When it comes to hashtags, most people either love them or hate them. But if you want to have a chance at increasing your reach and engagement rates on Instagram, you need to use them; and use them wisely.

Instagram continues to grow at rapid rates. Instagram Stories alone have up to 300 million active daily users and in order to make this medium work for you, you need to know how to best utilize it. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of best practices for Instagram hashtag use!

DO utilize up to 30 hashtags if you want to increase engagement and reach new followers.

DON’T copy & past the same hashtags in every post you make! Instagram’s shadowban began last year, leaving many people and businesses unable to reach new followers because they were continuously using the same hashtags on every single post.

DO go through your old posts and delete any hashtags that may be currently banned by Instagram. The easiest way to do this is by going to the search bar, typing in a hashtag and if it doesn’t appear in the results, it is banned. You don’t want those attached to your posts!   

DON’T solely focus on hashtags with the highest number of followers. Yes, it’s great to reach a lot of people. However, you need to remember that if a hashtag has been used millions of times, it’ll likely continue to be which means your photo will get lost in the masses.

DO add a good mix of small-scale hashtags and highly used hashtags.

DON’T forget about using a location tag. Posts with a location have 79% higher engagement rates than those without. And posts with a location AND a hashtag see even more!

DO keep your hashtags on the shorter side. Spelling errors increase as the #sizeofthehashtagincreases and most people don’t want to type in that many letters anyway. Keep it #shortandsweet.

DON’T forget about using different types of hashtags! There are branded hashtags that will help you create connecting themes for you and your followers, but there are also community hashtags that will help you grow your reach.

DO utilize Instagram Stories! Not only can you archive and highlight them now, but you can attach up to 10 hashtags to your story as well! Let your followers see you!

And finally, DON’T forget to contact us to discuss all of these tips and more so that we can work with you to create a confident and creative voice for your brand.