Instagram hashtag strategies

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How to get the most out of Instagram hashtags for your brand

A hashtag is a word or phrase that is preceded by the “#” sign. Hashtags on social media networks, such as Instagram, are hyperlinked, which means that when users click or tap the hashtagged words, Instagram loads the corresponding hashtag page. Hashtagging makes it simple for Instagram page owners to categorize their page content and for users to search for specific content categories amongst the vast array of social posts.

Hashtags can also help with other aspects of marketing, from discovery to promotion, and they can yield both immediate and long-term results.

Why marketers use hashtags on Instagram

Increased reach and brand discovery

Hashtags enable your Instagram content (posts, Reels, and Stories) to be discoverable by users, offering your brand various ways to reach a larger, more relevant audience. Moreover, users who click or tap to follow a hashtag will get content containing the followed keyword or phrase in their Instagram feeds.

By using hashtags that many Instagram users follow, your brand has a better chance of your page’s content appearing in people’s feeds, and this increases the possibility that they may discover and follow your brand.

You can tailor your hashtags to support discoverability by niche audiences, building a relevant follower base that has the potential to convert to loyal customers.

Build your brand image and boost engagement

Hashtags can play a role in strengthening your brand; for example, you could employ branded hashtags to inspire user-generated content (UGC) and or use creative hashtags that are trending; a hashtag is just as important as any other social media message in sharing your brand’s voice and building your brand amongst your target audience on Instagram.

According to research from Social Pilot, Instagram posts that feature at least one hashtag have, on average, 12.6% more engagement than posts without hashtags. This doesn’t mean that you should stuff your post with hashtags! The hashtags should relate to the content, as with any good keyword strategy. There is no exact total number of hashtags your brand can use on Instagram, as it depends on the content type. In terms of functionality, feed posts and reels allow for up to 30 hashtags, whereas stories support ten hashtags. While it may seem sensible to maximize your opportunity and add as many as possible, it is usually best practice to take a more measured approach and see what works best for your audience by testing different amounts of hashtags and comparing key metrics such as reach and engagement to identify the best results for your brand.

Promoting and tracking campaigns

Along with supporting your branding and boosting discoverability, hashtags are an excellent tool for promoting campaigns. By creating a unique campaign hashtag, you can draw attention to your brand’s activity or key event and track all content created related to the event.

This is ideal if you are running a competition or looking for a way to store UGC, as campaign hashtags will allow you to locate all the content with one click quickly.

Users can enter the promotion by adding the hashtag to their content and can search for the hashtag to review other entries. Brands can track and monitor the hashtag to store competition entries, select a winner and analyze the success of a particular promotion.

How to select your content hashtag

As mentioned above, hashtags can serve a wide variety of purposes for conveying a message about the related content. Below are some hashtags strategies to consider:

  • Go for branded hashtags that are related to your company
  • Create a unique campaign hashtag that is connected to a specific marketing promotion
  • Focus on UGC hashtags that are tailored for your target audience to use
  • Seasonal or timely hashtags that promote trends or holidays
  • Localized hashtags that focus on local activities targeted to a local audience base
  • Inspirational hashtags that could include themes like #QuoteOfTheDay
  • Industry-specific hashtags that relate to your field of work or profession
  • Community-driven hashtags that share information and give a voice to the community
  • Categorized hashtags that classify the topic of the content

Instagram research and analysis tools

To get the most out of hashtags in your Instagram content, they should be used in a relevant and results-driven way, so you need to conduct research and analyze the results. Hashtags can be viewed in the same way as keywords in other parts of SEO.

There are many ways to get ideas and data related to Instagram hashtags; tools like Sistrix and Inflact will generate relevant hashtags and provide data on what hashtags are trending. You can also use Instagram Search by typing hashtag suggestions into the Instagram search bar and seeing what appears. It’s also a good idea to monitor competitors in your industry, to generate some ideas for your strategy on what approach is working.

By using Instagram Insights, you can view hashtag performance in an individual post by selecting “View insights” within the related post. If you are looking for more detailed analytics on a particular hashtag’s performance, many reporting paid tools provide more robust insights, such as Sprout Social or Iconosquare.


Hashtags can play an important role in boosting reach, improving discoverability, or promoting a campaign; the key is identifying which ones to use and when is the best time to add them to your post. 

If you have any questions related to Instagram or social media marketing, please feel free to contact our expert team at for more information

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