTS to be featured.”

 (Photos courtesy @coffeeshots and from left to right: @insightcoffee, @bidaarcoffee, @origin_coffee)

A final word on hashtags… There is such a thing as “banned hashtags.” This is Instagram’s way of fighting spam and inappropriate content. The best way to avoid banned hashtags is to avoid using tags with 100,000,000 or more total posts.

We hope this helps you on your journey to grow your following and ultimately, your business. Need help with your social media goals in 2018? Give us a call or stop by the office. Let’s get the conversation started!