Instagram Hashtags: Is 3-5 Hashtags Enough? | Instagram 101

Instagram Hashtags: Is 3-5 Hashtags Enough?

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Instagram Hashtags: Is 3-5 Hashtags Enough?

Why should you only use 3-5 hashtags on Instagram? The answer, in short, is that you shouldn’t unnecessarily limit yourself!

Instagram has recently been featured as being in negotiation with Google to get posts indexed on Google’s search platform.  

What this new development means, is that Google will have to crawl through every individual post and decide where your post fits, which topics, which keywords, which links. 

By only using 3-5 hashtags, we believe Instagram is trying to make it easier for Google to categorize your posts (which will give you exponentially more reach! Think about the last time you googled something, did you have a Pinterest pin or a tweet pop up in the results? I know I did.)

Search Engine Journal said: “The deal is said to be similar to the one formed between Google and Twitter in 2015, in which Google was granted access to a “firehose” of tweet data for immediate indexing.”

Here's why Instagram is recommedning only using 3-5 Instagram Hashtags

So we hear you, 

“How many Instagram hashtags should I use?!”

There’s no clear cut answer to this question, and this is where a good social media management team can come in. The best way to nail down your Instagram hashtag strategy is through testing, more testing and then more testing again.

Some accounts may thrive with 5 hashtags, others may need to use all 30.

The key takeaway from this information though, is that all hashtags need to be incredibly relevant to your posts.

Are Instagram hashtags effective? When done right, absolutely.

Where should you put Instagram hashtags?

This is another question we see being asked constantly, with widely differing answers every time!

Our take? Always put your hashtags in the caption. 

If Google is allowed to index our posts, it will take analyze of Instagram SEO, from alt text to captions to hashtags.

What it won’t do, however, is be able to categorize your hashtags if they’re not even in your post!

On a side note, when you’re scrolling on Instagram, do you care if you see hashtags listed in the caption? I know I don’t. So why not put them in the caption anyway?

So where can you find which Instagram hashtags to use?

The easiest, free way of finding hashtags? On Instagram itself! The basics of your hashtag strategy should follow a ladder effect, with some being smaller hashtags, some medium and some large. And all should be relevant!

There are so many amazing hashtag resources out there that you can use to help with your strategy (though we’re biased to Flick)

Finding a strategy that most helps your engagement is mostly a series of trial and error tests (but if you’re starting your account from scratch, this is a great time to be testing!)

Are hashtags necessary?

This is a controversial question. They are 100% not as necessary as they once were, and are not needed to get onto the Instagram Explore page, but they help. 

If you don’t have the time to implement a full hashtag strategy on your accounts, take a few minutes before you post to look up relevant 3-5 hashtags with less than 500K.

If you have to choose between a good hashtag strategy or a good engagement strategy, engagement strategy should definitely be your priority. 

Instagram wants you to stay on the app, so even the best Instagram hashtag strategy won’t help if you’re posting and ghosting.

Do you need help with your hashtag strategy?

We offer personalized packages with unique to your business hashtags to help you grow your account and reach more people! Find out more here.

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