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How Many Hashtags on Instagram – 3 or 30?

How Many Hashtags on Instagram – 3 or 30?

How many hashtags on Instagram – 3 or 30? Learn the importance of using hashtags to connect with your target audience and how to find the best hashtags to improve engagement, reach and follows for your Instagram account.

Are Hashtags Important on Instagram?

Despite what you’ve heard, hashtags are still an essential tool for Instagram marketing. Hashtags are identified by the hash symbol (#) and allow users to label and categorize content so that posts can be seen by their relevant target audience. They also can make your content more discoverable to users on the Instagram Explore page.

A view of the Instagram Explore page searching hashtag antique jewelry.
When you type in a search for "#antiquejewelry," the top posts will appear on Instagram's Explore page.

How Many Hashtags on Instagram – An Ongoing Debate

While Instagram allows users up to 30 hashtags for feed posts and ten hashtags for Instagram Stories, some social media experts take the less is more approach.

For instance, Instagram’s @Creators account suggests using between 3-5 hashtags per post, which is unusually low. So, what’s the reason for this shift?

With Instagram’s recent SEO and search improvements, words from captions and video topics can be discoverable in addition to hashtags. This change will encourage less spammy and irrelevant hashtags on users’ posts.

But hold on a second – hashtags are still vital to Instagram growth!

In response to @Creators recommendation, Later Blog conducted a follow-up study analyzing over 18M Instagram feed posts. They found that posts using 20-30 hashtags received the best reach and engagement rates. So, what can we glean from this?

It might be too soon to use the less is more approach with hashtags.

Jewelry storyteller Benjamin Guttery of @thirdcoastgems believes you shouldn’t take a “One-Size-Fits-All” approach regarding hashtags. Instead, he recommends “testing posts with 3-5 hashtags, then 10-15 hashtags to see if you notice a difference in post engagement and reach.”

Not all Instagram accounts are created equal, and that goes for jewelry blogger Danielle Miele of Gem Gossip. While “I don’t use many hashtags,” she said, “once upon a time, they were super vital and helped me gain followers.”

A screen shot of the Gem Gossip Instagram profile.

Since @GemGossip has amassed hundreds of thousands of followers on her Instagram account, she mainly concentrates on using branded hashtags in her captions such as #showmeyourrings and #gemgossipjewelbox to keep her content organized and easy for users to find.

So, how can you use hashtags to make your content more discoverable? Before you begin your hashtag search, we break down the different categories of hashtags that you can use.

6 Types of Hashtags to Consider

6 types of hashtags for instagram
  1. Branded Hashtags – include your brand, collection or campaign like #gemgossip or #showmeyourrings
  2. Industry Hashtags – describe your business niche like #platinumsmith or #jewelrydesigner
  3. Location Hashtags – should be relevant to your caption like #lasvegas or #BeverlyHills
  4. Community Hashtags – bring your community together like #jewelryaddict or #proposetoo
  5. Descriptive Hashtags – help describe the content of your post like #bluesapphirering or #baguettejewelry
  6. Event Hashtags – share specific event details like #jcklasvegas #meleetheshow

Severine Ferrari of Engagement 101 launched the #ProposeToo (hashtag) movement in 2020, encouraging women to flip the proposal script. We see the trend of #womenproposing here to stay!

Long before Instagram, @GemGossip started the #showmeyourrings campaign. She would ask fans to email her photos of their rings and compile her favorites into a blog post. This hashtag has been used over a million times on Instagram!

As you can see, there is great potential for using branded hashtags on Instagram. Not only are they a great way to organize content into buckets, but you can also use them to source User-Generated-Content (UGC) from fans. Another great idea, Benjamin Guttery recommends using branded hashtags named after a specific jewelry collection to make it easier for customers to shop.

How to Find the Best Hashtags on Instagram

To find the best hashtags on Instagram, you’ll want to search for a mix of broad to niche tags relevant to your post topic.

Here are 4 ways to research hashtags:

  1. Use Instagram’s search tool to discover trending hashtags
  2. Search Instagram’s Explore Page
  3. Search hashtags your fans already use and follow
  4. Use hashtag suggestion features from apps like Later

We use the Later scheduling app to search suggested hashtags. First, type in your caption, then suggested hashtags will appear that you can add to your post or your first comment.

Later app has a hashtag suggestion tool.

Ashley Davis, the jewelry editor for National Jeweler, also shares some great pointers. She uses Caption Writer for researching “some wide-reaching terms like #goldjewelry as well as more niche keywords like a specific gemstone variety.”

Her Instagram account @AshleyLikesGems often incorporates branded hashtags such as #EarSeries showcasing great earrings and curated ears in her posts. She is also great at hiding hashtags in her captions, which we’ll discuss below.

How to Hide Hashtags on Instagram Posts

We get a lot of questions asking how to hide hashtags on Instagram – Is it best in the captions or the comments? Let’s look at a few ways you can accomplish this:

In a Caption:

When hiding hashtags, you can add ellipsis (a series of dots) or symbols (~) following the caption to make it less busy. Take a look at your favorite Instagram accounts for inspiration!

In a Comment:

Add hashtags to the first comment in your post or reel. This keeps the attention on your caption.

TIP – Tools like Later and Planoly allow you to add hashtags to the caption or the first comment and then schedule the post.

In Instagram Stories:

To hide hashtags in Instagram Stories, you can 1) type in the hashtags and use the paint dropper tool to blend them in with the background, or 2) type in the hashtags and use stickers to cover them up.

Placing hashtags in the caption or the comments is a personal preference and will not affect your rankings.

Once you find the best hashtags that work for you, it’s time to incorporate them into your posts. Test, Analyze, Optimize & Repeat!

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