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Hashtags On Instagram – The DL

Can we be real for a second? Hashtags can be a pain… There. We said it. However, as much as many of us have a love-hate relationship with them, they are necessary. Hashtags can be extremely beneficial when trying to attract a cold audience to your Instagram page.

Hashtags should never however be something you ride and die by. Why? Well, because while they help bring new fresh faces to your page, they don’t help in nurturing the audience you’ve already established. Remember that it’s engaged followers, over tons of random followers, and bots – all day, every day. The ultimate goal of them is to help categorize content online.

How many do I need? Where do they go?

You can attach 30 hashtags to everything you post on the Gram. You can attach them to either your caption or the first comment of your post – different tagging methods work for different accounts. We have clients who have success when attaching them to the copy of the post and clients who have success when they are attached as the first comment, so make sure you figure out what is right for your content.

Next, you’ll want to do your research into figuring out your hashtag sets. When doing this, you’ll want to put yourself in your target market’s shoes and try to figure out what type of hashtags they’d be searching for to find your product/service, for inspiration, or community hashtags they would be scrolling through on Instagram.

The way the algorithm works, where you show up in hashtags depends on your overall engagement score and organic engagement on your post. Generally speaking, you’ll want to use hashtags mainly in the Micro set (explained below), unless you have a larger following and engagement rating score, that way you are competing with fewer posts, and your posts rank higher within the hashtag tagged. If you use hashtags with millions of posts tagged to them, you’ll have more competition, and your posts will spend less time towards the top of the hashtag search area.

Feeling overwhelmed? Let us break it down even further for you. Below is a breakdown of the different hashtag groups. Generally speaking, how many hashtags from that specific group should be tagged to each of your posts. 


These have anywhere from 100 to 60k posts attached to them. You’ll want to be sure to include at least 8 – 10 hashtags within this size to your post. If your account is smaller or maybe even brand new, this is most likely where people will find your post, so you might even consider attaching just macro hashtags to your posts at the start. It’ll take longer to get your optimal reach with these tags because they are less popular, but that also means your post will sit higher in each hashtag algorithm for a longer period of time and have less competition with larger more established accounts.


These are hashtags with anywhere from 60k to 600k posts attached to them. This is your sweet spot if you have a decent size account with a highly engaged audience. You’ll want to include anywhere from 15 – 20 hashtags around this size to your post. These are much more searched. You have a greater chance of reaching your ideal client and getting optimal reach, while still staying within a niche.


These are hashtags with 600k to Millions+ of posts attached to them. We honestly recommend only using 1 – 3 hashtags from this set in your post. Why? Because these are highly used tags. Competition is fierce. In the odds of your post reaching your ideal client through tagging these, is tough.

Woah, okay, that’s a lot! You still with us? Great!

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