How to Use Hashtags On Instagram Effectively Without Wasting Time

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Ask any content creator their opinion on Instagram hashtags, and you’ll get mixed responses. Some will tell you that they roll their eyes at the thought of using hashtags on Instagram. They think hashtags make their post look like spam. Others will tell you learning how to use hashtags on Instagram helped them grow their audience and engagement. 

According to Instagram, using hashtags helps your post be visible when people on the platform search for the keywords that you used in the hashtag.

But creators who praise Instagram hashtags use them strategically. Here are the top tips for effectively using hashtags on Instagram.  

What’s the best hashtag strategy for Instagram?

Content creators who use Instagram can find themselves needing help with how often the platform changes its best practices. When figuring out an Instagram hashtag strategy, it’s crucial to stay up-to-date. Keep your eyes on the current suggestions of the platform and algorithm. 

Megan Pontius, a marketing manager, said you should consider a few things if you’re creating a 2023 Instagram hashtag strategy.

For a while, creators debated whether hashtags should go in a post’s caption or comment section. Pontius says Instagram hashtags should be naturally incorporated into a post’s caption. Not only does that make the post look less like spam. It also encourages you to use only relevant hashtags.

“Hashtags are meant for search, so when planning hashtags, they should always be related to what a post is about. Using key terms or trending hashtags will deliver the best results,” Pontius said. 

Finally, when using hashtags on Instagram, Pontius said that while the platform lets you use up to 30, Instagram has said that you only should use between 3-5 hashtags a post. 

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How to use hashtags on Instagram?

1) Be precise with the hashtags you pick 

When you’re searching for hashtags to use on Instagram, Moshiur Rahman, a digital marketing manager, advises clients not to pick the popular ones. Instead, Rahman told Passionfruit that it’s better to be precise and strategic with hashtags.

“Find hashtags that help you connect with a specific audience who will have a genuine interest in your content,” he said.

For example, Rahman shared that a lawyer specializing in environmental law shouldn’t pick hashtags like #lawyer or #law since those will reach too much of a general audience.

Instead, he suggested a lawyer honing in on their specialty with hashtags like #EnvironmentalLawyer, #GreenLaw, or #ClimateJustice.

“These targeted hashtags reach a specific audience interested in this particular niche, thus increasing visibility among those more likely to engage and follow,” he said.

Rahman stressed that it’s critical to prioritize relevancy and precise targeting over sheer popularity.

2) Look for inspiration 

If you’re unsure what Instagram hashtags to use, YouMe Lin, founder of a social media agency, suggested researching the platform.

She recommended heading to the Instagram Explore page and typing in different keywords or viewing accounts similar to yours.

“Spend time taking note of the hashtags similar accounts to yours have used in high engagement posts,” she said. 

3) Tap into Hashtag tools 

Lin also suggested using hashtag selection tools, like Later, or AI tools, like ChatGPT, to help you search for Instagram hashtags that are tailored to your content.

“These resources not only assist in identifying hashtags aligned with your industry or niche but also provide insights into similar hashtags utilized by similar accounts,” she added. 

Jas Banwait Gill, a growth manager, explained that ChatGPT can offer suggestions on different angles to take with your hashtags. 

She said that when she tried it out and asked the tool to create 30 new clever hashtags about corporate gifting that will boost audience engagement resulted in a list of home runs, including #GiftingGameStrong, #CorporateWows, and #WrappedWithCare.

“This new AI feature is also helpful when crafting hashtags that shout out to two niches. Simply initiate a conversation and provide it with the specific audiences or themes your post addresses,” she added.

When figuring out an Instagram hashtag strategy, first look at new best practices shared by the platform and then tap into tools, trends, and similar accounts for guidance. 

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