Anyone who wants to get their Instagram account out to more people has some kind of hashtag strategy. That’s why my hashtag worksheet is one of my most popular downloads! But Instagram changes constantly so it’s easy for your hashtag strategy to become outdated. Read on to learn how you should be using hashtags on Instagram today.

The Old Hashtag Strategy Doesn’t Work Anymore

It was the standard for a long time to maximize the number of hashtags you’re allocated per post. Instagram allows 30, so it was wise to use all of them. Some people even had hacks to edit their post later so they could add even more hashtags. 

That was then. This is now. 

The Instagram algorithm is always changing and morphing in an effort to deliver the best content to it’s users. For influencers, brands and content creators this can be really frustrating! But just take a deep breath and acknowledge that Instagram isn’t “out to get you.” They just want the best , most relevant content to be seen by the right people. 

Because of that, adding the same list of 30 hashtags to every single post no longer works.  Instead it’s now recommended to use just 3-8 hashtags per post and make them highly specific to that post. 

Use Highly Relevant and Specific Hashtags

My main account @tmistick is about me and my dogs so I used to use #agirlandherdog or #girlsbestfriend all the time. But all of my photos don’t show me and my dog. About half of them are of just my dog. So using unrelated hashtags isn’t going to make Instagram want to share it with people.

Instagram wants to build trust with users.

So it makes sense that they want to highlight content that relates to the hashtags used on it. And therefore, they could downplay content that has a huge list of unspecific hashtags in the caption.

You can still keep a list of commonly used hashtags on the notes app on your phone, but these days you should be really selective about which ones you copy and paste over to your caption.


Find Highly Engaging Hashtags That Work

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With this new strategy I also encourage you to have more fun with your hashtags. Use ones that are very specific to your photo location or the brands shown. If your post is particularly pink try adding #ihavethisthingwithpink or another color-based hashtag.

Get creative, think outside the box and take chances.

How You Should Be Using Hashtags on Instagram Today

Once you’ve adjusted the types of hashtags you’re using and how many you put on each post, don’t forget to do the most important part! Engage. Engage. Engage!

The best way to make hashtags work for you today is to click on your favorites and leave meaningful comments on the posts you find there. These are your people, your tribe. They’re most likely to become your next follower.

If you see a post that really resonates with you, click over to their profile and like a few more posts. This will help you stand out in their notifications. If you really love them, go ahead and follow them!

Instagram is all about building relationships and community, and hashtags are the perfect ice breaker to help you find your audience. 

When In Doubt, Check Your Insights

When is the last time you checked your post Insights to see how your hashtags are performing? Several months ago when I was still using 30 hashtags on every post I noticed that those hashtags were accounting for less than 1% of the engagement on my posts. 

That’s when I started experimenting using zero hashtags. And you know what? I was getting roughly the same amount of likes per post, and sometimes way more, when I used zero hashtags compared to 30.

I’m now using zero to six hashtags per post. When I do use them I make sure they are very relevant to my post, often associated with a location or brand shown in the photo. This strategy is working really well!

Now It’s Your Turn to Implement These Changes

Get my worksheet with more advice on finding the best hashtags for your account based on the latest changes to the Instagram algorithm. Just enter your email below, I’ll send you the worksheet and share other Instagram growth news with you!


New Hashtag Strategy Tori Mistick InstaMistick