Why Hashtags are the SEO of instagram

Apr 21, 2020 12:00:00 AM | Social Media Why Hashtags are the SEO of instagram


If you’re trying to grow your Instagram account, there are two things you should have clarity around: what you’re posting and why you’re posting it. Choosing a set of 30 unique hashtags helps you ensure that you are targeting the right people. Hashtags are an incredible asset to tag onto every single post! I know it might seem timely but if you want to optimize your post reach, then input 30 unique hashtag sets into every Instagram post. 

What is a hashtag?

A hashtag is a simple unique key phrase with 0 spaces that a user can search to seek out content that’s relevant to that keyword. Think about it like this, if you want to find really delicious gluten free recipes to bake for this year’s Christmas Party, then you might want to search #glutenfreedesserts. 

Instagram Hashtag #glutenfreedesserts

It’s that simple, and so important to expose your content to a brand new audience in order to grow organically. You can place hashtags anywhere in your post, I recommend putting them at the very end or in the comments section. If you put them in the comments, just make sure you post them immediately after you publish your post. This is because the hashtags go live at the same time your post was published automatically and the IG hashtag algorithm favors posts by time.    

How Many Hashtags Should You Use?

Instagram limits you to 30 hashtags, guess what. You need to use ALL 30 because this maximizes your reach. Especially, since hashtags are one of the only tools that you can capitalize on to get found. This means that hashtags are searchable, and there aren’t many other tools on IG that are searchable. 

Hashtags are basically the SEO of Instagram. 

Some experts say that using all 30 hashtags is Spammy and you should use 5 very specific hashtags. But, I have tried this and the best reach comes from utilizing all 30. Maximize your opportunities by using all 30 hashtags. Focus on a unique set of hashtags for each post. I don’t mean 30 brand new hashtags, I just mean a different group than the hashtags used in the previous post. For amazing Hashtag resources, I recommend this website

How To Choose Hashtags?

Believe it or not, there is competition in hashtag use. The competition is based on how many posts exist with a given hashtag. Also, it’s important to analyze hashtag performance to see which hashtags are performing better and why.

Let’s break this down 

1. Hashtags with a few posts (1k-300k)

2. Hashtags with a medium number of posts (300k-1m) have medium competition and medium traffic. If you rank higher on these hashtags, you can achieve impressions in the thousands. This opportunity offers your content to get pushed to the next level.

3. Hashtags with a lot of posts that are very popular (1m-10m) have very high competition with a lot of traffic. Since they are so popular, it’s easy for your content to get lost in here and very hard to rank in. But, if you do then you could achieve very high impressions, above 10k. 

How To Use Hashtags?

As you begin creating your 30 hashtag sets, I recommend picking between each tier (small, medium and large). As your engagement grows, you can begin to incorporate larger hashtags within each set. Utilize the Hashtag Strategy below as you begin to cultivate your hashtag set.

To research hashtags I recommend using Flick or IQ Hashtags, my favorite resource for hashtag sets!

Hashtags Strategy

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Disclaimer: These numbers are not based on science. They are based on experience of more than 1,000 posts I have published, social media management for over 100 entrepreneurs, as well as statistics I have learned from other social media experts.