I was very late to the Instagram party. But after years of planning, I finally started my travel blog over the summer and I learned quickly that Instagram is the best place to share photos of my adventures. I was lucky that I had an expert who could help me. He just happens to be my teenage son and he has grown his Instagram followers by just sharing pictures and experiences. I asked him to write about Instagram and hashtags before the big announcement that the social media site is considering hiding hashtags. You can read more about that here. But until those changes are made, here’s some advice from my expert.
Hashtags are annoying. There, I said it. They clutter up your captions and make you look like you are craving attention (which we sort of are). Unfortunately, they’re sometimes necessary to grow your account and expand your business options. Smaller influencers that rely on hashtags as a way of getting their posts to the people that are potentially interested in them have figured out some clever ways to use hashtags that will make them less obvious. Be warned, however, that Instagram’s regulations involving hashtags can be fickle, and your account can be shadowbanned if the algorithm thinks you’re abusing them. But let’s put that aside for a moment and start with the basics.
You can use up to thirty hashtags on an Instagram post, but using that many hashtags too many times will get you in trouble. Aim for ten to twenty at most.
Target Your Hashtags
Find hashtags that not only fit your niche but also fit your engagement rates. If you have a couple thousand followers, your posts will be buried alive in a hashtag with millions of post. Comparing the average number of like you receive to the average number of like on posts in a hashtag is a good way to find ones to use. This will also make it more likely for your post to be placed in the coveted “Top Posts” section.
Hide Them Away
Post your hashtags in the comments of your photo instead of the caption.
Use stacked bullet points to hide the hashtags even further.
Hashtags in Your Bio? Maybe Not.
Instagram now lets you include hashtags in your bio, but honestly, they look desperate sitting there, and very few people actually search for accounts based on hashtags. My advice is to exclude them.
Change Your Hashtags as Your Account Grows
Keep track of your average like and change your hashtags as they grow. The further up the line you get, the more competitive hashtags you can get away with using.