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  • Terra Werner & Daniela Schrittenlocher

Your Instagram Hashtag Questions ANSWERED

Feeling lost in the world of Instagram hashtags? Use them, don't use them, only use 3-5, use the max 30, use popular hashtags, use niche hashtags... so much advice out there that you just don't know what's necessarily right vs. wrong.

No worries, we've got you covered! Coming directly from the hashtag queen 🙋🏼‍♀️ @elasmarketingservices and her ELAS Marketing team. This is your go-to expert resource for those burning hashtag questions.

1. How many hashtags should I use in my Instagram posts?

Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags per post but that doesn't mean you should always use all of them.

It's important to note that using a large number of hashtags doesn't necessarily guarantee better results. Quality over quantity, remember?!

✨ Make sure that they are specific and related to your content, industry, and target audience.

2. How do I find the most relevant hashtags for my niche or industry?

Research industry-specific hashtags and analyze the hashtags used by your competitors, industry leaders, influencers, and of course, your target audience.

Identify hashtags relevant to your:

  • Account size

  • Engagement Rate

  • Topic

  • Content

  • Niche

  • Target Audience

  • Location

  • Event

Using tools like Instagram's search function, hashtag generators, social media monitoring tools, and even our newest ebook, the Instagram Hashtags Guide can help you find relevant hashtags.

🙌🏻 BONUS: The guide includes over 200 hashtags for 12 different niches/ industries.

3. What is the difference between popular hashtags and niche hashtags, and which ones should I prioritize?

Popular hashtags have a high volume of posts, which means you can increase the chances of your content being seen by a wider audience. but also fierce competition and may only sometimes be effective.

#love (2B posts) #life (418M posts) #homedecor (121M posts)

Niche hashtags are more specific to your industry and target audience, allowing you to target a more engaged and relevant audience. Better chances of reaching the right people.

My advice: Avoid top performing hashtags!

If you use popular hashtags, such as #love with a total of 2.1 B posts on it, your post will just drown in the thousands of posts being posted using this hashtag every minute.

✨Prioritize niche hashtags that strike a balance between popularity and specificity while occasionally incorporating popular ones to boost your visibility.

This enhanced visibility can lead to increased engagement, new followers, and the potential to grow your brand's presence on the platform.

🚨 If you’re just starting with 1k-10k followers, you’ll want to learn exactly how to stack your hashtags 😉 and you bet that’s all explained in the Instagram Hashtags Guide!

4. How can I ensure my hashtags are effective in reaching my target audience?

It’s essential to focus on hashtags that are highly relevant to your content and that will best resonate with your audience.

You’re probably thinking, DUH, but how the heck do I do that?? 🤔

Consider your target audience:

  • Preferences

  • Behaviors

  • Interests

  • Demographics

  • Location

Research, experiment, and refine.

Monitor the engagement and reach of your posts using Instagram's analytics or third-party tools. Identify the hashtags that drive the most interactions and adjust your strategy accordingly.

5. Are there any specific tools or strategies to use for hashtags?

YES. There are several apps available for researching hashtags and tracking the performance of your hashtags.

My most favorite hashtag tools to use:

IQ Hashtags

Try it out here!

For analytics on hashtag performance, you can always check out your Instagram Insights or these two more popular tools:

Sprout Social Hootsuite logos

Monitor metrics like reach, engagement, and follower growth to evaluate the effectiveness of your hashtags.

6. Can I create my own branded hashtag, and how can I encourage my audience to use it?

Yes, you can create a branded hashtag unique to your business.

Promote it across your social media platforms, encourage user-generated content, and offer incentives or rewards to motivate your audience to use it.

This fosters community engagement and expands your brand's reach organically.

7. Should I use trending or seasonal hashtags, and how can I incorporate them into my content strategy?

Trending and seasonal hashtags can help boost visibility and capitalize on popular topics.

Incorporate them into your content strategy only if and when they align with your brand or current campaigns.

Prioritize relevancy and authenticity so that your hashtags genuinely enhance your content.

8. How can I avoid using banned or spammy hashtags?

Banned hashtags or those associated with spammy content can harm your account's visibility and reputation.

We know, it sucks! And there are a lot of banned hashtags so you might not even know you are using them.

How to identify banned hashtags:

You'll see a notification on top of a banned hashtag stating that the recent posts have been removed.

✨ Get exclusive access to the ultimate Banned Hashtag List when you purchase the Instagram Hashtag Guide!

🚨 It’s important to regularly review Instagram's guidelines and policies on hashtags.

We’ve got the guide to teach you literally everything you need to know about Hashtags, including:

Instagram Hashtags Guide for Businesses and Brands on Etsy

1. How to reach more people

2. How to find hashtags that work for you and/or your clients

3. Which hashtags NOT to use

4. Which tools you should try

5. How to analyze your hashtag performance

…and so much more!

🚨 Get the Instagram Hashtags Guide for Businesses and Brands! Now available on our website and Etsy Shop!

Hashtag wisely, friends! 😉


written by Terra Werner and Daniela Schrittenlocher

@ELAS Marketing Services LLC

Follow @elasmarketingservices for daily tips, facts and honest social media & marketing talk on Instagram.

Email us at with questions or topic requests.

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