How to use hashtags on Instagram for more reach

5 minutes

Want to know how to use hashtags on Instagram for more reach?

Then, keep on reading.

The reality is that Instagram as we know it is changing.

Advertising is getting more expensive, organic reach is close to zero and government regulations are making it more challenging to use social media for business.

In fact, marketing in general changing, not just Instagram.

So what about Instagram hashtags?

PS: I have a video below where I answer FAQs from my Instagram audience!

Hashtags used to be a fantastic organic growth tool.

People used hashtags on Instagram to reach more people, find new audiences and grow their followers.

But gone are the days when you could get away with using 5 random hashtags and reach a lot of people.

Don’t get mistaken: hashtags on Instagram are still useful.

They can help you target your audiences, are still free to use and require very little effort from your side.

And yet so many people use hashtags wrongly that have made #hashtagsdontwork a trend.

Want to know how to use hashtags on Instagram to reach more people?

I’m here to help!

Without further ado, here are 7 hashtag tips to help you level up your Instagram game.

How to use hashtags on Instagram for more reach

Hashtag tip #1. Research your hashtags before using them on Instagram

Regardless of whether you’re a marketing newbie or experienced with digital marketing you need to research your hashtags.

Simply assuming that hashtags that come into your mind or you see someone else using will work wonders for your content won’t cut it.

Here’s how to research your hashtags:

  • Open your Instagram app
  • Tap the search bar
  • Write your industry keyword (eg. “photographer”)
  • Press search

Instagram will generate a list of relevant & related hashtags to choose from.

You can pick and choose up to 30 hashtags of different sizes that you feel reflect the content you’re going to post the best.

Tip: Researching hashtags on Instagram also helps you filter out the hashtags that are banned.

Hashtag tip #2. Combine small & big hashtags to boost reach

A common question people ask me is: “Should I use niche or popular hashtags?”.

Well, I like to recommend using a combination of both.

Niche hashtags (25k – 200k) help you target the people who are most interested in your content, while popular hashtags (above 1 mil) give you an initial boost on the explore page, bringing more views to your post.

The size ratio I like to use for a small Instagram page (10k followers or less)

  • 70% niche & industry hashtags
  • 30% large (popular) hashtags

Note: The actual hashtag mix depends on your audience and goals. What works for me may not automatically work for you.

Hashtag tip #3. Use all 30 hashtags Instagram allows you

There’s a lot of debate on social media regarding the number of hashtags you should use in a post.

My view is simple: If Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags, why not use them all?

Each hashtag you use is an additional opportunity for your content to be discovered.

So make use of it!

Hashtag tip #4. Use a hashtag generator tool to discover new hashtags

Hashtag generators can really come in handy when you have no clue what hashtags to choose.

So, if you’re a beginner or starting a new page for your business I recommend you try a hashtag generator to find out what kind of hashtags are popular in your industry.

The hashtag generator tools I recommend are:

Hashtag tip #5. Repost the same 70% of your hashtags

Yes, I reuse the same hashtags in every post.

And not because I am lazy to search for new hashtags.

In fact, there are studies that have found that the more you use a hashtag the better your chance of ranking on it.

That’s why, I like to keep using the same 70% of hashtags that I found work best for me, and the balance 30% of hashtags I make them relevant to each post I share.

Hashtag tip #6. Hide your hashtags in caption or comments

Some people like to look at an aesthetic feed. And the same applies to Instagram captions.

If your captions are too wordy, unformatted and are stuffed with hashtags, your readers will run away!

There are 2 options for hiding your hashtags:

  • in the first comment
  • at the bottom of your caption hidden after 5 rows of dots (…..)

Regardless which way you choose to use the hashtags, there’s no wrong way.

Hashtag tip #7. Keep a list of hashtags that work (and those that don’t)

Now that you’ve learned some tips and tricks of where to find hashtags and how to use them, the last hack involves reviewing your hashtags and saving them into lists.

I like to use to track my hashtags performance and export the list of the hashtags that worked onto my PC.

This way, I can make sure I am optimising my hashtags for the best reach, keeping ineffective hashtags out of my Instagram posts.

Do you know of any other hashtag tips or hacks?

I’d love to hear them!