Everything You Need to Know About the Instagram Hashtag Limit

Hashtags are the #Ultimate way to be discovered by potential fans and followers on Instagram.

However, there’s a limit to how much value you can get out of that hashtag cash cow without your profile being flagged as spammy.

Instagram marketing trends are changing, and companies are having to rethink the way they connect with their audiences and represent their brands online. As we move into 2019, you might need to rethink the way you handle the Instagram hashtag limit.

Ultimately, hashtags are the easiest way to boost your chances of appearing on the Instagram “Explore” page, and in the top posts section. The more you show up in these critical areas of Instagram, the more likely you are to gain all-important followers.

The only problem, there’s more to hacking the hashtag than you might think.

Introducing your guide to the Instagram hashtag limit.

How Does the Instagram Hashtag Limit Work?

The first step in figuring out how to use the Instagram hashtag limit is learning how hashtags work on Instagram overall.

Whenever you create a post on Instagram and add a caption to your photo, the post becomes visible to other users. That’s why everyone from Instagram influencers to celebrities like Selena Gomez uses hashtags in their posts.

If every hashtag you put into your posts opens the door to a new selection of potential followers, it makes sense that the more hashtags would mean more success. However, if you’ve ever tried to cram your content full of hashtags before, you’ll know that there’s a limit. You can’t put more than 30 tags into any given post.

At the same time, it’s worth noting that your chances of reaching the top on Instagram don’t rely exclusively on the number of hashtags you use. The quality of your content also matters.

Where Can You Use Instagram Hashtags

When it comes to learning about the Instagram hashtag limit, it’s worth noting that your tags don’t have to appear only in your post captions. Hashtags are great for everything from your Instagram bios, to your Stories posts.

On Stories, there are two ways to use hashtags. You can either enter your tags as text over the top of your photos or videos, or you can include your hashtag as a sticker from the available sticker menu. With Instagram posts, you can place your hashtags in your comments. This is an alternative to using your caption if you want to reduce some of the #clutter on your feed.

Most people use the strategy of posting their hashtags in the comments when they want to increase their follower count. Usually, 30 hashtags next to a picture doesn’t look great. In the years to come, however, there’s a chance that you won’t have to worry about hiding your hashtags at all.

In late 2018, a code hacker called Jane Manchun Wong found some new info about hashtags. She discovered that there may be some new “Add hashtag” fields in development for Instagram posts. This feature would allow you to add hashtags to your content, without it showing up next to your photos, or in your comments.

Hashtag feature

Making the Most of the Instagram Hashtag Limit

As mentioned above, finding success with hashtags isn’t just about using every hashtag you can find . There are millions of words and phrases to choose from, and it’s important to make sure that you’re using the tags that are most relevant to your business, and your audience.

Although Instagram sets their character limit for a single post at 2,200 characters, that doesn’t mean that you should fill it with tags. Additionally, you’ll need to know how to use your tags effectively if you want a change of growing your follower count.

Using the wrong hashtags on your posts can actually harm your Instagram presence. For instance, if you use irrelevant tags, then Instagram is more likely to class your profile as spammy. On the other hand, if you accidentally post pictures with “blocked” hashtags,  you could risk a shadowban.

So, how do you make the most of your Instagram hashtag limit?

Using the Right Hashtags on Instagram

Running a successful campaign on Instagram isn’t easy. Maintaining a growing follower count is even harder. It’s no wonder that so many people end up falling into problems with hashtags because they simply try to copy and paste the same tags for each post.

Making the most of your Instagram hashtag limit means not just using the right number of hashtags, but the right selection too. Here are a few basic tips to keep in mind:

  • Avoid gimmicky hashtags: Popular but gimmicky tags like #Like4Like might get you a few extra followers, to begin with, but they won’t translate into long-term success for your brand. Stick to tags that resonate with your target audience.
  • Don’t use the same tags for every post: Instagram is starting to shadowban companies that use the same terms in every post, as they see this as “bot-like” behavior. Make sure that your human side is shining through with plenty of new tags in each post.
  • Choose the most relevant tags: To choose the words that are best suited to your business, think about how you and your customers would describe your company. You can also check out which terms the competitors, influencers, and consumers in your sector are already using.
  • Don’t use too many words: Although some studies suggest that longer hashtags (up to 24 characters) are more effective than shorter ones, it’s best to avoid any tags that might be too complicated for your audience.
  • Avoid creating a spammy feeling on your content: If your caption is simply a huge pile of hashtags, then it doesn’t look great. If you are going to use all 30 tags available with the Instagram hashtag limit in your caption, hide your tags at the bottom of your post by using line-gaps. Instagram automatically hides your content after 3

Finding Your Instagram Hashtag Limit

Ultimately, just because Instagram says that you can use up to 30 hashtags on your content, it doesn’t mean that 30 is the right number for you. According to research by TrackMaven there’s a significant correlation between the number of hashtags used, and the engagement you get online. TrackMaven shows that 5, or 11 tags are a good bet. On the other hand, studies by Klear suggest that you can get the most engagement with no more than 2 hashtags.

Our advice?

Channel your college days and experiment.

There’s no-one out there who can tell you what works best for your business. The only way to see what number of hashtags works best  is to test your options. Start by posting one hashtag a day a. Gradually work your way up to multiple tags at a time and measure your results. If you track everything correctly, you should eventually be able to see the “peak” number of hashtags for your post. This is your personal Instagram hashtag limit.

Take Advantage of the Instagram Hashtag

Remember, success on Instagram is rarely a one-size-fits-all solution. For most people, it’s a process of trial and error. You’ll need to do a lot of testing before you find the strategy that works best for you. The good news is that you can eliminate some of the hard work associated with building your Instagram presence with a little bit of support from the team at Upleap.

Contact us today to start your free trial and begin earning engagement on Instagram.

By Rebekah Carter

Hi! I'm Rebekah, a full-time writer specializing in the spaces of digital content, business, social media and tech.

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