Tom Welbourne

Tom Welbourne

Helping Small and Medium Businesses Achieve Their Full Marketing Potential | Digital Marketing Expert

How You Can Optimise Your Instagram Hashtags

Despite Instagram not being the first to use hashtags, (Twitter being the first), they are still one of the best ways for your audience to find and discover you.

Hashtags are a great way for organic growth also, as they are free and you can be highly specific in which hashtags you use on your page. You can even start a trend and create your own!

If you want to get more followers, increase engagement and brand awareness, then you 100% want to be looking at what hashtags to be using, as well as how you can optimise them.

You’re probably wondering how much of a difference a couple of hashtags can really make to your business. Well, according to agorapulse.com, a post with at least one hashtag got 70% more likes + 392% more comments

In this article, we talk about the optimisation of hashtags on Instagrams platform.


Before you start including hashtags in your captions, you need to put yourself in your customers shoes and think about the hashtags they would use to discover a business that offers a product/service like yours.

For example, if you’re looking to start a sports event company that focuses on endurance sports, then you will want to be including hashtags such as, #running #cycling #triathlon #ultramarathon.

Most people will try to go broad with their hashtags and reach as many people as possible. This is not the way to go, because you’re competing against way more pages and are therefore likely to end up at the bottom of the pile.

Go niche, really niche.

The more detailed your hashtags are, the less competition there is. You’re in luck if you’re business is offering a niche product/service because you won’t have to do too much work to start increasing your engagement on your page.

How Many Hashtags Do I Use?

There’s no optimal number for how many hashtags you should use on Instagram, but we recommend anywhere from 5-15.

You have a maximum of 30, but you don’t want to get loads of spam hovering around your page because this actually decreases engagement rates!

According to adweek.com, under 10 hashtags is optimal, however, multiple sources who have researched this subject have come up with various ranges. The best thing you can do is follow the research and then do your own through trial and testing

How To Hide Your Hashtags

Not sure about you, but if you’ve ever seen an Instagram post and a load of hashtags in the image caption, they can look rather tacky to look at.

You may not think this means much, but a lot of scammy pages will put their hashtags in their caption, and people are now starting to associate hashtags in the image caption as scammy too.

How do you get around this?


Put your hashtags in the comments section of your image/video where you can keep your caption neat and clean. Most people will not notice your hashtags are in the comment section.

You may now be asking yourself whether the hashtags will be working if you put them in the comments. Yes, they do, and if you don’t believe us, just try it out for yourself!

Add Hashtags To Your Instagram Stories

Instagram stories are growing quick, very quick. By adding hashtags to your Instagram stories, you are allowing your audience to discover you.

Add hashtags to your stories in the text, sticker or a location tag to be found by your audience.

Posts with a location have been shown to get a 79% higher engagement than those without a location. And this works perfectly if you’re a local business or a brick and mortar business because people who live around the corner to your business will find you that much more quickly.


We hope this short and sweet article about Instagram hashtags has provided some valuable information for your small business that you can implement straight away (which is always our intention with these articles).

To summarise, here are 3 ways you can use the information above now:

  • Go niche with your hashtags

  • Think like your ideal customer and what hashtags they would use to find a product/service like yours

  • Then put those hashtags in the comments section


If you want to learn more about the most popular social channel, Instagram, and how you can use it to grow your small business, then get in touch with one of our Instagram advertising experts today here.

Share this post