Instagram Hashtags: What Are They and How To Use Them
‹ previous Atlanta's Best Hashtags For Instagram, Twitter, Facebook & More next › How much time do people spend on social media? the hashtag can be from Twitter, but Instagram hashtags have extended the use of this popular social media tool. Studies have proven that using one or more hashtags increases engagement on social media […]

the hashtag can be from Twitter, but Instagram hashtags have extended the use of this popular social media tool. Studies have proven that using one or more hashtags increases engagement on social media posts, resulting in more likes and subscribers. Learn how to use hashtags on Instagram to reach a wider audience and grow your subscribers

Why use hashtags on Instagram

Hashtags on Instagram create a clickable link to each post that has used that hashtag, usually organized by top posts and most recent posts. This creates an inline page for the topic of that hashtag, making it easy for other users to find similar posts and browse desired content.

Using hashtags allows your post to be seen by other users, giving it better visibility and hopefully better engagement.

Clever use of hashtags can help your post gain more attention, which more like, comments and new subscribers. If you are looking to grow your audience or share your personal or corporate brand, hashtags are the best way to reach more users.

Hashtags are also a useful tool to inspire you or to browse the topics that interest you. If you're looking for ideas for your own post or just exploring Instagram for fun, you can search for a hashtag you like and scroll down the page.

Instagram now allows users to follow hashtags as they would with personal accounts. Following a hashtag will intersperse the main posts of that hashtag in your feed. This increases the chances of your post being seen via hashtags, and also allows users to dig deeper into their favorite hashtags by featuring them on their feed daily.

How to use Instagram Hashtags

It's easy to use hashtags - just type in the hashtag symbol (#), then type in the word or phrase you want to tag. Anyone can create their own hashtag this way, or you can add your post to an existing hashtag. There are a few rules to follow when using hashtags on Instagram:

    • DO NOT use spaces: Spaces break up hashtags, cutting the link short. If you want to use the hashtag “NYC Foodie,” be sure to put the two words together in #NYCFoodie. Including the space will only create a hashtag for #NYC.
    • DO NOT include punctuation: Punctuation and special characters will also cut your hashtag to that character, cutting your hashtag short and potentially changing its meaning. You can use an underscore (_) but avoid punctuation marks such as :. ,! ,? , -, +, &, ^.
    • Numbers and emojis both work like hashtags on Instagram.
    • You can only mark your own messages. Adding a hashtag to a comment on another user's post will not link that post to the corresponding hashtag page.
    • In order for your post to appear on a hashtag page, your account must be public. Using hashtags on a private account will not allow your post to be seen by other users depending on your privacy settings.

Tips and best practices on hashtags

You can follow all the technical rules for using hashtags on Instagram, but to get the full effect of the hashtag, you also need to follow some unofficial rules and best practices. Social media gurus have come up with various tips to follow to best improve a post's visibility. While there is no guaranteed formula, these tips have proven to be the best practice for using hashtags on Instagram.

How many hashtags should I use on Instagram?

Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post. If you try to use more than 30, Instagram will not allow you to post the caption or comment. Instagram stories only allow 10 hashtags.

Just because you can post 30 hashtags doesn't mean you should. There have been debates and studies about the best number of hashtags to use to increase engagement without spamming your feed with hashtags, and the numbers typically range between 8 and 12. A study by TrackMaven suggests that 9 hashtags is the optimal number for user engagement.

hashtag engagement

How to hide hashtags

A caption with a lot of hashtags doesn't look its best - even having just a few hashtags in your caption can look messy or give the impression that your post is spam. Seasoned Instagram users and frequent hashtaggers tend to hide their hashtags in one of two ways, so their post always gets engagement from the hashtags without overloading a caption.

One way to hide your hashtags is to caption them, but lower them a few lines. Instagram doesn't allow users to press "Enter" and leave a blank space, so most hashtag fans use punctuation or a symbol on each line to create space. After 3 lines, Instagram adds a “…” to your caption, so viewers should click to view the full caption. Creating this space via punctuation allows you to hide your hashtags in the extended version of the caption.

