How to Strategically use Hashtags on Instagram to Grow Engagement

Have you ever wondered how to grow your Instagram by using hashtags? In my opinion, learning how to use hashtags on Instagram is an important part of growth that most people don't take advantage of! Learning how to pick the right hashtags will give you better overall engagement, way more likes, and get you more followers! Okay, let's get right into it. Here is my five step guide to strategically use hashtags on Instagram to grow engagement:

Use Less Hashtags More Often

The first thing you have to do is use LESS hashtags MORE often. You may remember reading a little bit about this in my How to Gain Instagram Followers post. I want to touch a little bit more on this post because as I grow on Instagram, it's only becoming more valuable. The reason you have to use less hashtags is because Instagram only allows you to be on "top posts" for a certain number of hashtags. The more hashtags you use, the more likely Instagram thinks you may be spamming. Therefore, you should use less hashtags on each picture and keep them specific to the subject matter; this will help you show up on "top hashtags" more often. I have found that my magic hashtag number is 8-10 hashtags per post. Although it's not a lot of hashtags, I'm able to be picky about which ones I use and I normally get on "top posts" for every hashtag, every time, which is definitely more beneficial than being on 30 "recent posts". Still want to use 30 hashtags everyday? Well, then I guess you're going to have to post 3-4 times a day* (do it, it works WONDERS for your engagement!).

*(3 posts x 10 hashtags = 30 total hashtags a day!)

How to Choose Hashtags

In order to get amazing engagement on Instagram, you have to understand which hashtags your post will do best on. Remember -- being on top posts is WAY more important then being on recent because it allows sooo many more people to see it! If you know what your average like amount is, you can have an idea of which hashtags are more likely to get you on that "top post"! Find your average likes per post below to find which hashtags to aim for.

If you receive 150 or less likes per post, use hashtags with under 50K posts
If you receive 150-300 likes per post, use hashtags with 50K- 100K posts
If you receive 300-500 likes per post, use hashtags with 100K- 500K posts
If you receive 500- 1K likes per post, use hashtags with 500K- 1 million posts
If you receive 1K - 2K likes per post, use hashtags with 1m-5m posts
If you receive 2k - 3K likes per post, use hashtags with 5m-10m posts
If you get more then 3K likes per post, then I’m super jealous and you can use whichever hashtags you want!

Be sure to try to not exceed your range of posts. Throwing a higher one in every now and then is good, but you're more likely to do better on hashtags that are in or below your range! For example, if you get around 400 likes per post, use a few hashtags in the 100k-500k region, a bunch more in the 50k-100k region, and then a couple under 50k because you know that you'll be on top posts for every one of those! As you become more familiar with hashtags you'll know which ones you'll do better on! A lot of this is trial and error; try and use some smaller hashtags and use less of them and check to see how many top posts you end up on.

Interesting Note: The less posts a that a hashtag has, the longer the "top posts" stay up. They refresh quicker on more popular hashtags.

Read more about how to gain Instagram followers here.

Constantly Change your Hashtags

Most bloggers that I see on Instagram are constantly using the same hashtags on posts. If you do this, then you are missing out on a LOT of engagement that comes from using different hashtags. Constantly changing up your hashtags is important for a few reasons. First, you are advertising your page to many different types of people who use hashtags that you don’t normally use (which allows for more potential followers). Second, it reduces your chance of Instagram thinking you’re spamming, so you’re less likely to have your account flagged or shadow banned.

Read more about the Instagram shadowban here.

Use Hashtags that Bloggers aren't Using

The best way to get more followers is by using hashtags that non-bloggers would use! For example, if you use #mommyblogger or #LTKunder100 then you are going to be getting a lot of other mommy/fashion bloggers looking at your account, whereas if you were using one like #mommyandme and #skinnyjeans, you're likely to have other people looking at your profile that aren't bloggers. It's important to also use hashtags that you normally wouldn't use because it gets people in different niche's looking at your photos, which allows for many more followers then you may have gotten before.

Read more about Social Media Influencing here.

Use Hashtags in your Insta-Stories

This one I have found SO helpful recently! Did you know that you can now use hashtags in your stories? When you do use a hashtag, your story may go into that "hashtag" story, which allows different people to see your stories and hopefully your profile. So, make sure to include a hashtag in every story -- you never know how many followers you may gain because of it!

Tip: Swipe up on your story to see its stats. Instagram will show you how many people have viewed your story, who they are, and if they came from a hashtag or location. You can also know which hashtag or location they came from. You can also use more than one hashtag in stories (I have not tried this yet, but I will try it out and let you guys know how it works.)


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Try out these five tips for your hashtags today and DM me how well your posts do! Comment below your best Instagram growth tips!