Tip: The Perfect Number of Instagram Hashtags

by Jason Keath on Nov 04, 2014
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Social Fresh TipsLast week, the team from Piqora joined us at the Social Fresh Conference to discuss marketing on Instagram and Pinterest.

During their presentation, they shared a stat about Instagram hashtags that surprised and intrigued me:

A study they did of 150,000 posts from brands on Instagram found that 7 hashtags, per photo post, generates by far the most like engagement on Instagram – up to 23% more likes.

Instagram Hashtag Study Piqora December 2013

The study estimates that 73% of brands are using too few or too many hashtags.

Hashtags play a huge discovery role on Instagram. Even more than Twitter, hashtags on Instagram are how a lot of photos (and the brands that post them) get found.

Since hashtags are how content gets discovered on Instagram, it’s all the more important for brands to incorporate hashtags as a part of their Instagram content strategy and track hashtags accordingly.



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In order to be discovered, it’s important to be strategic about how many hashtags to place alongside your Instagram caption and what those hashtags actually are.

Here’s the best way to go about selecting the seven hashtags for your brand according to Piqora:

  • One hashtag should be your brand name (example: #nike)
  •  1-2 hashtags should be a hashtag your brand owns (example: #justdoit)
  •  and 2-5 should be community-focused hashtags (examples: #fitness #running)

Post Author

CEO and founder of Social Fresh, the social media education company. Jason is a social media consultant, a social media speaker and industry analyst. He consults with corporations and agencies on social media strategy, building community, and influencer...

  • http://netdost.com/ NetDost – Visual Inspiration

    i have often found that more the hashtag higher the response is

  • http://www.deathtothestarvingartist.com/ Nikolas Allen

    This study seems to state: Hashtags = Engagement. Instagram users don’t engage with hashtags, they engage with photos. Scrolling through the feed, you either like something enough to double-tap and/or comment or you don’t – and that happens before you even SEE the hashtags. It would seem the real secret sauce is using the RIGHT hashtags to get your content discovered – especially if you’re only using 7.

  • http://www.moderninsider.com/ Ted Sindzinski

    Fascinating. I use a fair number of tags personally on my outdoor / adventure photos which works pretty well but there’s always that “spam feel” balance to worry about as a brand account.

    I wonder if there’s a follow up insight to be had on how much attention captions / comments tend to get in the first place (i.e. is the problem with >7 that it becomes too visible because even 7 seems like a lot).

  • http://www.youbeingsocial.com/ Jennifer Quinn

    Great article but image does not show in preview when sharing on social networks. #fail #noimage #poorpreview #notshareable #toobad #imagesrule #needfix

  • annalaurabrown

    great idea. I usually use at least 4 but have used up to 7. Now I know to use at least 7.

  • MohammadKhataan

    We need to see examoles

  • Bee

    Has really someone been paid for this?! Hope not…

  • http://www.thisheartsonfire.com this.hearts.on.fire.

    If people are searching for a term / hashtag, having more wouldn’t hurt. That makes no logical sense. They’re not looking at your photo and thinking “wow, this person has 30. That’s desperate. I’m not clicking. Oh wait, I’m already on their photo. Ooops.” You search for hashtag and click the photos you like. More hashtags > more chances any person will see your photo.

  • http://www.dreamtechie.com/ Yogita Aggarwal

    Great article. Soon gonna test the 7 hashtags with a picture formula :)

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  • http://www.liewcf.com/ LiewCF

    Tip: insert more hashtags in your Instagram photo’s COMMENT for More engagement.