You can also hide your hashtags in a comment - hashtags still work when you comment on your own post. Many Instagram bloggers post their content with a normal caption and then immediately comment on all of their hashtags so that they always share their post with a wider audience without compromising the caption.

How to become famous on Instagram

Unfortunately, there is no surefire way to achieve Instagram fame. There are, however, a few tips that famous Instagrammers follow that you can implement to help you on your way to Insta-fame. Try these tips for gain more followers on Instagram

    • Use relevant hashtags: Only use hashtags related to your post. Using irrelevant hashtags is often seen and flagged as spam on this page, which will not help with user engagement. Think about it: if you were looking through a popular fashion hashtag, you wouldn't want to see an article about food. Be careful when choosing your hashtags.
    • Be specific: The more specific your hashtag, the more targeted your niche audience. Again, you want your post to reach people interested in that content, so using specific, specialized hashtags will help you reach your target demographic.
    • Use (some) popular hashtags: Using very popular, high traffic hashtags is a double-edged sword. You want to use a hashtag that reaches a large audience, but with millions of posts under that hashtag, your photos can be lost or ignored. It's best to use a few popular hashtags sparingly and in combination with your niche hashtags.
    • Do your research: Before posting, search related posts, related hashtags, and successful accounts similar to yours. Checking the hashtags used by a successful competitor account can provide ideas on which hashtags to use if your content is similar.

Top Instagram Hashtags of All Time

Instagram implemented hashtags in 2011, and since then some of the most popular hashtags have been used millions, if not billions of times. These hashtags are the most used on Instagram and have the most posts of all the hashtags. Use these hashtags sparingly and in combination with more specific hashtags to make sure your post doesn't get lost in the shuffle of millions of other posts.

#Love - 1.4 billion publications

#InstaGood - 916 million messages

#Photo of the day - 622 million messages

#Fashion - 618 million messages

#Magnificent - 549 million messages

#Happy - 492 million messages

#Cute - 480 million messages

# Like4Like - 477 million messages

#TBT - 465 million messages

#Image of the day - 459 million messages

Use Instagram hashtags to grow your business

Businesses have turned to social media to promote their brand, and hashtags are a great way to reach new potential customers and share your business image. Businesses can use popular or trending hashtags on Instagram to show how their product relates to that hashtag or to take advantage of trending topics with high visibility.

Many businesses choose to create their own branded hashtags to create a hashtag specifically for their brand and customers. A specific branded hashtag can drive user and customer engagement and will aggregate their own posts into a single hashtag page. Instagram allows users to post links to hashtags in their account bio, so a business with a branded hashtag can include that hashtag in their bio to further promote engagement.

One example is Urban Outfitters' hashtag, #UOonYou, which encourages customers to tag their own messages by wearing UO clothing. This generates user content that Urban Outfitters can potentially repost and attract more subscribers as users hope to be reposted.

To learn more about using Instagram hashtags to promote your business, click here.



Whether you regularly whip up Michelin-worthy meals at the drop of a hat or your cooking skills are best described as “fine, ” you can always benefit from the helpful little tricks of others. Here, 14 of our friends’, families’ and coworkers’ most-used cooking tips.

There’s a time and a place to whip out that complicated coq au vin recipe you’ve been dying to try. A dinner party isn’t that time. With a new recipe, you’ll likely be chained to the kitchen the whole time, plus, when you’re trying something for the first time, there’s always the possibility that it could go horribly wrong. When cooking for a group, we always err on the side of tried-and-true crowd-pleasers.

You do hours of prep work on an intricate dish, only to be totally disappointed once you taste the final product. Bummer. Instead of putting in all that effort only to be disappointed, taste while you cook. That way, you’ll realize sooner that the dish isn’t tasting how you’d like it to, and you can make all kinds of last-ditch efforts to save it. This doesn’t just work for bad-to-OK meals. Tasting midway through and realizing how perfect a dash of cayenne or a squirt of lemon juice would be can take a great dinner to legendary status.

