How Many Hashtags on Instagram is Too Many?

How many hashtags on Instagram is too many?

Hashtags are a bit of complex subject among the Instagram community. Some people are sick and tired of seeing their news feed covered in tags. Other people love their hashtags too much for their own good. However you feel about them, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the average hashtag leads to 12.6% more engagement on any post.

Hashtags help to make your content more searchable, making them a valuable part of your social media marketing strategy. One of the few constants of tags is how powerful they are when it comes to generating brand awareness and engagement.

The trouble is, even though hashtags have been around on Instagram for some time now, most people still don’t know how to take full advantage of them.

How Many Hashtags Can You Use on Instagram?

Before you can figure out how many hashtags on Instagram is too many, you’ll need to learn the basics.

The maximum number of tags that you can place on any post is 30. However, you shouldn’t necessarily be using 30 hashtags on every post. So, how many should you be using?

Experts are pretty divided over the answer to that question. Some marketing gurus swear by using the full 30 tags in your posts, while others say that between 5 and 6 is more than enough. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer.

How many hashtags on Instagram is too many will depend on things like:

  • Your target audience
  • The content in your Instagram caption
  • Which hashtags are relevant to your pictures

If your audience is a group of millennials who love using hashtags every day, then they probably won’t mind seeing 20-30 tags on your post. If we look at leading brands like Nike, we see that a single hashtag can be enough for some posts. However, with a following of 82.9 million, Nike probably doesn’t need to try as hard to gain attention on Instagram.

How Many Hashtags on Instagram – Our Top Tips

So, if there are no hard-set rules for how many hashtags you should use on Instagram, how do you know where to start? Well, you could look at the research.

A study from TrackMaven looked at Instagram accounts with 1,000 followers or less and found that it’s possible to achieve maximum engagement when you use around 11 hashtags. However, on the other hand, a similar study from Klear found that you receive the most engagement with two hashtags, and your results will begin to dip if you use too many.

Our advice? Find out how many hashtags on Instagram is the right number for you.

πŸ’‘ Related Post: How to search Instagram hashtags to build a community

Step 1: Optimise Your Hashtags

In a world where hashtags are crucial to earning engagement and building follower count, it’s important to have the right tags at the ready. To make sure you have a variety of hashtags to choose from, create a few sets of tags that work best for your brand, and cycle between a selection of 3-5 of them every time you publish something new.

So, how do you find out which tags are leading to the best results? Simple. Switch to a business account and check out your Instagram Insights. Instagram’s analytics system allows you to track how well your account is growing over time, and it also shows you how certain posts are performing. This way, you can see which of your posts have the best engagement, and which tags you used on those posts.

You’ll also be able to use your Instagram Insights to measure how your engagement rises and falls when you add or remove a hashtag from your list of 3-5 words. Do you get more likes for fewer tags or more followers with extra tags?

Step 2: Focus on Using the Best Hashtags on Instagram

Instead of using countless hashtags to get a reaction out of your followers, focus on using a small selection of tags that encourage the best results. Using highly effective hashtags means that you don’t have to worry about cluttering up your posts or wondering how many hashtags on Instagram is too many. To boost your chances of better tags:

  • Be relevant: If you want your tags to attract relevant followers, then you’ll need to make sure that the words and phrases that you use make sense. For instance, #Frenchie is great for a picture of a French bulldog, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense for a shot of your Labrador.
  • Watch the competition: Feeling as though you’re out of inspiration? Check out what other companies and influencers in your area are doing. If you notice a tag that you haven’t used yet that might be boosting engagement, give it a try.
  • Mix up your tags: Don’t use the same hashtags on every post. Instagram is starting to flag this behavior as spammy, and it could mean that you end up with a warning. Mix up your strategy with fresh ideas every once in a while.

Screenshot of the #Frenchies hashtag

Step 3: Hide Your Hashtags

One sure-fire way to tell that you’ve used too many hashtags in your Instagram post is when your caption looks overwhelmed and cluttered. When asking how many Instagram hashtags is too many, avoid spamming your content with endless options. If you want to add extra tags to your content, but you don’t want to overwhelm your post, consider hiding your tags. There’s no rule against this, and you might get more followers as a result.

To hide your hashtags in a comment:

  • Upload your photo as usual but leave the hashtags out of your caption.
  • Once you publish your post, click on the speech bubble to leave a comment.
  • Write out the hashtags you want to use and tap post.

When you get more comments, your hashtags will disappear from site, but they’ll still help to boost your content’s visibility. Another option is to hide your hashtags within your Insta caption. To do this:

  • Choose the 123 key when writing your caption.
  • Tap return and enter a period or dash, then keep hitting return until you use up the viewable space in the caption.
  • After 3 lines, you can add your tags, and they won’t be viewable unless your followers tap the “more” option at the bottom of the post.

Step 4: Hide Hashtags Under Stickers in Stories

Instagram introduced a bunch of updates in 2018, including the option to add Insta hashtags to your Stories posts. By using Instagram tags in your Stories, you can boost your chances of your content being found by a wide range of new audience members. However, once again, it raises the question of how many hashtags on Instagram is too many.

When you add tags to an Instagram story, you have two options available. You can either add the hashtag as a sticker or enter it into your Story as text. There’s enough space for up to 10 hashtags in a single story but using all of your tags can leave your content looking cluttered. Since Instagram relies on aesthetics, it’s important to make sure that your stories look good.

To unlock the full benefits of 10 hashtags (without the overwhelming amount of text), merely shrink your hashtags down and hide them under an emoji or sticker. It might sound a little sneaky, but it’s a great way to get the best of both worlds.

How Many Hashtags on Instagram is the Right Amount?

Ultimately, there’s a lot of controversies out there when it comes to deciding how many hashtags on Instagram is the right amount. Some people are convinced that the more hashtags you use, the better off you’ll be, while others believe that it’s best to keep things simple.

The best thing you can do is perform your own tests. Try adding a different number of hashtags to each post and seeing which pieces of content perform the best. Experiment with the sweet spot for your target audience, and don’t be afraid to mix things up from time to time. The important thing is to be intentional with your tags.

Of course, if you ever need help managing your Instagram strategy, you can always reach out to Upleap too! Our Instagram managers will help you get the most out of your hashtags in no time! Click here to start your free trial.

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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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