🎥⭐️ FAQ: Instagram Hashtags (Jenn Herman)

Jenn Herman

We asked Instagram expert Jenn Herman:
Do you still need to use hashtags on Instagram?

Absolutely. You definitely need them.

They are essentially the secret sauce to success, even though they are evolving and we may not always see great results with every single post that we use hashtags on.

Be consistent in using strategic hashtags on your Instagram posts and reels, and use the same hashtag strategy on both. Use as many as possible, up to the maximum of 30—the more you use, the more you’re telling Instagram what your content is about and where to be found, and it’s more searchability if someone’s looking for that specific hashtag.

Combine a variety of popularity. Go look at any hashtag on Instagram and it will tell you how many posts are associated with it. I typically don’t recommend using hashtags that have over 1 million posts associated with them, though some industries—beauty, food, photography, fashion—are so popular on Instagram that you may have to go slightly over that 1 million mark.

I recommend using:

  • 4-5 “popular” hashtags (500,000 to 1 million)
  • 4-5 “moderately popular” hashtags (low tens of thousands upwards to that 500,000 mark)
  • 4-5 super-specific niche hashtags targeted specifically for the industry you serve or what your audience is looking for

Your audience sees your existing content when you post it and they interact with it. Hashtags get non-followers to see your content. By mixing up this popularity, you’ll get an initial burst from the more popular ones, the moderately popular ones keep your content active longer—you don’t get buried in the archives as quickly—and for the niche-specific hashtags, Instagram says, “Great—followers are liking it, non-followers are liking it, it’s staying active—this is high quality content!” so you end up ranking as maybe one of the top posts for that niche-specific hashtag, and you can stay there for months. That means if someone’s looking for that hashtag, they find your content, they go read your caption, see your call to action, they’re on your profile, and they’re following you. This is how you generate long-term success using hashtags.

They’re also super important now for categorizing your content in terms of keyword search, which Instagram is beefing up and making a more robust function. They are specifically looking at hashtags for categorizing.

Another tip: make sure you’re putting hashtags for where your audience is, not where you want to be found. It’s really easy to say, “I sell car insurance; let me use the hashtag #CarInsurance.” But nobody’s going to Instagram looking for car insurance. They are looking for things like new cars, their favorite car brands, or maybe dream cars. So if you’re using hashtags where they hang out, you’re more likely to get found by that target audience.

Jenn Herman @jenn
:star2: Social Media Advisory Board Member
Jenn Herman is a social media consultant, speaker, and globally recognized Instagram expert. She is the forefront blogger on Instagram marketing and author of “Instagram for Dummies”.

Tell Us Below:

What’s your hashtag strategy on Instagram?

Are you using them?

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THIS is so important to remember! Thanks Jenn!

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