Plating pasta means tossing some onto a plate and finishing it with a nice dollop of sauce right on the middle, right ? Wrong. Here’s how to take your carbs to the next level : On the stove there should be two pans, one with pasta and one with sauce. Cook the pasta to al dente and transfer it into the sauce. Then, add a little bit of pasta water ( literally just the starchy water the pasta has been cooking in ), which will help the sauce cling to the pasta while also keeping it the right consistency. Perfection.

In the pursuit of the perfect steak, you have to be OK with your kitchen getting a little smoky. That’s because, to get the mouthwatering sear we’re all after, the meat has to be dry and the pan should be pretty damn close to smoking hot. Trust us, it’s worth a few seconds of a blaring alarm.

Most foods are ruined by too much salt. Steak is different. When it comes to seasoning your meat ( before you cook it ), more is more. Use a generous amount of coarse Kosher salt—more than you think you need. Since most cuts of steak are pretty thick, even though you’re using a lot of salt, it’s still only covering the surface.

This one isn’t too complicated. Whether you’re making avocado toast, pizza, fried rice or a burger, the addition of a fried egg on top will not hurt your feelings. Trust us.

This one seems like a no-brainer, but we’ve definitely found ourselves in a situation where we assumed we knew all of the ingredients that went into chocolate chip cookies only to find out that we had about half the required amount of brown sugar. Ugh. to avoid a mid-cooking grocery-store trip, read the recipe from front to back—carefully—before you start.

Prepping grains in mass quantities is less about taste than convenience. Rice, quinoa and even oatmeal last about a week in the fridge after being cooked. When we’re prepping any one of those, we double up our measurements and store the leftovers, which are then impossibly easy to use up throughout the week. Too tired to make dinner ? Heat up some leftover rice from the fridge and toss an egg on top ( remember ? ). Couldn’t be simpler.

So you fried up a pound of bacon for an indulgent ( read : delicious ) déjeuner. Great, just make sure you don’t throw out the grease in the pan. Instead, save it in the refrigerator or freezer ( it technically lasts for up to a year, but should be used sooner than that to take full advantage of its flavor ). Then, anytime you’re cooking something you typically prepare in oil, try cooking it in the bacon grease instead. You’ll never want to eat Brussels sprouts the old way again.

You’ve probably heard that whenever a dish is lacking a little something-something, the best thing to do is toss in some salt. But, we have it on good authority that salt isn’t always the answer. When you’re tasting a dish at the end and you think it needs a little oomph, often it just needs a splash of acid ( like lemon juice ) to round out the flavor.

You know the difference between a paring knife and a fillet knife, but do you know how to take care of them ? Or, more importantly, how to use them ? A set of good knives can be the difference between a stressful cooking experience and a great one. First, practice your knife skills. Look up tutorials on YouTube and practice chopping, slicing and julienne-ing. It’s amazing what you can do with your cook time when your prep time is shortened with solid knife skills. Then, once you’ve got your skills down pat, learn how to take care of your set. No one ever achieved kitchen greatness with a dull chef’s knife.

The key to tender, flavorful barbecue and roasts ? Cooking it on a low temperature for a long time. The same doesn’t go for roasting veggies. For crispy, perfectly cooked butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and more, remember the magic number : 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Any lower, and you risk pulling a pan of blah carrots out of the oven. It might seem high, but to get the nice roasted flavor, you need high heat. And while we’re on the subject, stop crowding your veggies in the pan, which will also make them soggy.

You know how just about every cookie recipe suggests that you chill your dough in the refrigerator for at least a few hours, but oftentimes you don’t listen because you just want cookies now ? ! ( Same. ) Unfortunately, this step actually does make a difference. In addition to limiting how much the dough spreads while baking, chilling your dough intensifies the flavors and produces that perfect chewy, crispy texture we know and love.

It won’t do your breath any favors, but never ( ever ) scrimp on garlic. In fact, we typically double the amount a recipe calls for. Apologies to anyone who was planning on kissing us.

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