Your Complete Guide to Using Hashtags on Instagram


Here you will find EVERYTHING you need to know about using Hashtags on Instagram to grow your profile and brand engagement.

A post with at least one Instagram hashtag averages 12.6% more engagement than posts without a hashtag. (Sprout Social)

Instagram Hashtags – Facts

  • You can use up to 30 Hashtags in an Instagram Post
  • You can use up to 10 Hashtags in an Instagram Story
  • You can use up to 30 Hashtags in an Instagram IGTV
  • Hashtags can be used within the post or as a comment
  • Hashtags can contain letters and numbers but no special characters &%()

You can use up to 30 tags on a post. If you include more than 30 tags on a single photo/video, your comment won’t post. (Instagram)

How do Hashtags on Instagram Work?

Hashtags are a way for Instagram to categorise your content (photo or video), so for example the use of #dog would categorise your content with other content who also use the hashtag #dog


  • People who follow #dog would see your content, regardless if they follow you or not
  • Instagram may suggest your post in people’s news feed or explorer page who regularly engage with #dog posts
  • Instagram may suggest your profile to people who regularly engage with #dog posts

By using #dog you are letting Instagram know what your page is about so that is can suggest your page or your post to other people who either use #dog or engage with posts containing #dog

* we are in no way suggesting that you use #dog by the way, its just a simple way we hope clears up how hashtags actually work!

 How do you Choose the Right Hashtags?

 There are 3 types of Hashtags that you want to use

  1. Industry Used Hashtags – the type that are going to get you found for people searching particular products/services
  2. Community Building Hashtags – think Facebook groups, countries, states, cities.
  3. Brand Awareness Hashtags – your unique hashtag that you can promote to your audience to encourage more engagement with your brand


How to Create Your Unique Hashtag List

Step 1:
Check what your competitors and industry leaders are using, write these down on a piece of paper in list format (we’ll explain why in a minute)

Step 2:
If you are in an engaged Facebook Group, consider looking up if they have a community hashtag, add this to your list

Step 3:
Find out what numbers these hashtags reach – (yes there are tools, but we prefer you get familiar with Instagram while doing this exercise). In the Instagram search bar type the hashtag and click on ‘Tags’ – next to the hashtags you wrote down, write the number of posts.

Have a look at the type of posts while you are there and see if this fits your brand/ target audience. You will also see Instagram suggests ‘Related’ tags – add these to your list if you feel it’s a good fit.

Step 4:
Come up with your own brand hashtag #digitalmumsdirectory 

Things to Consider:

  • Ideally you want at least 30 hashtags, but more will allow you to mix and match on posts
  • Try to get mix of big reach hashtags with small reach hashtags – would you rather compete amongst 9 million posts or 10,000 posts?


I know what you are thinking….

Look, when you hit 159 million followers and have a news department dedicated to “watching your every post” you can prob drop the hashtags.

But until that happens, stick with 30 of the best hashtags for your Instagram profile!


How to Add Hashtags to your Instagram Post

  1. Upload your photo and write your caption
  2. Add your hashtags as text using for the format #xxx – it will automatically become darkened and clickable after you post


How to Add Hashtags to your Instagram Story

  1. Create your Instagram Story
  2.  Two options – add the hashtag the same way you would add text #xxx or use the #hashtag function available from the menu


How to Add Hashtags to your Instagram IGTV

  1. Upload your video and write your caption
  2. Add your hashtags as text using for the format #xxx – it will automatically become darkened and clickable after you post


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