The Complete Instagram Hashtag Guide for Business - Rainmaker Media Solutions
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The Complete Instagram Hashtag Guide for Business

The Complete Instagram Hashtag Guide for Business

By Michael Aynsley

If Instagram marketing is a medieval battlefield, you, the social media pro, are the gallant knight and the hashtag is your trusted sword. Wield it well and you will bring honor (brand awareness) to your noble kingdom (company).

This guide will teach you how to be as prolific with the Instagram hashtag as Sir Lancelot was said to be with his sword. Learn why you need to be using hashtags, how to use them, and which ones to use to conquer your social media goals.

If you need help with the photo- and video-sharing platform beyond the hashtag, discover all our Instagram marketing blog posts, guides, and resources here.

Ready to get started? Read through the guide from start to finish or click on a specific section in the table of contents to jump right to it.

Table of contents

What is an Instagram hashtag?

Why you should use Instagram hashtags

How to add a hashtag to an Instagram post

How to choose the right Instagram hashtags

How many Instagram hashtags should you use

Using brand hashtags on Instagram

Instagram hashtag tips and best practices

Popular Instagram hashtags your brand should be using

What is an Instagram hashtag?

An Instagram hashtag is a word or phrase comprised of letters, numbers, and/or emoji preceded by what was once referred to as the pound symbol (#).

Instagram hashtags categorize content. Click on a hashtag and you’ll be able to browse posts that have been tagged with it. Attach one to your own photo or video and it will be discoverable to anyone searching the hashtag. How likely it is to be seen by other users depends on how often the hashtag is used, how popular your post is (does it already have a lot of likes and comments?), and how strong your following is.

Why you should use Instagram hashtags

Hashtags help Instagram users discover content and accounts to follow. The right hashtag, or combination of hashtags, will expose your brand to large and targeted audiences. By making yourself more discoverable on Instagram, you have a better chance of attracting new followers, getting more likes, and increasing engagement. Indeed, posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6 percent more engagement than those without, according to a study by Simply Measured.

How to add a hashtag to an Instagram post

Hashtags can be added to your posts as captions or comments. Assuming your Instagram account is public, a hashtag will make your post discoverable on the corresponding hashtag page. To tag a post with a hashtag in the caption:

  1. Take or upload a photo or video
  2. Choose whether or not to add a filter (and/or use Instagram’s other editing options), then type # followed by text or emoji in the caption field
  3. Tap OK at the top of the screen
  4. Select SHARE

If you want to add hashtags to a post you’ve already uploaded, tap the three dots in the top right corner of your screen and select Edit. You can also add hashtags post-publishing by tapping the speech bubble under the photo and typing the hashtags in as a comment.

As mentioned, numbers and emojis are allowed in hashtags, but spaces and special characters, such as & or $, won’t work. Two other important things to remember:

  • You can only tag your own posts, not other users’ photos or videos
  • You can use up to 30 hashtags on a single post. If you try to use more, your comment won’t show up View Full Article >>

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